Sustainable Development of Land Use

Sustainable Development of Land Use

Course dates:
16 August, 2024 to 30 September, 2024
Fee advantages:
Full fee
Engineering & Sciences, Multidisciplinary
Application deadline:
Monday, 1 April, 2024
University of Copenhagen
Copenhagen, Denmark

General information

The course aims to engage in contemporary discussions of the sustainability of different land uses and situate these in an interdisciplinary understanding based on theoretical frameworks from land system science, anthropology/cultural history, and economics. We approach this by using Denmark as an example, and build case studies on the use of carbon-rich wetlands, forests, agricultural land, and recreational housing in the coastal zone. We modify the list of cases to the particular interests of the students at the beginning of the course.

The course opens on day one with disciplinary lectures on theories and research in sustainable land use from the perspective of anthropology/cultural history, economics, and geography. Based on this, we discuss how these disciplinary perspectives can be combined to form an interdisciplinary understanding of sustainable development using the three sustainability dimensions (social, economic, environmental sustainability). Day two is dedicated to a full-day excursion where we visit the case studies and talk to local land users or stakeholders.

On days three and four, students form interdisciplinary groups. Each group works on one of the case studies to analyze how the land use can undergo a sustainable development. The groups keep an interdisciplinary focus by developing criteria or indicators pertaining to each of the three sustainability dimensions. The product of the group work is a development plan for the case study towards 2050.

The groups present their plans on day five in a plenary discussion of the applied criteria and indicators for sustainable development. All teachers will be present to facilitate discussions and provide feedback. Following the plenary discussions, the groups are combined to produce a joint coherent and interdisciplinary masterplan for sustainable development of the land towards 2050. The master plan is submitted as an assignment at the end of week two and forms the foundation for individual oral exams.


Please note that the summer courses are non-residential. Participants are responsible for finding and funding accommodation during their stay in Copenhagen.

You can use different online portals to search for accommodation, such as:

Hostel World

UCPH Housing Foundation (acceptance letter from UCPH required).


ECTS accreditation

Bachelor level

7,5 ECTS