Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Climate Solutions Lab

Climate Change and the Built Environment

Tulane University

Environmental Studies


Jesse Keenan

Undergraduate lecture,Doctorate

Simulations,Readings from Underrepresented groups

This survey course explores the basic tenets of climate change science as a foundation for further studies in the theories, models, and practices of sustainability, mitigation, resilience, and adaptation in the built environment. Through a critical reading and analysis of central bodies of literature, students are provided a conceptual and empirical basis for exploring applied practices and policies that are advanced in the name of climate change. As such, this course examines both decarbonization and responses to and preparations for climate impacts. The practice component of this course focuses on sustainability in building and site design; community resilience in urban planning; engineering resilience in buildings and infrastructure; ecological resilience in environmental management; multi-hazard risk assessment in disaster risk management; and adaptation processes in the public and private sectors that drive the construction, financing, and management of the built environment. Concepts and methods are explored through a variety of interdisciplinary practices ranging from coastal planning to asset management. Students will develop a critical understanding of relevant public policies and institutions, design and engineering techniques, economic strategies, and planning models. While there are no prerequisites for this course, some interest and general familiarity with environmental studies is useful. This course is intended to serve as an advanced elective for undergraduates and an introductory elective for graduate students in real estate, architecture, design, historic preservation, public policy, environmental studies, urban studies and liberal arts.