The aim of this flagship project is to develop a methodology for understanding and guiding change in tertiary and vocational programs that educate built environment professionals, while aligning these changes with professional development for academics and industry practitioners for designing and building low carbon cities. The project meets the aims of the 10YFP by building on an underlying foundation of sustainable consumption and production

Sectors of activity
Agricultural and Fishery, Environmental Services, Buildings and construction, Energy

Type of initiative
Capacity Building & Implementation, Education & Awareness Raising, Research, Analysis, Assessment

Type of lead actor
Scientific and Technical

5000000 US$

Start date


A recent World Bank (2012) report, Inclusive green growth: the pathway to sustainable development argues strongly for coupling economic growth and sustainability objectives. It states that greening growth is ‘necessary, efficient and affordable’. The context for this pursuit of sustainable development is continuing rapid urbanisation and city building globally. A key requirement in this context is a workforce with appropriate skills.
[G]reen innovation like innovation in general, depends on people who are able to generate and apply knowledge in the workplace and society at large. Required innovation skills include basic skills (reading, writing) technical skills (science, engineering), generic skills (problem solving, multicultural openness, leadership), managerial and entrepreneurial skills, creativity and design skills. The green economy requires greater emphasis on design and multidisciplinary team work, strategic leadership and adaptability, and knowledge of the sciences (ibid 75).
However, there is a skills deficit problem because education and training systems are not producing graduates with the right skills.
Many of the skill shortages already reported in connection with green growth strategies appear to result from generic failings in education and training. And they reflect long-standing issues such as the lack of functioning universities and research centers, the mismatch between students’ choices of discipline and the needed skills, the lack of incentives for employers to invest in developing the transferable skills of their workforces, the lack of access for the disadvantaged to time and finance for training, and the stickiness of relative pay rates (ibid 100).
This skills deficit also applies to built environment professionals that lead continuing rapid urbanisation and city building. Their output is measured largely by building and construction activity levels. Little attention is paid to the accompanying use of resources and impact on climate change. To maximize building related impacts of climate change and associated greenhouse emission levels, some professional development opportunities exist, but they are fragmented. There is untapped opportunity to use professional development as a strategic opportunity at both undergraduate/postgraduate levels in universities and in the built environment professions to maximize understanding of the impacts of the built environment.
The principal objective of this project is to institutionalize


As collected through the One Planet Reporting

No activities have yet been reported under this initiative

Impact and Results

Project beneficiaries are primarily students (current and future professionals in the built environment industry), academics and industry. Students benefit because they are not subjected to the same pedagogies of teaching and learning that has set us on our current unsustainable path.
Academics benefit because they are able to get support for their teaching from industry and the flagship programme. Academics’ knowledge and resource base improve as they are subjected to professional development opportunities themselves. They also get the opportunity to work with industry, learning from the industry and supporting professional development of industry.
Industry benefits because they get value add for their time through sharing knowledge and expertise that they would not otherwise get. They are in a position to shape young professionals that have foundational knowledge on the theoretical frameworks of sustainability and even practical or best practice examples of upto date knowledge. Industry do not need to retrain students to meet the needs of the work force.