JEMES Cities & Sustainability
Urban planning education has not kept pace with current challenges and emerging issues within sustainable development. Many planning education programs are still rooted in sector-specific planning and lack a more systemic approach that unifies both natural and social sciences under a comprehensive educational framework.
The urban transition witnessed worldwide over the last few decades has been unparalleled and is causing engineering, planning and urban management challenges that have never been faced before.A century ago, less than 5 per cent of the world’s population lived in cities. In 1950, this number was about 30 per cent, or 740 million people.At present, more than 50% of the world population, i.e. above 3.5 billion, lives in cities and projections tell us that by 2050, this number will rise to 70 per cent, or 6.4 billion.
Cities are places where people agglomerate to seek opportunities for better lives. Cities are engines of development and cradles of economic growth. At the same time, cities by definition are consumers and if poorly managed, can be responsible for ruthless use of resources and impact on the environment. The concern for peoples’ health and overall wellbeing is alone sufficient reason to remedy existing deficiencies and plan for future improvements. Life quality and expectancy for the urban poor is an integrated part of the problem and explicitly addressed in the 8 Millennium Development Goals.
New curricula must embrace innovative planning and management ideas built around an explicit embrace of trans-disciplinary science and link to novel technical and engineering solutions. To realise this, a new consortium links up northern and southern European universities with local European organisations and city administrations, and universities in Australia, China and the US,thereby bringing together strong expertise that encompasses the needs and opportunities in several continents and in developing as well as in industrialised countries.
It is in the space between global challenges and local needs that the Master in Environmental Studies - Cities & Sustainability (JEMES CiSu) comes into the fore. This new international Master’s Programme offers education and training in identifying and solving the real-life problems in cities. The Master’s programme is fulltime over 24 months, divided into 4 semesters of study, covering a total of 120 ECTS. The programme is delivered in English, and awards the MSc degree jointly. Students study with at least two European universities and the option of one further third country university within the programme’s delivery over two years providing a greater depth of learning, more organisational engagement and a richer, more diverse cultural and socio-economic experience. The overarching theme of Cities & Sustainability is divided in two sub-themes: Sustainable Management and Planning (with AAU and UAB); and Sustainable Engineering and Technology (with TUHH and UA).