CCGL9058 Villages and Global Futures
Dr Winnie Law, Mr Ryan Leung

滙豐永續鄉郊計劃 – 荔枝窩VR 360體驗
HSBC Rural Sustainability – Lai Chi Wo VR 360 experience

This is an 8-min 360-degree virtual reality video that introduces the environment and culture of Lai Chi Wo village in Hong Kong as well as the community revitalization programme initiated there by HKU. Please use tablet or mobile phone and move your device around for best viewing.

Keywords: Lai Chi Wo, Rural sustainability, Community revitalisation, Sustainable agriculture, Rural-urban collaboration

JalDhan : Initiative towards sustainable future in rural areas

Drishika Gupta, Mohammad Rohail, Matthew Wong


We plan to tackle the issue of lack of clean water in rural villages near the city of Chennai in Southern India with the introduction of a solar-powered water desalination plant near the Veeranam lake and numerous water ATMs set up in different parts of nearby villages.

Keywords: WaterATMs, Energyefficiency, Waterdesalplant, cleanwatershortage, Chennaivillages

Financial Literacy Differential in India

Raghav Agarwal, Sankalok Sen, Mohammad Muttasif, Abhigyan Kashyap


The Financial illiteracy in India has led to several scams and mishandling of finance. We have developed an app named Aasra which educates a villager on the necessary schemes and banking structures. The other solutions are an intuitive skit to promote banking and reaching out to NGOs.

Keywords: Finance, India, Villages, Application

CCGL9058 Global Issues

Villages and Global Futures

[This course is under the thematic cluster of ‘Sustaining Cities, Cultures, and the Earth’.]

Course Description

Rural areas and village culture have defined the characters of today’s human settlements and its inhabitants’ way of life. Rural areas are increasingly considered as the solution space for global climate change adaptation and mitigation. Sustainable management of the water-energy-food nexus in rural areas offers a local approach to tackle biodiversity loss, food security and water crises. Nevertheless, our rural environment and communities continue to deteriorate due to rapid depopulation and urbanization.

This course first explains the socio-cultural, economic and ecological functions of rural areas and how these systems evolved under the processes of urbanization and globalization. It then presents various rural management approaches including humanitarian technology, disaster relief, and governance, policy and planning for resource management under the recent trend of “urban-rural resilience” promoted by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The changing role of various policy actors including officials, social entrepreneurs, corporate leaders as well as citizens and their collective actions for rural sustainability attainment will be discussed.

Overseas case investigations will provide a critical perspective into the range of rural revitalization strategies where the effectiveness of international recognitions, social innovations and collaborative governance models for rural sustainability is examined.

[A compulsory one-day field trip will take place during Reading Week.]

Course Learning Outcomes

On completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Articulate a critical understanding on the complex urban-rural linkages and synergies associated with key sustainability issues.
  2. Cultivate a deeper awareness of the influences of urbanization and globalization on the socioeconomic and ecological landscape of rural communities.
  3. Form a perspective on the mode of governance, policy levers and alternative technology for rural sustainability.
  4. Develop a reflection on their choice of living and preference for urban development.
  5. Demonstrate the innovative and collaborative skills for rural revitalization.

Offer Semester and Day of Teaching

Second semester (Wed)

Study Load

Activities Number of hours
Lectures 12
Tutorials 8
Fieldwork / Visits 10
Film screening and discussion 2
Assessment: In-class writing exercise 4
Reading / Self-study 54
Assessment: Group project proposal 25
Assessment: Journal 15
Total: 130

Assessment: 100% coursework

Assessment Tasks Weighting
Group project and presentation 40
Individual journal 30
In-class assessments 20
Tutorial participation 10

Required Reading

  • Agnoletti, M. (2014). Rural landscape, nature conservation and culture: Some notes on research trends and management approaches from a (southern) European perspective. Landscape and Urban Planning, 126, 66-73.
  • Engelhardt, R. (2010). First Principles in Conservation: The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards. APT Bulletin: Journal of Preservation Technology, 41(2-3), 56-65. From
  •  ICOMOS. (2016). Cultural heritage, the UN sustainable development goals, and the new urban agenda. From
  • Lekic, O., Gadzic, N., & Milovanovic, A. (2018). Sustainability of Rural Areas: Exploring Values, Challenges, and Socio-Cultural Role. Sustainability and Resillience Socio-Spatial Perspective. From
  • Li, Y., et al. (2016). Bottom-up initiatives and revival in the face of rural decline: Case studies from China and Sweden. Journal Of Rural Studies, 47, 506-513.
  • McHenry, J. A. (2009). A place for the arts in rural revitalization and the social wellbeing of Australian rural communities. Rural Society, 19(1), 60-70.
  • Muniruzzaman, A. (2017, April 4). The Digital Age of HADR: Harnessing Technology for Relief Operations. RSIS and NTS Centre Commentary. Nanyang Technological University. From
  • Pudianti, A., Syahbana, J. A., & Suprapti, A. (2016). Role of culture in rural transformation in Manding Village, Bantul Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 227, 458-464.
  • Rastghalam, M., et al. (2017, March). The creative village approach as a tool for creating village futures. Journal of Future Studies21(3), 35-48.
  • Spence Robinson Ltd. (2017). Revitalisation of the old dairy farm senior staff quarters into the Pokfulam Farm. From
  • Woods, M. (2011). Rural geography: Processes, responses, and experiences in rural restructuring. London: SAGE Publications Ltd. [Chap. 1 Defining the Rural (pp. 3-16)] [E-book available from HKU library]

Required Viewing

Course Co-ordinator and Teacher(s)

Course Co-ordinator Contact
Dr W.W.Y. Law
Centre for Civil Society and Governance
Tel: 3917 7392
Teacher(s) Contact
Dr W.W.Y. Law
Centre for Civil Society and Governance
Tel: 3917 7392