Why study this programme

Urban Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change

Loss of biodiversity and natural resources, along with impacts from natural hazards and climate-induced disasters, all have a negative effect on the productivity of cities and the wellbeing of citizens. Designing pathways to a climate-resilient, smart and environmentally sustainable development has become a key goal and principle for policy action at global and local levels. From international organizations and networks to national and local governments, civil society and the business sector, it is now widely recognized that understanding sustainability, climate-resilient and smart urban development and integrating their principles and methods into everyday practice is of vital importance. In this programme, you will gain the qualifications and technical skills to become an urban development professional specialised in analysing and promoting sustainable, climate-resilient and smart development.

This programme has provided me with the opportunity to work within diverse multi-cultural teams, and to explore and develop innovative strategies for urban development while interacting with local stakeholders of Rotterdam.

What are some of the special features of this track?

Next to earning your MSc diploma from Erasmus University Rotterdam, an institution that is consistently ranked among the top 3% of the world’s best universities, studying the Urban Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change track also means that you will get to:

Apply GIS software and (optionally) learn R or Python to analyse geospatial and quantitative data

Data analysis is among one of the most highly demanded skills on the labour market. This specialisation will teach you data analysis skills that will make your CV stand out.

Learn important concepts of sustainability

Understand what nature-based solutions, ICT-based innovations, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and energy transition are and how they impact cities and its citizens. Discover how these innovations can contribute to improving the sustainable, smart, and climate-resilient urban development.

Use different tools to analyse urban environment and climate change decisions

You will learn to use the Climate Action Prioritisation Tool, the Tygron Geodesign Platform, and InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs) software to model environment and climate decisions and simulate scenarios.

Visit successful climate change resilience projects

Every year the urban environment, sustainability and climate change track students visit different examples of successfully implemented climate change resilience and sustainability initiatives, including Rotterdam Storm Surge Barrier and Amsterdam Circular Economy Districts.

Link your thesis research to real-life ongoing projects

This track has the distinctive feature of being very active in research and advisory services worldwide, which offers you the unique opportunity to link your thesis to ongoing research and projects. Being part of this track gives you the chance to publish in peer-reviewed journals.

Benefit from a broad network of international organisations

The master track has close ties with international organisations such as UN-Habitat, the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank as well as ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability.

Why study at IHS, Erasmus University Rotterdam?

Earn your MSc degree from a top 100 university

Known for its academic rigors and high quality of education, Erasmus University Rotterdam is consistently ranked in the top 3% of the world’s best universities.

Our teaching methods are unique

Alongside IHS teaching and research activities, our faculty members work in the field on real-life cases around the world. Challenges, learnings, and questions from these different contexts are brought back to the classroom and woven into our curriculum. 

You apply everything you learn - no dry theory

Students learn through a blend of lectures, real-life case studies, discussions, debates, simulation environments, written assignments, and group work. Field visits and projects in Rotterdam and other Dutch cities provide first-hand exposure to local urban problems. Students have the option to complete their thesis fieldwork abroad and immerse themselves in a relevant urban context to collect data.

We offer a truly international and diverse environment

The IHS classroom is comprised of mid-level professionals and fresh graduates with rich and varied experiences from more than 45 countries. Typical backgrounds include architecture, engineering, planning, economics, social science, environmental science, and housing. 

Study in Rotterdam - a hub of sustainable urban innovation

Iconic architecture, pioneering urban planning, and a celebrated multicultural population have thrust Rotterdam to the forefront of innovation and cultivation within the urban world. 

Enjoy guest lecturers from UN-Habitat and other key stakeholders in the urban field 

IHS works with global leaders in the field of urban development, including UN-Habitat, Cities Alliance and ICLEI as well as with leading universities in the Netherlands and around the world to ensure additional academic resources for our students.

#5 for Public Administration

worldwide for Public Administration Shanghai Ranking

#5 for Planning & Development

for Planning & Development Center University Rankings (1000)

#72 Worldwide

worldwide Times Higher Education (500)

Apply for the Urban Environment, Sustainability & Climate Change track

First round of applications: 6 September 2021 – 30 November 2021

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