Sciences Po, in Paris, France, is creating the School of Urban Policy to educate those who will manage and shape the city, thus becoming a major player in the renewal of the collective intervention of cities.
One Ambition: Reinvent the City
Today, the world's largest metropolises exceed 10, even 30 million residents. Whether city-states or major cities within their states, cities are both “places and connections.” Integrated in a globalized network, they concentrate economic development, innovative start-ups, large events and public spaces, inequality, large utility networks; but also risks and pollution, conflicts, the informal working-class districts on their numerous outskirts, and the prestigious business districts; and culturally, ethnically, or religiously diverse populations.
With the emergence of these new “city worlds,” the questions of governance and implementation of public politics, democracy, private and public investments, and mobility, become critical for cities and their residents.
Sciences Po is neither a school of architecture, of engineers, nor of business - even if all of these disciplines will be present. The school of urban studies wants to give all of its attention to urban affairs and to the individuals who will be able to organize places, while creating connections that will maximize economic and social interactions.
The School of Urban Policy at Sciences Po stands out by offering comparative studies of its subjects: the dynamics of urbanization, the transformation of cities, and the political questions raised by cities. Relying on the body of knowledge produced by the “Cities are back in town” research program, the school offers a competitive program, at European and global levels, that will allow it to become one of the major scientific and intellectual hubs addressing the questions of territories and the creation of cities.
Understanding the City Through a Comparative and Multidisciplinary Method in Social Studies
The specialists from the public politics industry, formed within the School of Urban Policy, essentially rests on multidisciplinary and social studies credentials.
To understand the urban models, the School of Urban Policy calls on political science, economics, sociology, history, geography and law.
This comparative method fills the group with lessons distributed both by academics and professionals in the international network. Within the curriculum, students can progressively specialize in a certain region (Africa, the Middle East, North America, Latin America, Asia, Europe, France) and in certain fields (economic development, inequality and social policy, sustainable cities and infrastructure, planning and property questions, urban risk).
Favoring Educational Innovation and Professional Implementation
The School of Urban Policy innovates by placing an emphasis on methodological education (cartography, statistics, demographics, qualitative studies, source analysis, and more) and on quantitative methods. The study of financial tools, management and communication techniques, and of project methodology contributes to enriching the curriculum.
What are the Programs?
The School of Urban Policy offers four programs of initial training:
- The Masters in Regional and Urban Strategies (STU) is for students who wish to learn the strategic and operational strategies of the city and of territories, in France and in Europe;
- The Masters in Governing the Large Metropolis, taught in English, allows students to learn about urban governance and politics of large world cities;
- The Cycle of Urbanism is intended for students and young professionals searching for a high-level specialization in the sphere of urbanism, planning, and real estate;
- The dual degree of Urban Policy with the London School of Economics (UK) allows students to obtain their Masters in Territorial and Urban Studies from the Sciences Po and an MSc from the LSE.
Do you think that there is a need for new educational programs in the field of urban policy and development? Do you think that current urban planning and studies programs address the growing complexity of urban issues?
Original article, originally published in French, here.
Credits: Data and images linked to sources.