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Course Review: Nature-based Urban Regeneration

This course looks at nature-based solutions to tackle the climate and nature crises that have gripped the world.

Some of the benefits presented in the course of integrating cities and nature: shading and insulation

Are you interested in learning about using nature to improve life in your city? Do you want to learn how to co-create nature-based solutions with local communities, how to make environmental, economic and social benefits of nature-based solutions (NBS) measurable and translate these into sustainable business models?

Nature-based Urban Regeneration, offered by RWTH Aachen University on edX, will help you with the knowledge to set up your own nature-based regeneration strategy.

The role of NBS in tackling the climate and nature crises has gained the world’s attention. There is growing awareness that NBS can help to protect us from climate change impacts while slowing further warming, supporting biodiversity and securing ecosystem services.

 Time Commitment

This course runs over 5 weeks. You want to dedicate approximately 5-6 hours per week on the course, which will be spent:

  • watching lecture videos
  • exploring literature and website recommendations
  • completing recap questions (quizzes)
  • completing assignments

Quizzes & Assignments

After watching the lecture videos of each unit, you are asked to answer a series of questions revising what you’ve learned. It was a little frustrating, though, to be marked wrong if you didn’t put “-” or “.” in some answers. Some questions were multiple-choice. Quizzes are worth 10% of your grade.

Learners who want to receive a certificate for this edX course have to complete the:

  • recap questions
  • last three module assignments
  • final assignment

Each module concludes with an assignment. These represent 30% of your grade.

Nature-based urban initiative

Your module assignments over the course of five modules provide the building blocks for writing your project proposal of a nature-based urban regeneration strategy, bringing the different tasks together. This final assignment is worth 60% of your grade.

One issue that happened to me was that a colleague was unable to open my final assignment and gave a lower grade than I was expecting. The other two colleagues rated the final work as excellent. Then I asked the teachers and they tried to change that, but they didn’t quite succeed.

What You’ll learn

You’ll learn about the theory and practice of nature-based urban regeneration, including:

  • defining the potential of nature-based solutions for urban regeneration
  • leading co-creation processes for developing multi-scale and context-specific

You’ll learn to develop green infrastructure with citizens and other local stakeholders, including:

  • applying methods to monitor and assess NBS benefits
  • developing sustainable business models for NBS in urban regeneration
  • identifying technical and non-technical barriers to NBS implementation and learning how to overcome them
  • building your own nature-based urban regeneration project

To do this course, you need only a basic understanding of scientific methods.

The course includes examples of living labs around the world. It was very enriching to see real-life examples of NBS and learn about their successes as well as the difficulties faced when implementing them. 

My Experience with the Course

Dr. Axel Timpe, the course instructor

I decided to take the course during this time when many of us are telecommuting, and we managed to reconcile our professional and personal lives. There are many online course offerings, however, what drew my attention to this course, in addition to the topic, was the possibility of doing it for free and having access to materials and videos on the topic.

But I started to like the way the course was structured and the strong practical component it had. So, I decided to pay a very modest amount to get the certificate. When I paid, I started to have access to a lot of teaching materials and I started getting grades on the work I was doing, and being evaluated, and now I was really serious.

It was with great enthusiasm that I waited each week for the exercises and work that they put on the platform. Over the weeks, whenever I had any doubts, I posted on the forum and the teachers and colleagues answered , and I always felt great support as I took the course. At the end of the course, I left some suggestions for making the course even better, and the professors gladly accepted them.

A Course Worth Taking

The course is quite complete and very interesting. It takes some work and research, but it was the best course I’ve taken online so far! You should do the work each week and not accumulate work, because they have deadlines. It’s only when you review your colleagues that you can get your grade back for each assignment, which makes this a dynamic course.

You should end with an overall grade between 60% and 100% to pass in this course, so you must study and do every assignment and recap questions!

At the end of the course, I had the knowledge necessary to understand and work on urban planning and regeneration of cities based on nature’s solutions!

Here is my certificate! 😊

Leonor Silva Profile Image

Leonor Silva

I'm a geographer and I love sports, hiking, theater, painting, and board games. I really like sunbathing and going to the beach. I'm in love with knowing the art of winemaking.

Comments 2

  1. Marta

    Very clear and complete review.

  2. Sara Lourenço

    a very concrete summary of what is said in the course, of the topics covered. with this article, future people interested in this topic will have a concrete vision of what is requested and of the contents, in the view of those who have already done it.


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