Towards healthy sustainable communities: A journey of learning, critical thought and creativity
- Publisher: University of the West of England
Educating our future planning, property, housing, geography, energy and climate change specialists about the influence of the built environment on health and sustainability is a fundamental component of their learning. However, trying to get first year students to grasp the complexity and breadth of what constitutes a healthy sustainable community and why it is important is no mean feat. This paper, from the perspectives of past student, Ben Hockman, and new lecturer, Sarah Burgess, reflects on the approach taken in the Healthy Sustainable Communities module to address this challenge. With an emphasis on participatory learning, the module seeks to engage students in the topic and emphasises the need for individual thought, research and motivation. Whilst the students are initially averse to this approach, Ben Hockman identifies the benefits that he gained as a student as well as the lessons of hind-sight that he is able share with current students as a Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) leader for the module. Sarah Burgess shares her experience in assisting with the delivery of the module and in assisting students to think creatively about health, sustainability and the built environment.\ud Sarah Burgess is a senior lecturer in the department, working in the WHO (World Health Organisation) Collaborating Centre for Healthy Cities and Urban Policy. She is a tutor for the first year planning module, Healthy Sustainable Communities. \ud Ben Hockman is a second year planning student who completed the Healthy Sustainable Communities module in 2010.