Announcing an exciting new undergraduate sustainability course to take place near Beijing this spring: Towards a New Sustainable Environment in Light of the Changing Face of Rural (and Urban) China.
This interdisiplinary, three-credit course—being offered May 5 to July 10, 2011 through the Taubman College of Architecture and the Graham Sustainability Institute—will give participants a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study multiple facets of environmental and social sustainability in an area of the world undergoing unprecedented change.
"The villages we will be studying are significant at this time in human history when half of all humans live in rural conditions," says Prof. Mary Ann Ray, who is teaching the course. "And yet, ongoing rural-to-urban migrations are overburdening cities worldwide where inhabitants must resort to living in self-built illegal environments.
"The goal of this study is to work toward building a more sustainable way of life in rural areas to reverse this trend," Prof. Ray continues. "After the initial research, documentation and analysis phase, the course will work to define and develop a series of sustainable proposals for the villages in categories that may include, but are not limited to, social and health services, culture and the arts, infrastructure, technology, real estate, engineering, economics, agriculture, regional planning and architecture."
Students in the class will travel to China starting around May 5-6, 2011. The course will operate from the laboratory studio BASE Beijing in Caochangdi, an urban village that is one of Beijing's most significant creative and cultural zones. Numerous field trips will be made from this location.
Students from multiple schools and colleges at U-M are encouraged to apply, and some funding support may be available for those who are eligible. The application deadline is February 14, 2011. Please click here for the online application.