Professional Course

Reclaiming Broken Places: Introduction to Civic Ecology

edX, Online
6 weeks
49 USD
Next course start
Inquire for more information See details
Virtual Classroom
6 weeks
49 USD
Next course start
Inquire for more information See details
Virtual Classroom
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Course description

Reclaiming Broken Places: Introduction to Civic Ecology

The actions of ordinary people are often absent in studies of urban renewal and urban ecology. Around the world, people who are fed up with environmental degradation and the breakdown of their communities come together to transform blighted vacant lots, trashed-out stream corridors, polluted estuaries, and other “broken places.” Civic ecology practices—such as community gardening, wetlands restoration, river cleanups, and tree planting—are a means for people to express resilience and rebuild communities marked by disaster and disinvestment.

Civic ecology draws on psychology, sociology, political science, education, ecology, and social-ecological systems resilience to understand how and why people care for nature and their communities.

Throughout this course, you will:

  • Explore the people, places, and practices that restore nature and revitalize neighborhoods, making a difference in ways big and small.
  • Discuss and evaluate contemporary thinking in resilience, social-ecological systems, and the relationship between nature and human/community wellbeing.
  • Grasp an understanding of how civic ecology enables those with limited resources to defy and cope with daily struggles, including after disaster and war.
  • Acquire the knowledge and skill set to enact change in your own community.
  • Participate in a civic ecology service learning project to turn classroom learning into real-life application.

Upcoming start dates

1 start date available

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  • Virtual Classroom
  • Online
  • English

Who should attend?



Training content

Week 1

  • Civic Ecology - What and Why?
  • Principles of Civic Ecology
  • Broken Places

Week 2

  • Love of Life, Love of Place
  • Learning Like Bees

Week 3

  • Creating Community, Creating Connections
  • Oyster Spat and Live Oaks – Memories

Week 4

  • Ecosystem Services
  • Stewardship, Health, and Well-being

Week 5

  • Governance
  • Resistance, Remembrance, Revolt, and Resilience

Week 6

  • Policy Frameworks – Scaling Up and Out
  • Conclusions

Course delivery details

This course is offered through Cornell University, a partner institute of EdX.

4 hours per week


  • Verified Track -$49
  • Audit Track - Free

Certification / Credits

What you'll learn

  • Define civic ecology and its practices
  • Describe a diverse range of civic ecology practices, stewards, and places
  • Identify the commonalities among civic ecology practices, including how they emerge and their components, interactions with large systems, and policy implications
  • Apply the conservation ethic and civic engagement foundations of civic ecology in your everyday life
  • Observe, participate in, develop plans for, and/or initiate local civic ecology practices in your community
  • Create a multimedia "story" of civic ecology practice of your choosing
  • Form networks with other course participants interested in continuing to explore civic ecology

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141 Portland Street
02139 Cambridge Massachusetts


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