Meeting with Michael Storper and Tommaso Vitale, architects of the Double master with UCLA

  • Michael Storper © UCLA / Tommaso Vitale © Sciences PoMichael Storper © UCLA / Tommaso Vitale © Sciences Po

The Urban School of Sciences Po and the Urban Planning Department at the UCLA Luskin School - two of the most highly rated programs in urbanism, policies, utilities, governance and urban planning in the world - are launching a new dual master’s degree in Global and Comparative Urban Planning and Governance, to begin September 2021.

This new dual degree reinforces an already strong partnership between Sciences Po and the UC system, adding to our pioneering dual Bachelor’s degree with UC Berkeley. Before this program, exchanges between the UCLA Luskin School’s Master in Urban and Regional Planning and the Sciences Po Urban School Master Governing the Large Metropolis, were very frequent, and participating students reported excellent feedback on their experience, the skills they acquired, and how important this semester was for their career.

We spoke to Professors Tommaso Vitale (Sciences Po, CEE) and Michael Storper (UCLA), the two architects along with Patrick Le Galès (Dean of the Sciences Po Urban School), behind this new cutting-edge program that builds on the core strengths of both universities.

What was behind the creation of this dual degree between the two universities?

Tommaso Vitale: The origin of all of this lies in research. Or, perhaps research plus intellectual companionship. With UCLA, with whom we have been collaborating for a long time, we have a common way of dealing with problems of planning, governance and steering policies on a deeper level, in terms of sensitivity to what we consider relevant in terms of data, empirics, and general willingness to take into account the complexities of urban planning. That is the underlying foundation of this dream for a transatlantic dual degree in governance and planning: an intellectual conversation on what is at stake today in most of the regions of the world. This led to the creation of a joint program that explores points of comparison and understanding of the whole structure of urbanization, urban theory and real-world political dynamics in cities.

Michael Storper: Since I was going back and forth between UCLA and Sciences Po for many years, I gained a perspective on two intellectual communities and what was going on in each of them. I was close to the colleagues who created the Urban School at Sciences Po, and seeing it develop, it began to dawn on me that there was something to be gained by linking the two programs at Sciences Po’s Urban School and at the UCLA Urban Planning Department. There are different but complementary strong points in the traditions and perspectives in the American way of doing research and teaching urbanism and urban planning, and in the approach that is developed in the Governing the Large Metropolis program at Sciences Po. I began to see a golden opportunity to put the two of them together, and create something that is greater than the sum of its parts.

What are the greatest strengths of this new dual master’s degree?

MS: This program is quite unique in that it gives students the opportunity to live and study in two distinct laboratories: Los Angeles and Paris. To me, these two cities form a combination that is much more stimulating than the typical duos such as Paris and London or Paris and New York. Los Angeles is a developed-world megacity that is an outlier from the others (Tokyo, Paris, London and New York). It is spatially spread out, with a warm dry climate, full of cars, and it is much newer than the others. Though Paris and L.A. have radically different historical and urban or spatial forms, they nonetheless share challenges common to big cities today: gentrification, segregation, racism, inequalities... Students in this program will be able to study and understand how choices that are made in these different settings shape outcomes in different directions. I don’t think there is another diploma in the world with this kind of combination of similarity and difference for students to use as a laboratory for learning. Another element that makes this program unique is that students gain their professional planning accreditation to work in the United States as urban planners through their year of study at UCLA, which is extremely rare to acquire in just one year of studying at a planning school in America.

What does the program consist of?

MS: The program consists of two years of study, the first at UCLA, and the second at Sciences Po. Students follow an intensified program - what they do in one year at each university is close to what students normally do in two. They follow a core program at UCLA with some fundamentals, but also take courses within a concentration: housing, regional development, environmental analysis, design and development, or community development.

TV: In Paris, students study a variety of subjects related to the multilevel and multifaceted problems in relationships of governance between cities and states. In the first semester, they take courses on issues related to the implementation of urban policies, and the challenges posed by sustainability, climate change and the management of environmental resources to the governing of large metropolises. There are also four main concentrations: Utilities and Infrastructure (water, energy, waste management, sewage), Planning (housing, land regulation, mobility infrastructures, stations), Social Issues (related to migration, social and ethnic mixes, anti poverty policies..), and Smart and Digital Cities (new tech, computational models for governance studies, etc.). During the second semester, students take classic urban planning courses on regional history and geography of world metropolises. These courses cover all the regions of the world - South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, Mediterraneean, Latin America, and so on - and expose them to the basics of urban social sciences. In the end, students have a truly comparative dual degree.

What are the greatest challenges that students of urban planning and governance will face in their future careers?

MS: I think the first issue is dealing with inequalities. We are at the brink of a period in which cities like Paris and L.A. are at risk of becoming victims of their own success. Superstar cities today concentrate the skilled, high-income, “winner” populations of our world. Objectively, in the last 30 years, they have added amazing new amenities to urban quality of life, from transportation to museums, gorgeous new buildings, and more cultural flourishings. They’ve also become incredibly multicultural. The bad news is that underneath this success are huge risks: if we don’t deal with readjusting these cities to be more inclusive economically and socially, tensions will grow (and they’re already growing). Economic inequality leads to housing inequality and gentrification, and the risk is that resources that we put into cities will not be available to enough of the urban population.

The second issue is climate change. Climate change is an existential threat to our cities. In this dual degree, students will take specialized courses on sustainable urbanization, ecological transition, and adaptation. These topics are also intrinsically integrated into the core of the program. The urgency of this crisis and the need to make cities adapt are something that students will have to deal with right away as young practitioners in the labor market.

What is the role of an urban planner in the 21st century?

TV: The challenge now for students and new planners at the beginning of their careers, as well as for established planners, policymakers, and people in charge of steering infrastructure, is to figure out how to regulate all the forces that are present in the city. It’s an issue of regulation, a major challenge around not just behavioral forces (how people use and interact with cities), but also economic, designing, and political forces. Since all of these play a role, it’s no longer just a matter of interdisciplinarity. It's also about escaping simplistic visions of solutions like mass regulation, more opportunities, and more inclusion. We want to expose students to the art of regulation, the art of understanding how to plan things that need to last and that require money, skills, technique, engineering, and social and political coalitions to support them.

MS: A planner in the 21st century is not someone who pushes a button or pulls a lever, or just “makes decisions”. His or her role is to bring different people, organizations, and processes together to arrive at governance solutions to multifaceted problems. That does not happen with writing a policy; the role of a planner is embedded as an involved actor in this governance process. A good plan needs to be a living agreement, a process that moves in a certain direction.

What career paths can graduates pursue after this program?

TV: A whole range of careers is open to our graduates. Some may go into consulting or project management, or for coordination roles in agencies… Others work in local or territorial authorities as city or regional planners, even in applied research. There is also a very broad palette of work in the field of utilities, real estate development, urban food systems, housing solutions, or regulation programs. More and more frequently, our graduates are recruited by startups or tech companies running smart city initiatives. How come? Because often people coming from tech do not understand the language of cities and their conflicts; they need mediators to bridge communication between digital solutions and local or state authorities. There is a high demand for this new generation of planners in the field of tech, and in all sectors that are challenged by the disruption processes in IT. Solidarity, neo-mutualism and urban health are offering a new vibrant job market for young graduates able to organise collective action and engage across a wide array of actors and resources.

MS: Many of our graduates also work in associations and international organizations - the World Bank or the Interdevelopment Bank, the United Nations, OECD, the EU, etc. There is already a huge diversity of professional pathways that the graduates of our two schools already follow, and this dual degree program will open up even more of these pathways because of the globalized comparative experience they’ll have.

The editorial team of Sciences Po

Tags :
Tags :

You missed our Open House Day ? Here is a recap.

  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité Sciences Po

Our dean Patrick Le Galès and Fatoumata Diallo, an alumna, present our School and our courses.

Find out more about the admissions

Tags :

The Institut Paris Région publishes the work of our students

  • Tokyo © sofi5t / PixabayTokyo © sofi5t / Pixabay

The Institut Paris Région has just published the study carried out by our students as part of a capstone. Violette Caubet, Daphnée Govers, Thomas Janvier and Léonie Yang, students of the Master Governing the Large Metropolis, worked on «The role of private institutional investors in the creation of an affordable rental park».

The purpose of this study is to provide an overview of the rental stock in four countries and the role of private institutional investors (IIP) in the presence, maintenance, creation or destruction of affordable housing in stressed areas.

"We have tried to explain the reasoning of these players when they invest in rental residential real estate, the strategies they use to establish themselves there, and the levers that can be used to attract their capital to the affordable segment of this market. Elements of historical, political, socio-cultural and legal context, determining the structure of the residential rental market and the modalities of insertion of IIP in it, are also taken into account and detailed. This approach aims to provide tracks of reflection for a comparison of these four contexts with the Île de France and for the formulation of recommendations to the Ile de France and national public authorities in their activities of regulation of the rental residential market."

Read the publication (FR)

Tags :

Online Career Fair

From 14 to 16 October 2020
  • Online Career FairOnline Career Fair

Every year, the Sciences Po Career Fair gathers recruiters, students and graduates, in a unique opportunity to meet and explore job and internship opportunities.

Because of the unprecedented sanitary context, the 2020 edition will be held on-line via the Seekube platform from 14 to 16 October.

The Career fair is a unique opportunity for students to:

  • Get information on a wide range of companies, their values, the opportunities they offer, and their recruitment process for jobs and internships
  • Find an internship, a first job, a graduate programme…
  • Develop their career project
  • Network
  • Practice job interviews.

Important : As the Fair will be held online, recruiters and students or graduates located outside of France will have the unique opportunity to take part in it.

Tags :

Meet the players behind the Ihédate group project

  • Sophie, Grégoire, Floriane et Théo © Groupe de projetSophie, Grégoire, Floriane et Théo © Groupe de projet

Four students from Sciences Po’s Master in Regional and Urban Strategy have recently come to the end of a GROUP project with the Ihédate, one of the Urban School’s long-standing academic partners. We received feedback on this year-long collaboration from the project partners, TUTORS and the students involved.

About the stakeholders

Partner: represented by Nathalie Leroux, Assistant Director at the Ihédate.

The Institut des hautes études d’aménagement des territoires (Ihédate) is a training centre for qualified professionals in regional planning and development and a site for the study, reflection and discussion of regional issues at large.

Tutors: Jens Althoff and Jules Hebert, respectively Director and Energy, Ecology and Social Programmes Coordinator at the Paris Office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

The Heinrich Böll Foundation is among the leading political foundations in Germany. As a think tank, the foundation works on advancing ecological and social transition and a more participatory, pluralist and inclusive democracy.

Students from the Urban School:

  • Théo Bendahan, holder of a BA in European Social and Political Studies from UCL (University College London), including an Erasmus programme at Humboldt University of Berlin.
  • Floriane Bertin-Gloeckler, holder of a Sciences Po Bachelor’s degree completed on the Nancy Campus (Europe and Franco-German regional specialisation), including a third year abroad studying at the University of Salamanca.
  • Grégoire Désigaud, holder of a dual bachelor’s degree in Economy & Geography with Regional Planning at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.
  • Sophie Schlewitz, holder of a Sciences Po bachelor’s degree completed on the Nancy Campus (Europe and Franco-German regional specialisation), including a third year abroad studying at the University of Economics in Bratislava on the EDGE programme (Environmental Diplomacy and Geopolitics)

The Project

The paradoxes of ecological transition in Northern Germany

The Ihédate gave students the task of organising a five-day study trip in Northern Germany. The trip was to form part of the institute’s 2020 training programme for regional planners, entitled “Regions and the Ecological Imperative: Scales and Interdependencies”. The aim of the group project was to study strategies of ecological governance in Germany.


Why did you decide to collaborate on a project with the Urban School? What can students bring to these kinds of projects?

Ihédate: We have been entrusting the administration of our annual study mission to students of the Urban School for 9 years now. It’s a partnership that works very well and, given that we are a fairly small team as an institute, it’s a real advantage to be able call on students for projects like this. It also gives us the chance to pass skills and knowledge on to them. The students gain a firm training in effective research methods; they are able to think on their feet and come up with new ideas. That pushes us to rethink our ways of working, which very stimulating. Moreover, our ‘auditors’ (the institute professionals who participate in the trip) are delighted to get the chance to work with young people who bring a completely fresh view of the sector. The interactions between them are always very positive and constructive.

What led you to take on the role of tutor to the project?

Mentor: It was the Ihédate that invited us to be tutors on the project. Their study mission related to themes that we deal with as a foundation. Energy transition is at the heart of our work and, of course, we know Germany very well as a region. This meant we were able to offer our expertise on the topic but we also learnt things ourselves, particularly with regards to comparisons between France and Germany.

What made you choose this group project?

Théo: The project’s practical element. In addition, it allowed us to compare regional planning procedures in France and in Germany and was one of the only projects that included the opportunity of studying and working in another European country. This gave us a little breather from our studies, which was a real advantage.

Floriane: It was a project about Germany, which fit perfectly with my background. The international element was definitely a bonus as well. Finally, it was an opportunity to work on a concrete mission and I’ve always enjoyed organising projects or events.

Grégoire: This project went beyond a standard academic research task: there was an organisational element that appealed to me. And we got to take an interest in a particular region and compare German and French approaches to a major contemporary issue.

Sophie: It was different from the others. This project interested me because it provided an opportunity to meet a wide range of people and discover different careers. Moreover, it took place in Germany, one of the regions that interests me most.

How did you approach the organisation of the project?

Tutors: We invited the students to come and work in our offices whenever they wished to. That meant that we saw them at least every fortnight. We were able to discuss with them regularly, provide resources, give our view on their work before any presentations to the project partners, and generally guide them where necessary. We were also available to answer any questions they might have, even outside of the allocated meeting times.

Ihédate: The group were given one day and a half per week to work on the group project, so we organised things as we went along. Regular meetings meant the work could progress smoothly and we were able to guide the students as soon as we sensed that they were encountering difficulties. The students formed an integral part of our team.

Students: We were in regular contact with our tutors and with the Ihédate. That gave us a steady rhythm and a supportive framework throughout the project.

What assistance were the two project tutors able to provide?              

Students: The tutors work in exactly the area we were looking at; they have a very good knowledge of Germany and of the project context, which was a great help. Beyond this methodological guidance, they also provided us with academic resources and numerous contacts.

Tutors: The study trip in question was designed primarily for professionals in continuing education, all of whom have existing experience in regional planning and thus very specific expectations. It was important to ensure that the week of the trip would actually be useful to its participants. So we helped the students to adapt to and satisfy the needs of these professionals, to identify the right speakers and to ensure that these were varied.                        

Was the project a success?

Students: It went really well. We had a very good relationship with both the Ihédate and with our tutors, as well as getting on well amongst ourselves. We had a good amount of autonomy and were free to choose destinations and speakers for the trip. We were able to present and defend our suggestions to the project partners. It was a real team effort.

Ihédate: The students were great to work with. The aim was to produce a coherent, well-articulated five-day study mission, including a variety of points of view on the target issue and, therefore, meetings with a diverse range of local stakeholders. The entire itinerary of the five days was up them to put together. We are delighted to see more and more students fulfilling our specification perfectly.

Tutors: The project went very well. Initially, the students did have some clichés about energy transition in Germany, which we had to dismantle. They worked extremely hard and got to grips with the German federal system, which is by no means straightforward. Two of the group spoke German, which was very useful. They made clear progress over the course of the project.

Did the fact that you have different academic backgrounds help you with the project?

Students: Yes, hugely. Some of us can speak languages, particularly German, we all have different ways of working, Grégoire has cartography skills, some of us felt more comfortable with public speaking… Our respective skills were quite varied and, ultimately, very complementary!

What impact did the health crisis have on the project? How did team-members cope with these challenges?

Ihédate: Unfortunately, we had to cancel the trip. We decided to postpone it until October. But that didn’t mean that the students’ mission was over – they had to bounce back and adapt to the challenges. They managed the situation very well, even managing to give an excellent final presentation remotely!

Tutors: The cancellation of the trip was, of course, disappointing for the students, but also for us. The trip was postponed and shortened. That meant that the programme had to be reworked, condensing the trip into its most crucial parts, which was not an easy task. The speed with which the team adapted to the changes was impressive.

Students: The health crisis didn’t really have an impact on our way of working. We just had to conduct our meetings remotely, via an online platform. We were able to continue working in spite of the situation.

What did you think of the finished submission? Are you satisfied with the work that the students produced?

Ihédate: They have supplied us with a programme that is practically ready for use on a trip to Germany in October. They even submitted a statistical appendix in addition to their report. This document, which was not actually a requirement, will be highly useful to us as well – so much so that we are considering including it in the specification for future projects. This was the first time that a group of students has submitted extra work. They worked really hard and we hope that they will all be able to accompany us on the trip. Their work is precious.

Tutors: We are very impressed, both by the results of the report and the work leading up to it. They have all evolved over the course of the year: they have learnt how to manage a project and have been able to react and adapt rapidly to the difficulties they encountered. We really hope that the trip will go ahead in October and that they will be able to see the fruits of their labours.

What has your overall experience of this group project been? What will you take away from it?

Sophie: It was a very enriching experience. The project taught us how to work as a team in a professional context, in order to plan and organise an event. We all developed new skills. We formed a good and solid team and everything went very well. The only negative side was having to cancel the trip.

Floriane: We really developed our teamwork skills. The project was intense: we learnt to adapt ourselves to other people’s styles of working, with both their strong and their weak points, to coordinate ourselves and to divide work up amongst the team. Personally, the project also helped me to confirm my career plans.

Théo: We got the chance to test our skills in a real-world context. We needed to be organised, keep to deadlines and work within a more professional structure, very different to our usual style of working as students. The only “negative” aspect of the project was that, due to the task being partly organisational, we did have less time to concentrate on the academic considerations.

Grégoire: Our interaction with the project partners was really positive; we very much had the impression of working in collaboration with the Ihédate team and the work atmosphere was very enjoyable. It should be said that the task was quite demanding, requiring a lot of work and personal investment. For us that was extremely motivating but it might have put some people off. The project definitely fulfilled my expectations and I never regretted having chosen it.

Tutors: It was a wonderful experience. Our discussions were rich and very interesting. The students brought a fresh and critical eye to their work, which allowed us to rethink certain things too. It was great to hear all their questions and to get a different perspective on ecological transition in Northern Germany. The fact that each of the students had a different academic background was also a bonus.

Ihédate: As every year, it was fascinating to be able to design this project with students. We are delighted with the results and are thinking of renewing the project next year as well, which will be our tenth time of running it!

Read the final report (FR)

Tags :

Replay of the Inaugural lecture

  • Karima Delli et Sverker Sörlin © Sciences PoKarima Delli et Sverker Sörlin © Sciences Po

Our inaugural lecture was held on 10 September on the theme "Cities, climate crisis and ecological transition".

Karima Delli, Member of the European Parlement and Sverker Sörlin, Swedish historian and professor of environmental History, spoke on the subject and answered the questions of our new students.

Replay of the Inaugural Lecture - 10 September 2020

Tags :

Attend the inaugural lecture!

  • Karima Delli et Sverker SörlinKarima Delli et Sverker Sörlin

Inaugural Lecture of Sciences Po’s Urban School on the theme "Cities, Climate Crisis and Ecological Transition" 


  • Karima Delli, Elected Member of the European Parliament 
  • Sverker Sörlin, Swedish historian and professor of Environmental History

Introduction: Patrick Le Galès, Dean of the Urban School

The lecture will be in English and French.

10 September, from 5 pm to 6:30 pm. Watch live here

Tags :

Portrait of Camille Gaumont, alumna

  • Camille Gaumont © Sandrine Gaudin/Sciences PoCamille Gaumont © Sandrine Gaudin/Sciences Po

Graduate of the Sciences Po Urban School, Camille Gaumont channels her energies into expanding bike use in the vast and dense urban zone that is Plaine Commune, a conglomeration of 9 major cities to the north of Paris. She sees her work as the perfect way to combine her expertise in urban studies, her passion for cycling and her desire to take concrete action on behalf of the planet. Read the interview.

You are the Cycling Project Manager at Plaine Commune, a public institution representing 9 communes to the north of Paris. What does your work involve? 

Camille Gaumont: I am the cycling lead for the entire area, which is around half the size of Paris and home to some 430,000 inhabitants. I’m in charge of both designing and implementing the area’s cycling strategy: in practice, that means working as a project manager to oversee the construction of cycle routes. I also provide support and advice to local councils in the area, planners and sometimes private companies interested in developing cycling too. I also work with charities, who have more and more of an influence today. My role is to coordinate this myriad of stakeholders involved in cycling policy: it’s a very cross-cutting job! Promoting cycling without thinking about the distribution of public space is pointless: things also need to be considered in terms of urban planning, energy and climate issues, biodiversity policy… Plaine Commune was among the first pioneers of cycling policy in 2011, when it established a comprehensive Cycling Plan for the area and created the post of Cycling Project Manager. We are seeing this dynamic more and more these days.

You became interested in cities and their organisation very early on in your studies, almost as soon as you arrived at Sciences Po…

CG: Yes, so much so that I chose to do two master’s in urban studies at Sciences Po! Right from my bachelor’s degree I was interested in urban sociology. During my third year studying abroad in Berlin, I got the chance to dig a little deeper into the issues of urban planning. I wanted to continue my studies with the same focus on the social sciences, while at the same time giving them a concrete local anchor. That was what made me choose Sciences Po’s Master in Regional and Urban Strategy, which incorporates work on multiple disciplines. This then led me to a year of more intensive technical study on the Urban Planning Programme.

After graduating, I began work in the field of regional planning within local authorities. At that time, eco-districts were all the rage. I did a stint working in the private sector as a consultant for the Grand Paris region, where I became more and more interested in modes of movement and transport. I see these as issues that combine all the things I enjoy: interdisciplinary work, network building, the possibility of instigating broad, in-depth changes, especially with regards to carbon emissions. For me, it’s essential that my work has a positive impact on the wider public and the climate: as a field, cycling policy allows me to contribute in a real and meaningful way to ecological transition.

Beyond your work, is cycling a personal commitment?

CG: Yes, of course, I am a total advocate and fan of cycling for all travel, both day-to-day and touristic! What I find interesting about cycling is how simple it is as a lever for change: a straightforward technology that we have used for many years, accessible for everyone and easily adaptable to new developments. All while having enormous benefits: for getting around, facilitating social interaction, keeping fit, and so on. In a dynamic and predominantly young area like Plaine Commune, it means we can work as an inclusive hub with really diverse contributors. Back when positions around cycling were beginning to spring up, I signed up straight away. I love being able to travel right across the area by bike in my current job!

What are the most crucial challenges when developing cycle routes in urban areas? Will Covid-19 have an impact on the situation?

CG: It’s still too early to say. But what with the health crisis, transport strikes and local elections this year, we can certainly say that recent events have been aligned in favour of advancing bike policy! In a highly urbanised and often congested area, there are major challenges to be met before we can get everybody cycling. First of all, there’s the question of the safety of new routes. Then there’s the fact that people need to own a working bike and to know how to use it… Finally, cyclists need to be able to park their bikes without risk. But across all levels, I am seeing an increasing determination to make use of the current context to take on each of these challenges: that’s very promising.

What skills and knowledge have you kept from your time at Sciences Po?

CG: I think that the interdisciplinary and intellectually demanding nature of study at Sciences Po, where students are required to grasp complex social issues, both serve me a lot in my day-to-day work! So does the ability to see the wider picture and to analyse things as part of a cohesive whole. At master’s level, I really enjoyed combining the policy dimension of urban studies with a concrete local focus. In the Urban Planning programme, I learnt to work with people whose background was more “technical” than my own: that has been really important in my later work. Actually I only have one regret: to have graduated before the introduction of the dual degree in natural sciences and social sciences. I would have loved that! 

Interview conducted by the Sciences Po editorial team

Tags :

Open House day, Graduate Schools: 28 november 2020

  • Open House Day Graduate Schools 2020Open House Day Graduate Schools 2020

Have you ever thought about studying in France? Let’s meet and talk about your future Master’s Degree, all taught in English and/or French. You’ll meet our international students, who had just like you thought about Sciences Po a few years ago and are now studying in France’s leading university in the social sciences.

Discover what makes Sciences Po the best choice for your future by attending our Virtual Open House Day event on 28 November 2020.

This Open House Day event will be only digital to allow as many people as possible to participate despite possible health restrictions. No visitors will be welcomed on site.

Tags :

Discover the group projects 2020!

  • Terrains des projets @ Groupes de travailTerrains des projets @ Groupes de travail


Agence Française de Développement (AFD): Business premises in an urban project 

Students: Yusuf Ashmawi, Pauline Dutheil, Lina Homman Ludiye and Azilis Pierrel from the Master Governing the Large Metropolis

The objective of this study is to create a guide of recommendations for urban project management in order to improve the consideration of local economic development issues in urban projects.

Learn more (FR)

Agence Française de Développement (AFD): Who governs social housing in Réunion?

Students: Margot Brac de la Perrière, Lise Lécuyer, Marie Milani and Elena Ragain of the Master in Regional and Urban Strategy

The social housing of Reunion Island presents specific characteristics, both through its financing, partly structured by subsidies specific to the overseas countries, and by its management, characterized by a large number of Mixed Economy Societies in the territory. To study these specificities, four students carried out a group project for AFD. 

Learn more (FR)

Aquitanis: Environmentally friendly and participatory development in a relaxed suburban area

Students: Pauline Boos, Margaux Cazals, Marc Olphe-Galliard and Tanya Sam Ming from the Urban planning programme
Aquitanis has therefore requested this study in order to confirm the economic, social and environmental feasibility of these development projects in peri-urban and rural areas. It wants to have objective elements to assert its position, and if necessary, to adapt its intervention methods without denying its values.  

Watch the presentation of the students (FR)

Atelier des territoires - DGALN: Supporting the development of a strategy to shape the landscape and anticipate land change

Students: Marie Boisseau, Raphaël Jean, Chloé Leprompt and Charlotte Marcillière of the Master in Regional and Urban Strategy

The West of the Vosges is a rural territory with a remarkable landscape and agricultural identity, but is threatened by the absence of a common horizon built between the actors. The mission consisted in supporting the Departmental Directorate of the Vosges Territories in structuring a dynamic of cooperation between local actors to enhance the landscape and support territorial development.

Learn more (FR)

Avise: Social and solidarity economy and ruralities: mobilization practices of rural development programs and contracting tools

Students: Oriane Louveau, Pinelopi Pappa, Zoé Raimbault and Maud Reymond of the Master in Regional and Urban Strategy

This study focuses on the contracting tools for the rural environment that can be mobilized by the social and solidarity economy (ESS) structures. The ESS represents a major opportunity for rural territories with regard to the development of essential goods and services for residents, and the identification of niches for the insertion of the ESS in the territorial development systems aims thus to increase their impact for the territories.

Learn more (FR)

Communauté d’Agglomération Lisieux Cœur de Normandie (CALN): The residential route in the Communauté d'Agglomération Lisieux Normandy

Students: Hugo Bono-Damesin, Anna Cario, Malou Fournier and Emma Policarpo of the Master in Regional and Urban Strategy

The territory of the Community of Lisieux Normandie Agglomeration (CALN) is crossed by many issues especially with regard to housing and residential trajectories. Over the past decade, many households have been leaving the territory, and CALN’s habitat service wants to find a way to curb this phenomenon, while attracting new inhabitants to the territory. Our project is the beginning of a response to this problem.

Learn more (FR)

EDF R&D: Governance of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure, comparing the systems of France, California, Norway, China and the Netherlands.

Students: Augustin Bauchot , Kiki Li, Francesco Palmia, Anne-Sophie Tchuisseu and Juliette Thijs from the Master Governing the Large Metropolis

The overarching goal of this project was to analyze the challenges faced by stakeholders of on-street EV charging and the implications of various solutions. By comparing relevant international case studies, this project aims to give critical guidance on the challenges and opportunities of EV charging regulation. Find out more

Learn more

Egis Conseil: Shaping cities of tomorrow by supporting the qualification of economic operators

Students : Florinda Bartoli, Francesca Bonalda, Achille Mace and Coline Rouchie from the Master Governing the Large Metropolis

In this project we were led to discover the French urban consulting «world». Indeed, the BU Conseil of EGIS works on helping territorial institutions to choose projects that will be conducted there. Our mission was to produce a toolbox to help both the consultants and the decider in the choice of a candidate during such projects.

Learn more

GRDF: What coordination of the Region/EPCI couple in the local energy transition?

Students: Corentin Casays, Chloé Chéfiare, Elorn Goasdoué and Caroline Pinton from the Master in Regional and Urban Strategy

This project was proposed by GRDF in order to analyze the articulation between Regions and intercommunalities in a national context impacted by many institutional changes. The challenge is to make known the relations and institutional practices of the EPCI and the Regions as part of the development of measures taken at the territorial level to use less energy, increase the efficiency of energy technologies and develop renewable energy sources.

Learn more (FR)

Ihédate: Paradoxes of the ecological transition in Northern Germany

Students: Théo Bendahan, Floriane Bertin-Gloeckler, Grégoire Désigaud and Sophie Schlewitz of the Master in Regional and Urban Strategy

Ihédate entrusted the students with the realization of a five-day study trip in Northern Germany. This work is part of the IHEDATE 2020 training cycle, entitled “Territories and the ecological imperative - scales and interdependencies”. The objective of the group project was to study the governance strategies of the ecological transition in Germany.

Learn more (FR)

Tags :

A student from the Urban Planning programme wins the 2020 Sciences Po – Bosphorus Prize!

  • Mathilde Fraisse © M. FraisseMathilde Fraisse © M. Fraisse

Mathilde Fraisse, student at the Urban planning programme, won first prize for her paper ODD 11, coopération et partenariat : Le développement urbain durable, une opportunité pour le maintien du dialogue entre la France et la Turquie. Congratulations!

The Sciences Po – Bosphorus Prize, awarded by the Institut du Bosphore and the Sciences Po Paris School of International Affairs, rewards outstanding students' papers every year. This fourth edition was organized around the theme “Sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11): which models and policies to enhance the cooperation and partnerships between France and Turkey”.

An awards ceremony was held via videoconference on May 20 and was followed by a webinar on sustainable cities in France and Turkey.

Read the paper (FR).

Tags :

New working paper for our Chair!

  • Ville de Shenzhen © PixabayVille de Shenzhen © Pixabay


Named The Impact of Digital Firms on Urban Governance Model in China: An Empirical Analysis of the Smart City Brain Model in China, this paper aims to gain an overview on how smart city is being interpreted and embedded in China, through the example of Huawei and Alibaba’s smart city implementations in Shenzhen and Hangzhou. The article has been written by Sixiao Yang, a student of the Urban planning programme.

Abstract : This paper aims to gain an overview on how smart city is being interpreted and embedded in China, through the example of Huawei and Alibaba’s smart city implementations in Shenzhen and Hangzhou. It examines the emergence of the “Brain-Nerves” model of smart urban governance in Chinese cities, as well as the practices, processes and outcomes that are currently unfolding on the ground. By questioning the logic, promise and imaginaries of “City Brain”, the article aims at providing empirical evidences that are specific to the Chinese context, in order to illustrate the interactions and interdependencies between public and private stakeholders that are fostering the transformations of urban governance modes in China.   

Read the paper

Tags :

Propose a group project to the Urban School!

  • Les étudiants STU en mode projet © EULes étudiants STU en mode projet © EU
  • Séance de travail d'un projet du Cycle d'urbanisme @ EUSéance de travail d'un projet du Cycle d'urbanisme @ EU

We are launching today our annual campaign to identify "group projects" involving students, public and private actors, particularly around the deciphering of the crisis linked to COVID 19.

An unusual campaign

As Guillermo Martin, executive director of the School explains, "given the context, this campaign must be exceptional. Of course, we will continue to work actively with our partners on our common topics of choice: social change in all its forms, ecological transitions, institutional arrangements and forms of governance, in very varied fields (environment, development, real estate, mobility, economic development, social action, local democracy...), on very diverse territorial scales and in a resolutely comparative logic.

At the same time, however, we would also like to propose to some partners that they undertake projects specifically aimed at deciphering the current crisis, taking the time to analyse its particular forms, its causes and reflect on its consequences.

How does the health crisis unfold depending on where you live? How have crisis management policies been or will be designed and implemented between the national and local levels? Can digital technology become a partial substitute for mobility? How does the crisis change the representations regarding health policies, of course, but also the strategies of economic revitalization, development and real estate projects, the preservation of natural environments?"

The campaign that opens today will be concluded on 30 June 2020 and the projects will be committed to the next academic year

What is a group project?

This highlight of the Masters in Regional and Urban Strategy, Governing the Large Metropolis, Governing Ecological Transitions in European Cities, the Urban Planning Programme and the Executive Master in Territorial Governance and Urban Development, puts students in a professional position. They work with a public or private structure on an urban or territorial issue.

For 5 to 9 months (following the master), each team of 4 to 5 students works under the supervision of an academic or professional tutor. Each project ends, at a minimum, with an oral presentation of the students to the partner and a written report. Other forms of rendering are also possible: an exhibition, a video, a seminar organization, a public presentation of the results, a model...

What themes can be studied?

The Urban School strives to work on all the problems that contemporary societies may encounter in cities and territories: increasing inequalities, ecological transition, conflicts, cultural hybridizations, relations between governments and governed, collective choices and democracy, accumulation of data and technologies, pollution, financialization, etc. etc. The fields of study are therefore extremely varied.

Discover the problematics of the previous projects

Who can propose a group project?

Any actor of the city and territories can propose a project. For example, we have worked with local authorities, companies, associations, Ngos, consultancy firms, development and urban planning agencies, state administrations and international institutions.

When to propose a group project?

Interested organisations can now and until 30 June propose a project.


Contact :

Guillermo Martin, Executive director of the Urban School
Phone : +33 1 58 71 71 53
Mobile : +33 6 51 34 14 54

Find out more about the group projects (PDF, 956 Ko)

Tags :

The Urban School, partner of UN-Habitat

  • Guillermo Martin and Maimunah Mod Sharif - Abu Dhabi, 02/2020 © EUGuillermo Martin and Maimunah Mod Sharif - Abu Dhabi, 02/2020 © EU
  • Maimunah Mod Sharif et nos étudiants - Paris, 11/2018 © EUMaimunah Mod Sharif et nos étudiants - Paris, 11/2018 © EU
  • Joan Clos et des chercheurs de l'école - Paris, 08/2017 © B. Susana-DelpechJoan Clos et des chercheurs de l'école - Paris, 08/2017 © B. Susana-Delpech


UN-Habitat is a United Nations agency dedicated to global urban governance. It aims to promote sustainable cities and to work towards access to decent housing for all. It emerged from the “Habitat I” conference in Vancouver (1976), which began in 1978 with the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UNDP), or UN-Habitat.

The Urban School and UN-Habitat have been working together for several years. Three capstones of the School have been realized with this partner:

  • in 2013 : Measuring concrete economic development impact of appropriated metropolitan Planning. Models, evidences, cases, prospects 
  • in 2014 : Recent (from 2000) drivers of urbanisation and urban development in Latin America : An inputs towards Habitat III 
  • in 2015 : Economía política de la movilidad urbana en Latina América y el Caribe 

In addition, many of the School’s students find internships within UN-Habitat (compulsory internship at the end of their studies, summer internship, césure) and some graduates are recruited there.

Finally, the Urban School welcomed two executive directors of the institution: in September 2017, Joan Clos gave the inaugural lesson of the School and the new Executive Director Maimunah Mod Sharif met our Dean Patrick Le Galès and gave a lecture to our students when she came to Paris in 2018.

The memorandum, which was signed during the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi, provides in particular for the development of research partnerships and the eventual implementation of group projects.

Tags :

A study trip to Seoul

  • Seoul © UrbanBrushSeoul © UrbanBrush

“Who is governed and what is included in Seoul innovation policies?”. The students of the master Governing the Large Metropolis are going to try to answer this question during their study trip to Seoul from 12 to 19 January.

Known as "the miracle on the Han river", South Korea transformed from a developing country to a developed country very rapidly after the Korean war finished in 1953 and today, the country is well known for its high technology industry.

Seoul, as the capital of the country, has been the center of wealth, power, and people of the country. Today, the city wants to be smarter, more inclusive and more cultured.

The aim of the study trip, therefore, is to observe the strategies and the present status by visiting concerning public & private organisms such as Seoul City hall, Citizen cooperative association, NGOs, urban infrastructure facilities and also by visiting various urban project sites.

After the trip, the students will produce a report that will be published at the end of the year.


  • Day 1: visits of Seun Arcade and Cheonggyecheon Stream
  • Day 2: visits of the Seoul History museum and the Seoul city hall
  • Day 3: visit of the Songdo Smart City
  • Day 4: visits of the Yangcheon Resource Recovery Facility, the Guui Arisu Water Facility, the Sky Park, the DMC Center and the Bulgwang district. Meetings with the Dosi GongGam Architects Coop, the SBA and the Seoul Fab Lab
  • Day 5: Meetings with ICLEI East Asia, the Seoul Housing Corporation and the urban planning departement of Seochogu

Discover the study trip in pictures (Facebook album)

Tags :

Portrait: Juan Cristellys, alumnus

  • Juan Cristellys Sancho © JCSJuan Cristellys Sancho © JCS
Juan Cristellys, Spanish, graduated from the Master Governing the Large Metropolis (GLM) in 2015. He did his Bachelor at Sciences Po, at the Campus in Poitiers which is specialised in the areas of South America, Spain and Portugal.  

What is your current position?

I am a Senior Consultant at Eurogroup Consulting, a strategy consulting firm. I am based in Paris and I have two main missions. First of all, CRS strategic consultancy projects for companies involved in the organisation and development of 2024 Paris Olympic Games. My second task is the organisational consultancy for private and public actors in the framework of fusion or restructuration projects. 

What did you do since your graduation? 

After my master’s degree, I joined as an intern the European forum for urban security (Efus), the only European network working on prevention and security at the local level.

After this internship, they hired me as Programme manager and I spent 3 years mainly working on the following activity areas: policy consulting for the design, implementation and evaluation of crime prevention strategies for local and regional authorities; design and management of European projects (funded by the EU) up to 600 000 € per project, involving various stakeholders (municipalities, ministries, universities, etc.) and the development of Efus’ network of cities, mainly in Spain.

After three years working at Efus, I decided to join Eurogroup Consulting to amplify my expertise in other thematic areas than security, such as transport, energy or CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).

What did you think of your training at Sciences Po?

Sciences Po gives you the freedom to build you own academical and professional path, since your Bachelor until your master’s degree. It is not just because of the variety its pedagogical offer, but also because of the freedom you are given to choose the topic to address through your different works.

GLM, for instance, gives special importance to your autonomy and your own interests when it comes to individual and collective works. In my case, I was always able to undertake different projects (capstone, paper, presentation, professional dissertation, etc.) linked to my area of interest: namely, policy design and consultancy on security issues. 

To sum up, Sciences Po gives you the tools, it’s up to you to activate them depending on your own interests! In my case, GLM and its pedagogical team were key in order to concretise my own project and find the topics with which I was able to grow.

Did your master’s degree make it easier for you to find work?

Absolutely! This for 2 main reasons: I always had the support and advices from the pedagogical and scientific teams of my master’s degree. This was a key factor when looking for my internship and getting in touch with potential organisations when looking for job opportunities.

Moreover, despite the eventual differences between GLM students in terms of thematic interests (transport, security, housing, etc.) we all share common skills developed during our master’s degree, which are: understanding an issue, mapping resources to address it, drafting recommendations, and being able to assess the impact of the undertaken action. All these skills have been essential to be considered as being reliable on my previous and current job.

Tags :

The Ruhr : from one model to another

2019 STU study trip
  • Les étudiants STU M2 © STULes étudiants STU M2 © STU


This industrial area has undergone a spectacular economic transformation through the implementation of an urban regeneration strategy focusing in particular on cultural and renaturation projects. The Emscher Park project set up by the IBA in the 1990s is known as an example of urban transformation whose model circulates in Europe.

Today, faced with a context of demographic decline, climate change and economic and migration transition, this territory must reinvent itself and propose new models. The aim was therefore to examine the strategies deployed by the region to deal with these new challenges and to put into perspective the planning strategies and sectoral policies developed in various areas.

The aim was also to apprehend the changes in the urban regeneration model of the Ruhr, which had taken place in the 1990s. Beyond cultural strategies alone, the Ruhr aims to become a carbon-neutral green metropolis. The territory is also looking to deploy an innovative strategy to attract investors and companies, particularly in the digital sector and become a hub for startups and creative industries.

This trip was rich in meetings and discoveries. The students will now produce a report that will be published soon.

>> Discover the programme in pictures through the facebook album

>> See the detailed programme

Tags :

The Urban School, member of the Global Urban Network

  • The representatives of the 25 schools © School of citiesThe representatives of the 25 schools © School of cities

the Urban School participated at the first meeting of the world's urban institutes, hosted by the School of Cities, University of Toronto.

25 urban institutes from across five continents participated in this Global Urban Network Workshop to exchange ideas and experiences concerning the impact of their programming on urban research, teaching and learning, outreach and engagement.

During two busy days, the Urban School contributed to the common discussion concerning opportunities for international collaboration on student exchanges, joint field courses, doctoral clusters, virtual classrooms, conferences and more. Outreach and partnerships were also relevant topics on the table. We examined opportunities for global collaboration with governments, industry, non-profits and local community organizations that can advance education and research objectives. In the last session, we had also a panel discussion between scholars and city builders exploring mechanisms and processes of collaborations crossing industry and community perspectives with scholars and teachers needs and outlooks. Participants at the workshop compared strategies to address access to sustained funding, faculty and student engagement, actionable long-term partnerships. We discussed skills and knowledge necessary for the next generation of urban practitioners.

The workshop received support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The next meeting will be next February in Abu Dhabi, during Un Habitat World Urban Forum, moving forward toward the constitution of an Association of Urban Institutes.

Tags :

Event: Conference of Martha Delgado Peralta

  • Martha Delgado Peralta © Urban SchoolMartha Delgado Peralta © Urban School

Martha Delgado Peralta, Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs of the United Mexican States, will be at Sciences Po on 13 November. She is going to discuss about “Migration: Mexico’s contribution towards building prosperous, inclusive and tolerant cities“.

Information about the event: Wednesday,13 November - 5pm - Amphithéâtre Jean Moulin, 13 rue de l'Université 75007 Paris - COMPULSORY REGISTRATION


Martha Delgado graduated from Intercontinental University specializing in pedagogy and completed LEAD programme of in-depth studies of sustainable development and environment at the Mexican college. Currently, she is studying environmental policy and international development at Harvard University.

She acted as advisor to the Presidency of the National Institute of Ecology from 1993 to 1998. From 1998 to 2003, she was President of the NGO Mexican Citizens Presence (Presencia Ciudadana Mexicana) and Union of Environmental Groups (Unión de Grupos Ambientalistas).

From 2003 to 2006, she was elected Independent Deputy in the Legislative Assembly of Mexico City, where she created and chaired the Water Management Commission. In 2006–2012, Martha Delgado was Minister of the Environment of Mexico City, where she led different environmental programmes, such as ECOBICI, the first bike sharing system in America.

At the international level, Martha was Deputy Head of the World Water Council; President of Network of Environmental Management Authorities in Cities in Latin America and the Caribbean (2009–2010); and Vice-President of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (2009–2014). She is a member of the UNESCO Advisory Committee of Experts on Water and Human Settlements. In May 2018, she was elected as President of the first session of the UN-Habitat Assembly.

Since 1 December 2018, she has been Deputy Minister for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Tags :

A new master for the Urban School!

Discover the master Governing Ecological Transitions in European Cities
  • Vidéo © Sciences PoVidéo © Sciences Po


Why this new course? what objectives? what opportunities?
Check out the answers in this video.

Learn more about the master 

Tags :

The 2019 UdM forum rewards two of our students

  • Lucas et Clément © L&CLucas et Clément © L&C

Lucas A. Cividanes and Clément Da Cruz, two students of the Master Governing the Large Metropolis, win the Jury Prize at the 2019 Urban Planners International Forum for their study of urban agriculture policies in São Paulo.

For nearly two months, the two students conducted field visits and more than twenty interviews with key actors of urban agriculture in São Paulo (including urban farmers, NGOs, policymakers, researchers and agro-ecological activists).

They focused more specifically on the analysis of the "Ligue os Pontos" policy, which, since 2016, has sought to engage the metropolis into a transition towards sustainable, resilient and circular urban development.

Their report thereby evaluates the true sustainability, efficiency and desirability of the "Ligue os Pontos" program, considering both the relevance of its governance structure as well as its territorial translation and the relationship it defines between rural and urban spaces within the megalopolis.

Discover the results of their research in their report.


The Urban planners international Forum

Each year, the association Urban Planners International (UdM, in their French acronym) allows more than a dozen students to go on a field research in a country of the Global South. Their selected teams produce a study report on the theme selected by the association. For the 2019 Forum, the selected teams were invited to explore the following question: "Populational emergencies and ecological emergencies: What urban models of transition? "

The prize was awarded to the two students at the 2019 Forum’s colloquium, held on the 11th of October in the French Senate, during which participants presented the results of their research to a jury composed of urban planners, local policymakers and researchers.

Tags :

Thinking of applying to the Urban School?

Watch the replay
  • All you need to know about the Urban SchoolAll you need to know about the Urban School

On Wednesday 13 November 2019, a student from the Urban School and Patrick Le Galès, Dean of the Urban School answered questions from prospective students during a live interview.

Watch the replay.

You were unable to attend our past Open House Day?

Watch the replay of the Urban School:

Find out more

More information about the 2019 Q&A sessions.

Tags :

Portrait : Hugo Ribadeau Dumas, Alumnus

  • Hugo Ribadeau Dumas, Afghanistan © HRDHugo Ribadeau Dumas, Afghanistan © HRD
  • Hugo Ribadeau Dumas, Afghanistan © HRDHugo Ribadeau Dumas, Afghanistan © HRD
Hugo Ribadeau Dumas graduated from the Master Governing the Large Metropolis in 2013. He also obtained his Bachelor’s degree at Sciences Po, which included an exchange year at Jamia Millia Islamia University, in India, where he took classes from a Master’s programme in Journalism. We spoke to him on where he is now.

What is you current job?

I work in New Delhi at KPMG, as an advisor to the Government of India. My exact position within the firm is Assistant Manager. KPMG is an international network of audit and consulting firms.

I have been assigned several types of projects in fields as diverse as urban development, tourism and trade. In very broad terms, my job is to suggest solutions to challenges faced by the Indian administration in terms of planning, strategy and implementation.

Can you tell us about your personal and professional journey since graduation?

Since graduating, I have decided to focus on the South Asia region, due in part to personal cultural affinities, but also to the considerable development challenges the region is currently facing.

Over the last 6 years, I have worked in India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. In the process, I have learned several languages – Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Farsi – and have therefore deepened my knowledge of the region and its people. This has been a fascinating journey which I am keen to continue.

Professionally speaking, I have specialized in the development sector. I have had the chance to observe the sector from very different angles, through experiences with diverse stakeholders. I first started as a community mobilizer with NGOs in India, which involved heavy fieldwork. I was then hired by a french government agency, the Agence Française de Développement (French Development Agency), for whom I coordinated the implementation of infrastructure projects in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I then moved to Afghansitan to work for Altai Consulting, where I conducted research to assess the impact of donor agencies’ activities.

It was after this experience that I started working at KPMG.

How did your education at Sciences Po prepare you for this line of work?

The most useful skill I received from my education at Sciences Po is intellectual discipline. Whether it is in terms of analytical thinking or writing skills, Sciences Po definitely taught me how to be as rigorous as possible.

Sciences Po helped me to become a very versatile professional, capable of working on a variety of issues in different roles. This constitutes the major strengths of a Sciences Po education.

Did having a master’s degree make it easier for you to launch your career?

Yes, because a master in urban governance is still relatively rare in the job market, which I believe helped to differentiate me from other candidates. However, the fact that I received my degree from Sciences Po was not a decisive factor in South Asia, as the school is not yet very well known in India and other countries of the region.

Tags :
Back to top