RMIT University

RMIT has launched an open online course on ethical cities at the Habitat III Summit, which it hopes will connect people around the world with ethical concepts for city-making.

Created in partnership with the UN Global Compact Cities Program, the course engages with various stakeholders including government actors, private sector and civil society in shaping a shared vision for their city.

“I asked the team at the UN Global Compact Cities Program to consider how it may be possible to share their work internationally,” RMIT vice-chancellor and president Martin Bean said.

“I am delighted they have worked with RMIT to develop this very important [Massive Open Online Courses] hosted on the FutureLearn Platform.”

Lead educators for the course are Dr Brendan Barrett, research fellow at UNGCCP, and Professor Ralph Horne, deputy pro vice-chancellor, research and innovation, for RMIT’s College of Design and Social Context.

Addressing the Plenary of Habitat III in Quito, Professor Horne emphasised the critical role universities such as RMIT have in partnering with city governments, the private sector and civil society to deliver the ethical cities.

“We need these partnerships as part of the New Urban Agenda, adopted by the UN and its signatory nations at Habitat III, to secure future urban prosperity and sustainability,” he said.

“As a university located in the centre of the world’s most liveable city, RMIT has developed a critical mass of expertise in this area, particularly through the RMIT Centre for Urban Research.”

Dr Barrett said Habitat III was the perfect event for the launch of the MOOC.

“The course is designed for anyone interested in urban issues, running for five weeks from 14 November onwards,” he said.

“We also see the course making an important contribution in taking the New Urban Agenda forward.”