Presentation of professional tracks

The programme’s different professional tracks aim to provide comprehensive coverage of the various dimensions of urban planning and development. At the same time, they also have to allow students who have already completed the first year of a master’s programme in this domain to extend their learning. It is in this respect that our master’s degree aims to be a reference qualification in the field of urban planning.

While the different tracks correspond broadly to particular professional applications, the way they are defined and labelled should not obscure the fact that many skills in urban planning and development are cross-disciplinary. Each track is built on a foundation of university research, and thus defined to a certain extent by the areas of expertise of the teams of research lecturers in charge of the different themes.

Within each track, a range of teaching methods are employed, with the aim of alternating foundational skills and applied knowledge, practical work and tutorials, individually and in groups, along with complementary teaching exercises: problematized personal reflection (dissertation), producing a response to a professional project, scenario simulations (controversial situations, collaborative approaches, responses to calls for tender, etc.), and training in research methodology.

Track 1 – Development and Territories: Resources, Policies and Strategies

This track seeks to provide a conceptual framework and operational skills for the coordinated implementation of public and/or private action in, and in conjunction with, territories. These territories are affected by increasingly complex and interdependent social, economic and environmental dynamics that are subject to internal tensions and external pressures that are often paradoxical in a context of great uncertainty (globalization and financialization, growing inequalities, environmental concerns, reconfiguration of major global economic balances). Taking as its starting point the understanding and analysis of territories’ social, economic and environmental dynamics, this track provides and structures the knowledge and techniques necessary to develop territorialized responses to these issues by adapting them to the different dimensions present in a given case (economic, social, cultural, tourism-related, etc.). This, in turn, makes it possible to analyse the way in which stakeholders use and organize the resources available to them in their areas: land resources, associated infrastructure and services, and innovation and new forms of territorial value creation on different scales.

Track 2 – Planning, Projects and Urban Management

This track trains students in activities relating to the production of the city (from planning and scheduling to the implementation of projects) in preparation for public- and/or private-sector careers that are likely to include posts involving the definition and coordination of urban projects. This track functions on the basis of strong ties with urban-development stakeholders and professionals, via its teaching staff, the themes it addresses, and its professional simulation workshops corresponding to real urban projects.

Track 3 – Urban Alternatives and Experimental Approaches

This track focuses on alternatives and experiments, in terms both of the themes addressed (analysis of experimental processes and case studies) and the teaching approaches adopted, based on collaborative work and experimentation in small groups. The overall aim of this track is to train students in professions relating to urban planning, and more specifically the planning of public space, with particular emphasis placed on the conditions that enable society to reclaim its own spaces.

Track 4 – Integrated Urban Development: Strategies and Projects

This track trains future professionals in the field of integrated urban development, a new dimension of public and private urban action that presents new challenges. How should the regeneration of urban spaces be coordinated in a context of austerity in public finances, transformations in the issues and challenges facing cities, and changes in the relationships between spaces and societies? This objective calls upon professionals’ ability to analyse and understand territorial transitions and spatial changes, decompartmentalize different areas of public action, foster new collaborations, and reflect upon problems and solutions at the junction of multiple domains. The aim is to train professionals who are able to adapt to these new action contexts and adopt interface roles. This requires new and revised knowledge, approaches and skills. Accordingly, this track takes the form of a sandwich course (study + work-based training), based on a teaching philosophy that combines university-level knowledge and research approaches with practice-related issues and professional experience. It places students in a proactive and reflective position with regard to their own learning and their ability to develop new solutions.

Track 5 – Housing and Urban Renewal

The aim of this track is to produce young urban-planning professionals specialized in the design and implementation of public policies relating to housing and urban renewal. The diversity of positions and professional contexts represented by the internships on offer within companies and local authorities, combined with university-level teaching, enables students to develop a shared culture of the field of housing – the most basic building blocks for the production and management of our cities. This track is offered as an apprenticeship option only.

Track 6 – Urban Environments: Strategies, Projects, Services

This track offers comprehensive training in different urban-planning roles, and more especially those associated with the environmental challenges of intervening in urban spaces and urbanized territories. The key aim is to enable students to develop critical expertise with regard to environmental planning and development challenges so that they are able to identify and understand the ecological issues linked to the way territories function, as well as the theoretical foundations of these issues and their impact in legislative, regulatory, operational and other terms. Students will discover how such issues are integrated into urban-planning decision-making processes on different scales, and become familiar – through the use of workshops in particular – with the tools of environmental development and how they are applied.

Track 7 – Transport and Mobility

This track is the fruit of a collaboration between the EUP and the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées engineering school, and reflects the specializations of each institution: urban planning and development for the former, and transport, mobility and networks for the latter. It seeks to provide students with the essential multidisciplinary knowledge required in the fields of transport, urban development and mobility (of people and goods), on different territorial scales, taking into consideration French, European and international contexts. Its ambition is to train professionals and researchers who are able to adapt to new forms of issues relating to the sustainable development of territories and associated questions of mobility, and the way these are handled so as to reconcile their various political, economic, social, organizational and technical dimensions. This track is open to students in their fifth year of study (i.e. students who have completed the first year of a master’s degree, or engineering students who have completed the equivalent of two years of classes préparatoires and two years of a French engineering school) whose previous studies have adequately prepared them for the fields of urban planning, development and transport. It is a track where the engineering sciences and the human sciences are closely linked.

Track 8 – International Urban Planning and Urban Studies

This track provides training in international urban planning: it seeks to prepare students who wish to work abroad or in international organizations and structures. More specifically, it provides an opportunity to acquire expertise in urban issues either in Europe or in countries of the Global South/emerging countries. Students on this track come from all over the world, which enriches the exchanges that take place over the course of the year. This track – much of which is taught in English – functions on the basis of close relationships with foreign universities and international bodies and agencies. Its objectives are to make students aware of the changes and challenges resulting from metropolization and globalization, and to provide them with the skills necessary to analyse and compare globalized cities. Students will acquire essential professional skills and knowledge in the field of urban planning, with a particular focus on international structures, policies and projects. This track actively encourages students to spend time abroad – in the form of either an internship or a semester at a foreign university – and offers two teaching options: “Urban regeneration and city planning in Europe” (taught entirely in English) and “Villes du Sud” (“Cities of the Global South”).

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