This Master aims to help students to develop a critical understanding of contemporary planning challenges for cities and urban regions, in the context of climate change and growing human needs. The program is designed so that students may confront up to date scientific knowledge on planning with their own cultural background and planning experiences. Through the Master, each student becomes familiar with the advantages and limitations of cross-national transfer of ‘good practices’ in the urban or regional policy field.
As a research Master, this program trains students to deal with up to date research issues and methods. It prepares students to start a Ph.D. or to take leadership roles in urban development and management, especially in an international context.
Since it opened, in September 2010, this Master has attracted an average of 15 students per year, coming from the EU countries or from countries neighboring the EU, but also from North America, from Asia, and from the Middle East.
This Master is offered by the Planning and Environment Department of the Polytechnic School, one of the largest planning schools in France, through its staff, its number of postgraduate students, or its number of graduates. The Department is a member of the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) and of the French-speaking association of planning schools (APERAU Internationale) and also active within the Global Planning Education Association Network (GPEAN).
The curriculum interacts with research conducted by the laboratory Cities, Territories, Environnement, and Societies (a unit of the National Scientific Research Council and of Université François-Rabelais). The various research programs carried out by one of its four research groups - the team “Urban and regional planning projects, landscape and environment”- provide the intellectual environment for the development and the discussion of each student’s individual research. The courses and research topics offered within this Master stem out from research carried out in the following axes: Planning systems and projects, Environmental and landscape dynamics, Risks, and vulnerabilities, Sustainable local and regional development.
The PS/URP, empowered as a specialty Master until 2018, was enhanced in 2014 by the addition of a new 30h teaching unit: "Urban Aquatic Ecosystems" (coordinated by Professor Karl Matthias Wantzen, one of the UNESCO Chair "River Culture" responsible). This illustrates a very positive impact of the fusion, in April 2014, between the Planning Department and the IMACOF (Ingénierie des Milieux Aquatiques et des Corridors Fluviaux) department, after the authorization for six years delivered by the Engineer Titles Commission of the new specialty in Planning and Environment Engineering.
During the first semester, the curriculum is organized around 150 hours of seminars and workshops (30 ECTS). The second semester is devoted to a research internship of 5 months (30 ECTS). It includes the participation to seminars and the presentation by each student of the research in progress.