Sustainable urban management

Key stage 4 Geography

Enquiry question: How can urban areas be managed more sustainably?

Learning objectives

Knowledge and understanding

Globally, 50% of people now live in cities and they create 80% of carbon emissions

Sustainable urban management is based on social, economic and environmental pillars

Cities need to be managed holistically if they are to be sustainable

New technology and management systems may help to create more sustainable cities

Geographical skills

Sustainable community assessment

Kite diagram to compare sustainability

Explore future cities interactively

Learning outcomes

Most students will be able to:

Identify features of a sustainable community using the Egan Wheel

Recognise the social, economic and environmental pillars of sustainability

Carry out a sustainable community assessment

Compare the sustainability of communities on a kite diagram

Explore the ways cities could be managed more sustainably in future

Consider whether cities in the future will be more sustainable than in the past

Pre-visit recommendation

Students should:

Have background knowledge of sustainable urban management and be familiar with the Egan Wheel


East Village website

Sheet 1: The Egan Wheel


Meet at Hackney Wick station. Introduction to Hackney Wick as an old urban area that is undergoing rapid change. It was once an important manufacturing area, but also one of the most deprived communities in east London.


Sheet 2: Hackney Wick background


Location 1: Hackney Wick. Walk around the area to include, Lee Navigation, Energy Centre, Media Centre, converted factories and warehouses. Students carry out a sustainable community assessment.

Location 2: East Village (formerly Athletes Village). Walk through the Olympic Park to East Village. Note the Energy Centre that provides all the heat for East Village. Walk around the village, noting other sustainable features like water recycling, local services, biodiversity and cycle facilities. Students complete a second sustainable community assessment. They compare the sustainability of East Village and Hackney Wick on a kite diagram. Overall, which is more sustainable, do they think?

Location 3: The Crystal, Royal Victoria Dock. Travel by DLR from Stratford International to Royal Victoria Dock.

Introduce students to the Crystal, a sustainable cities initiative. They view three short videos about the challenges cities face – demographic change, urbanisation and climate change. Working independently, they use interactive displays, including one to create a sustainable building.

They can also watch another video showing possible futures for three cities – London, New York and Copenhagen.


Location 1
Sheet 3: Sustainable community assessment 1

Location 2
Sheet 4: East Village background

Sheet 5: Sustainable community assessment 2

Sheet 6: Comparing sustainability

Location 3
Sheet 7: Create a sustainable building


Either in the classroom at the Crystal, or in garden outside.

Discuss how cities can be managed more sustainably. What new ideas have they seen during the day? Are visions for future cities realistic? Are these cities ones they would like to live in? Why, or why not? Invite students to make their own sustainable urban management decisions.


Sheet 8: Sustainable urban management decisions

Additional costs (2017 prices)

Rail travel in East London: £4.00 per student on a group travel card (or free if booked in advance through TfL)