MSc Specialisation: Managing Infrastructure for Green Cities

The MIGC specialisation provides hands-on knowledge and expertise on how local governments can efficiently provide, manage, finance and operate municipal infrastructure assets to deliver desired levels of services to help cities become greener (more sustainable).

The specialisation is anchored on the IHS Green City concept, which provides a framework to help cities become greener, more sustainable and competitive. The green city concept sees the city broadly composed of three elements (parts): the built environment (the man-made physical structure also called here infrastructure), the natural and the anthropogenic (citizens). Decisions on infrastructure influence the other two elements (parts), and will affect the city's green performance, liveability and sustainability.

Infrastructure is considered in this specialisation as the physical structure of a city and as such, it influences the urban forms which are influenced by urban design; affecting  directly habitat, ecosystems, water quality, quantity, travel behaviour and displacement which, in turn, affect energy consumption, socio-economic conditions, environmental quality, land use, climate change and city sustainability.

The specialisation is oriented towards developed, transition and developing countries; and focuses on the built environment part of a city covering the following infrastructure sectors: 1-Water and Sanitation (drinking water, wastewater,  stormwater & urban floods (green infrastructure) and solid waste/circular economy, 2-Energy and Transport (electricity, renewable energy, green transport and green building). Finance instruments and governance approaches are exposed across these two sectors. An overview of the sectors, topics and activities of the specialisation can be seen in the 'MIGC at a glance' figure.

The theoretical framework of the specialisation and the IHS green city conceptual framework will be used by our students as the base to develop their research protocols. This will be done within the Sustainable Infrastructure for Green City (SIGC) research workshop. In this workshop and in the specialisation research is formulated using different theories, concepts and aspects of governance, asset management and finance. The research objective of this specialisation aims at explaining, assessing and or evaluating the quality of the services being delivered by public and private service provider organizations as well as the impacts of these services on the city green performance and the local socio-economic and environmental sustainability.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the course participants should be able to:

  • Describe the role of infrastructure in helping cities to become greener.
  • Identify and analyse the relation of urban infrastructure with land use, economic development, investment, poverty reduction and local environmental health conditions.
  • Understand and analyse the role of infrastructure asset management in delivering service according to a pre-determined level.
  • Apply performance assessment methods to identify managerial problems affecting the good delivery of services and propose recommendations.
  • Apply innovative models and mechanisms for financing urban infrastructure to deliver good services and to improve the green performance of cities

Research Workshop (SIGC)

Research within the specialisation is formulated using different theories, concepts and aspects of governance, asset management and finance. It covers issues related to water, sanitation, energy, and transport service delivery, and their relations with our green city conceptual framework, city livability and sustainability.

Actually, the specialisation is especially interested in conducting research on the topics shown below. Other topics can also be accepted if approved by the coordinators of the specialisation and the thesis supervisor.

Some recommended examples of research:

  1. Influence of operation and maintenance of infrastructure in delivering good quality service
  2. Impacts of infrastructure governance in delivering good quality service and on local development
  3. Influence of green infrastructure on the urban green spaces (UGS), especially involving the quantification of special ecosystem services (ES) of selected types of urban green space (UGS) using high-resolution data
  4. Influence of energy efficiency and renewable energy on improving city livability and green city performance
  5. Influence of energy efficiency and renewable energy on the circular economy of the building sector
  6. Influence of accessibility (connectivity), green fuels (electric autos) and intelligent transport modes on green city performance

Student testimonial

"MIGC is a comprehensive program that covers all infrastructure sectors in an integrated way. It provided me with knowledge and expertise on how cities can manage, finance and efficiently operate their infrastructure and most importantly in a socio-economic and environmentally sustainable way. Thanks to this specialisation, I now know the principles of resilient, energy efficient and smart city infrastructure."

Abeer Almomani, Jordan Urban Management and Development master’s student 2015-2016

Lecturer and Associate Lecturers




IHS, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Ogenis Brilhante


IHS, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Alberto Gianoli


IHS, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Somesh Sharma


IHS, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Julia Skinner


ESSB, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Jacko van Ast


ESSB, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Harry Geerlings

Prof. Dr.