Smart and resilient cities play a vital role in tackling the growing threat of climate imbalance and fostering sustainability. This master track focuses on different analytical and practical approaches to accommodate resilience and environmental sustainability in urban areas worldwide. Students have the opportunity to learn about the most recent trends and developments related to smart and resilient cities. Key topics include the impact of nature-based solutions, climate mitigation and adaptation, sustainable energy, water and transport systems, and smart city innovations.
The Urban Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change programme is a master track within the MSc in Urban Management and Development, which offers students the opportunity to learn to apply the most innovative analytical tools used to promote smart and resilient cities. Some of the key concepts cover how cities achieve sustainability from a social, economic and environmental perspective, what are the most innovative initiatives being undertaken by sustainable, smart, and resilient cities, how to implement effective and efficient urban adaptation and mitigation initiatives, and how cities can achieve a higher level of resilience. It further showcases how these topics are analysed from different perspectives, including governance and financial arrangements, the analysis of decision making structures and processes, the management of transition and change processes. In addition, students get to learn about different methodologies, tools and techniques - from analysis and assessment to planning and implementation and monitoring and evaluation. Besides developing management and governance expertise, the programme uniquely allows you to also gain technical skills like geographical information systems and large data sets analysis using large data sets analysis using software such as ArcGIS, QGIS and R or Python.
Why study Master Urban Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change
Loss of biodiversity and natural resources, along with impacts from natural hazards and climate-induced disasters, all have a negative effect on the productivity of cities and the wellbeing of citizens. Designing pathways to a climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable development has become a key goal and principle for policy action at global and local levels. From international organizations and networks to national and local governments, civil society and the business sector, it is now widely recognized that understanding sustainability and climate-resilient development and integrating their principles and methods into everyday practice is of vital importance. In this programme, you will gain the qualifications and technical skills to become an urban development professional specialised in analysing and promoting sustainable, climate-resilient and smart develoment.
Why study at IHS, Erasmus University Rotterdam?
Earn your MSc degree from a top 100 university
Known for its academic rigour and high quality of education, Erasmus University Rotterdam is consistently ranked in the top 3% of the world’s best universities.
Our teaching methods are unique
Alongside IHS teaching and research activities, our faculty members work in the field on real-life cases around the world. Challenges, learnings, and questions from these different contexts are brought back to the classroom and woven into our curriculum.
You apply everything you learn - no dry theory
Students learn through a blend of lectures, real-life case studies, discussions, debates, simulation environments, written assignments, and group work. Field visits and projects in Rotterdam and other Dutch cities provide first-hand exposure to local urban problems. Students have the option to complete their thesis fieldwork abroad and immerse themselves in a relevant urban context to collect data.
We offer a truly international and diverse environment
The IHS classroom is comprised of mid-level professionals and fresh graduates with rich and varied experiences from more than 45 countries. Typical backgrounds include architecture, engineering, planning, economics, social science, environmental science, and housing.
Study in Rotterdam - a hub of sustainable urban innovation
Iconic architecture, pioneering urban planning, and a celebrated multicultural population have thrust Rotterdam to the forefront of innovation and cultivation within the urban world.
Enjoy guest lecturers from UN-Habitat and other key stakeholders in the urban field
IHS works with global leaders in the field of urban development, including UN-Habitat, Cities Alliance and ICLEI as well as with leading universities in the Netherlands and around the world to ensure additional academic resources for our students.
What are some of the special features of this track?
Next to earning your MSc diploma from Erasmus University Rotterdam, an institution that is consistently ranked among the top 3% of the world’s best universities, studying the Urban Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change track also means that you will get to:
Apply GIS software and (optionally) learn R or Python to analyse geospatial and quantitative data
Data analysis is among one of the most highly demanded skills in the labour market. This specialisation will teach you the data analysis skills that will make your CV stand out.
Learn important concepts of sustainability
Understand what nature-based solutions, ICT-based innovations, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and energy transition are and how they impact cities and its citizens. Discover how these innovations can contribute to improving the sustainable, smart, and climate-resilient urban development.
Use different tools to analyse urban environment and climate change decisions
You will learn to use the Climate Actions Prioritisation Tool, the Tygron Geodesign Platform, and InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs) software to model environment and climate decisions and simulate scenarios.
Visit successful climate change resilience projects
Every year the urban environment, sustainability and climate change track students visit different examples of successfully implemented climate change resilience and sustainability initiatives, including Rotterdam Storm Surge Barrier and Amsterdam Circular Economy Districts.
Link your thesis research to real-life ongoing projects
This track has the distinctive feature of being very active in research and advisory services worldwide, which offers you the unique opportunity to link your thesis to ongoing research and projects.
Benefit from a broad network of international organisations
The master track has close ties with international organisations such as UN-Habitat, the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank as well as the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives.