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The Glob3science group is involved in the following courses at Politecnico di Milano

Water and Food Security

Programme: Environmental and Land Planning Engineering (MSc)

This course is aimed to analyze from an engineering viewpoint the constraints and challenges of ensuring an adequate supply of water and food, in the face of changing environmental forcings, human population dimension and habits, and energy policies. It thoroughly analyses the hydrological cycle and the hydrological balance by accounting for water functions in the life support system and human water requirements. The definitions and paradigms of water security, food security, water scarcity, virtual water and water footprint are explored in both conceptual and operational terms. Global challenges are described, such as water perspectives on feeding humanity, finding the balance between water for humans and for nature, land sparing vs land sharing, impacts of intensive agriculture, large scale land acquisition, the Food-Energy-Water nexus, climate change, food waste, and the effects of environmental catastrophes on food security.

Climate and Global Change in the Age of Sustainable Development

Programme: Environmental Engineering for Sustainability (MSc)

This blended learning-flipped classroom course starts with a module on climate change, introducing its basic concepts, some historical notes, current approaches and practices, including global circulation models, the downscaling of climate data, and decarbonization perspective and scenarios. In the second model, global challenges to sustainable development are described, after an introduction on the paradigm of sustainable development. These include inequality in global development, planetary boundaries, and many of the challenges posed by the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Climate and Hydrology

Programmes: Progettazione dell’Architettura, Architettura delle Costruzioni, Urban Planning and Policy Design, Landscape Architecture, Architecture – Built Environment – Interiors, Architecture and Urban Design (MSc)

This course is divided in two modules “Climate” and “Hydrology”, which both aim at providing architects with scientific knowledge on topics that are relevant for creating a vision of architecture that is environmentally conscious and resilient to the effects of climate change. The first module provides information on climatology, on the factors creating an area’s climate, and the sources and uses of climate information. The anthropogenic changes to climate are discussed in terms of drivers, processes and consequences on all the components interacting in the climate system: the atmosphere, land surface, snow and ice, oceans and other bodies of water, and living things. The second module illustrates methods and principles of the scientific study of the waters of the earth. It examines the properties of water as well as its planetary occurrence, distribution, and movement. Particular attention is dedicated to the understanding of water as a resource and water as a risk, particularly in urban contexts.

Sustainable Water and Food Security

Programme: Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering (PhD)

The course is aimed to analyse the linkages between water and food security. Starting with an overview of the concept of water and food security the course looks at the influence of water security on food security. The course consists of different seminars held by different professors, addressing themes aimed at the comprehension of the food security nexus. The topics of the seminar include: the virtual water concept and the water footprint metric; Water conflicts and the neglected costs of water peace; The influence of large scale Foreign Direct Investment in Agricultural land on water resources and water security; Alternative strategies for a sustainable increase of food production.

Resource Planning and Management within Sustainable Development: a Focus on the Water, Energy, Food and Climate Nexus

Programme: Scuola di Dottorato (PhD)

This strongly interdisciplinary course aims at providing enhanced knowledge on the nexus between water, energy and food, and the influence of climate change and human development on this nexus. It includes theoretical overviews on sustainable development, the components of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, and climate change, as well as notions on the use of modelling tools to evaluate Nexus solutions, in terms of economic implications, environmental impact, and the effect of associated policies. The course is delivered in form of a series of seminars given by a diverse group of experts and interactive practical sessions.