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Norman Foster Institute Programme on Sustainable Cities
Norman Foster Institute

Programme on Sustainable Cities

Madrid, Spain

1 Years


Full time

01 Sep 2024

Jan 2025

EUR 52,000 / per course



The future of our society is the future of our cities—they are our greatest invention.

This Programme, in a time of climate change, is addressed to those who wish, through practice or education, to improve the quality of life in cities worldwide. In that spirit, the course will combine practical on-site experience with academic input from the foundation’s network of international experts.

The course begins with tools and skills that can be used to address wide-ranging issues of cities, such as leadership, advocacy, communication, presentation, diagramming, mapping, and the understanding and interpretation of data. These could be applicable to cities from Asia, the Middle East, South and North America to Africa, Europe and Oceania as well as informal settlements and suburbia.

The curriculum then narrows down to three pilot cities that scholars will visit to engage directly with their planners and managers. For study purposes, neighborhoods have been selected in each city to raise awareness of the issues that affect the living standards for those who live or visit there.

Several of these many issues will be distilled to create a small number of well-defined project assignments which will be addressed by the scholars in a multidisciplinary approach. The scholars will use the most up-to-date digital tools in the quest to improve a sustainable quality of life.

Towards the end of the year, the scholars will present their findings to the city administration and there will be an emphasis on advocacy and presentation skills. On the basis that historically cities learn from each other, it will be important for the scholars to explore the relevance of their conclusions in the wider context of global cities.

The course is like an hourglass; starting wide in its scope, then narrowing down to focus on tangible issues that can be quantified and addressed, and finally, opening up to a wider debate.

Norman Foster
President, Norman Foster Foundation

Program Features


Scholars will train with advanced tools that are applicable to diverse types of global cities.


Scholars will be introduced to the Norman Foster Foundation’s network of experts, practitioners, civic leaders and Alumni.

On-site Experience

There will be three pilot cities. Scholars will engage directly with city leaders, administrators and communities.

Ideal Students


Program Leaders

About the School