Towns, Metropolises and Social Dynamics in Europe


In the greater Paris area, the offer of masters in urban development is rich. The « Cities » programme of the master at the European Studies Institute (IEE) has a particular ambition : to train professionals to respond to « urban renewal » project holders and decision makers. In France, the concept concerns the actions of public authorities that, from a sustainable development perspective, seek to promote and manage the evolution of cities and prevent their sprawl.

Within this large field, the « Cities » training programme will focus on disadvantaged areas whose residents are partly marginalised or in the process of marginalisation and on urban policies pursuing their renovation and the improvement of living conditions in them.

This ambition entails a knowledge and understanding of :
- Cities and urban inhabitants and groups from a sociological and anthropological perspective.
- Project management and implementation assistance tasks.
- Surveys, analysis, and mediation tasks in urban projects.
- A comparative approach to these issues and project management and implementation at the scale of Europe : political and institutional settings, objectives, action frameworks, technical tools, monitoring and evaluation methods, results, difficulties, and failures.
- The policies and action frameworks of the European Union.

One the one hand, courses are thematic to familiarise students with Europe, cities and urban cultures, and on the other, methodological to initiate them to the forms and tools of public action.

Some courses will be bilingual or taught in a foreign language in order to stimulate a European approach. In 2016/2017, these courses will be taught in French and Spanish in preparation of the study trip to a Spanish city.

The programme ERASMUS+ in which some students will be able to participate, also stresses the academic programme’s European dimension. With common lectures centred on urban dynamics, the ERASMUS+ programme brings together graduate students and professors from three European universities : Paris 8 (France), Christian Albrechts in Kiel (Allemagne) and the USC in Santiago de Compostela (Spain).

In 2016/2017, the workshop of the « Cities » programme will develop a specific approach within the action framework of the French National Agency of Urban Renewal (ANRU), which was established in 2004 to finance and implement the National Programme of Urban Renewal (PNRU). The PNRU’s objective is to redevelop France’s poorer urban areas (5 million inhabitants are concerned) and to promote a social mix and the diversification of activities. This programme is based, both methodologically and thematically, on a co-construction principle of program objectives with residents and a close link between spatial interventions and social concerns.

With this perspective, the « Cities » programme will also offer thematic courses that will allow a better understanding of the production conditions of these territories and of difficulties faced in projects. Given the stakeholder diversity of these urban initiatives, the « Cities » programme will also draw on professionals with an expertise in institutional and social mediation acquired from diverse experiences in providing support and training, building awareness, and implementing concertation schemes with residents during the full project cycle.

As such, the most professionalising component of the « Cities » programme is its training for mediation which is a new dimension of urban policies and a tool to foster « participatory » democracy. It has several objectives :
-­ Familiarise students with this type of policy and by it, with broader logics of public action in cities with an emphasis on innovative forms.
-­ Introduce students to « urban mediation » practice in « shared » project implementation
frameworks, both with institutional and non-institutional actors.
-­ Place students in a professional role by developing practical cases within the courses and making students work in a project mode.

In the first year (M1), the « Cities » programme aims at training students in producing urban surveys. This process will result in an individual dissertation analysing a policy or urban initiative in a disadvantaged area of an European city.

In the second year (M2), a « project » approach is stressed. Students will work in a workshop format in one of the ANRU’s initiatives being implemented.



October / December First session of courses
January / April Second session of courses
March or April Study trip to an European city
May / July Research and urban analysis of one European city (dissertation)
or May / September Research and urban analysis of one European city (dissertation) + internship (optional)


Octobrer / December First session of courses
January / April Second session of courses
April / September compulsory internship of 3 to 6 monthes


Professionalising activities

Policy of the city M1 S1
Qualitative research methods (fieldwork) M1 S1
Cartography M1 S1/S2
Urban planning policies : issues, actors and tools M1 S1
Large urban projects in Europe : issues and actors M1 S2
Citizen participation and urban issues M2 S1
Commissioning urban projects and surveys by public authorities M2 S1

­‐ Urban study M1 : an urban renewal initiative in an European country

January / April Preparation seminar : definition of surveu themes
April / July Personalised supervision
July or September Dissertation submission (depending on internship activity or not)

- Workshop M2 : managing an urban renewal operation

Case study : ANRU operation S1 / S2 ½ day for 24 weeks

-Internship in a professional organisation : public, private or NGO

M1 optional : 3 monthes max. In this case, the dissertation can be submitted in September
M2 compulsory : 3 to 6 monthes

- Study trip to an European city M1 - Country in 2017 : Spain

Eight days and 2 bilingual preparation courses. Programme linked to the Erasmus+ academic partnership

- Lectures by professionals and thematic study days/workshops - M2

Thematic courses   330h
Politico-administrative systems in Europe M1 S1
Urban cultures /public space M1 S2
Global cities /world cities M1 S1
Networked cities : urban actors of cooperation M1 S2
Decision-making processes in Europe M2 S2
The city at the margins of cities M2 S2
Local development and sustainable development M2 S2
Housing policies in Europe M2 S2
Bilingual courses French / Spanish    
Urban heritage production in Europe M1 S1
City and governance in Spain M1 S1
Barcelona : culture and territory M1 S2
Refresher training courses in European languages M1/M2 90h S1 & S2
To Choose from the IEE’s course offer : Spanish course strongly recommended in M1    

Teaching staff

IEE’s academic programme’s faculty and lecturers

Alain Sinou, professor at Paris 8, architecht/sociologist, "Cities" programme director    
Urban planning policies : issues, actors and tools M1 S1
Large urban projects in Europe : issues and actors M1 S2
Dissertation advising, study trip and programme Erasmus+ M1 S2
Policies of memory : urban heritage in Europe    
Bilingual course in Spanish M1 S1
Alain Bertho, professor at Paris 8, anthropologist    
Urban cultures/public space M1 S2
Global cities/world cities M1 S1
Gaël Curet, associate professor, head of the urban consulting firm "perspectives urbaines et sociales", urban planner    
Policy of the city M1 S2
Urban renewal project management M2 S1/S2
 Marianne Hérard, lecturer, research engineer at the Maison des sciences de l’Homme, Paris 8 / Paris 13, CNRS, anthropologist    
 The city at the margins of cities  M1 S2
 Networked cities : urban actors of cooperation  M1  S2
 Diagnostic study – Professionalising role-playing  M1  S1
 Philippe Maingault, lecturer, local governments’manager, urban planner    
 Local development and sustainable development M2 S2  
 Carlos Gotlieb, lecturer, professor the school of architecture of Bordeaux, architect    
 City and governance in Spain – bilingual course  M1 S1
 Sylvain Adam, lecturer, coordinator of the NGO « Appuii », architect    
 Citizen participation and urban projects  M2 S1
 Arnaud Combaluzier, lecturer, head of the urban consulting firm « CO-S », projectprogrammer    
 Commissioning urban projects and surveys by public authorities  M2 S1
 Professional speakers Lecture series/study day    
Urban renewal in France and Europe M2 S1-2

Programme « ERASMUS + » Seminar in Santiago de Compostela, Spain with professors and graduate students from USC and Christian Albrechts M1/M2 S2

Other instructors from Paris 8
- Michel Mangenot, professor of Political Science
- Claire Lévy Vroelant, professor of Sociology – Sociology Department