Sustainable Community Systems Engineering: The Netherlands


About the Program

This course offers a unique opportunity to experience first-hand the principles, practice, and policy that are critical to success for sustainable community planning and design. It will involve travel to, and focus primarily on, the city of Delft in the Netherlands. We will incorporate Go Global format lectures, guest lectures, workshops, teamwork, and field trips throughout the city of Delft and surrounding environs to highlight best practices and to enrich your learning on various topics, including:

  • Theory of Sustainable Land Use and transportation system planning and design;
  • Practice of facility planning and design;
  • Policy needs for sustainable land use and transportation systems; and,
  • Development history and processes of sustainable communities.

To truly learn the myriad aspects that comprise a sustainable land use and transportation system, one must experience being, living and moving in a model sustainable community. So in additional to being housed in Delft, each student will be loaned a bicycle and a public transit pass to complete course requirements.  Students will be expected to walk, bike, and use bus, trams / metro, and regional trains, in groups and alone. While students are required to attend instructor-led lectures and field trips each day, students will also be required to travel unsupervised to compile photo galleries for various individual assignments and team projects. In stark contrast to the auto-centric North American environment, getting around without using a car will be a critical learning requirement.

This program is offered by UBC’s School of Engineering (UBC’s Okanagan campus).


Delft, Netherlands - June 2nd - June 30th, 2018

Each week we will work with Dr Lovegrove and various guests, both in formal classroom settings and on field trips to experience in person and better understand how a sustainable community thrives.  Students are expected to participate fully in all lectures and field trips, to apply what they learn on homework assignments and in-class workshops, and to demonstrate evidence of their ability through individual and group project written reports and presentations.

  • Week 1: Meet in Delft, Theoretical Foundations of the Course, ready, set, Go!
  • Week 2: Welcome to The Netherlands, Finding your Bearings, Why Delft?
  • Week 3: Critical Success Factors in Sustainable Community Planning & Design
  • Week 4: Pull it all together, Apply it, Use it to plan and design sustainable solutions

Eligibility and Prerequisites

This program is open to third and fourth year and graduate students currently enrolled at UBC (Okanagan and Vancouver) who have a strong interest in sustainable communities and transportation systems. Although this is a 400-level ENGR course with pre-requisites, you are encouraged to apply if you have non-engineering background that also can bring value to the collective learning experience. We do expect this course to be in high demand, but will be looking for the best mix of students (planners, artists, scientists and engineers), which will not necessarily mean an all- engineer roster. Therefore, to help us optimize our class composition, the application for this course involves answering several questions to help us determine your ability to participate and contribute, including considerations in waiving pre-requisites. To that end, this program is looking for mature learners who love to explore their world, and students passionate about understanding the how’s and why’s of sustainable communities. Moreover, we are seeking high achievers that will embrace and thrive in a less-structured, less-traditional course environment, and that will take back, share and apply what they learn in their communities, in keeping with the spirit of our UBC "Tuum Est" Vision.

To read through the syllabus of this course, please click here: ENGR 449 Syllabus

Program Fee

Fees $3,200 - $3,400 (the final fee is dependent on how many students are accepted into the program)

The program fee will be offset by $1,000 for UBC students qualifying for the Go Global Award (i.e., those students with a 70% average over 24 credits during the 2017-18 academic year).

INCLUDED in program fee

NOT included in program fee

  • Accommodations

  • On-site group transportation

  • Some meals

  • Entrance fees

  • Guest lectures

  • Go Global Fee

  • Flight

  • UBC tuition (3 credits)

  • Remainder of meals

  • Health or travel insurance

  • Immunizations (if necessary)

  • Visas (if necessary)

  • Personal spending money 

Please fill out the budgeting tool prior to submitting your application. This can be found here


To apply for this Global Seminar Program please complete the application form and click here.

Deadline: Applications for this Global Seminar are now CLOSED

Eligible applicants may be invited for an interview before being accepted into this program.


One course worth 3 credits will be offered:


ENGR 449 (3 credits) International Sustainable Transportation Engineering & Planning (I-STEP)

Principles, practice, and policy for sustainable planning and design of land use and transportation systems, with Canadian and International perspectives. Land Use and transportation system planning and design; Facility planning and design; and, Policies for promoting walking/biking/transit, and for developing sustainable communities. Taught in Go Global format with site visits showcasing best practices. This course will involve travel to, and focus primarily on, the city of Delft in the Netherlands.



Last reviewed shim1/12/2018 11:16:20 AM