Organization of the course

The educational activity of the International Master Eco-Polis is carried out in a total of 1,750 hours, divided into 580 hours of classroom teaching (lectures, seminars, workshops), 70 hours of distance learning, 800 hours of individual study and 300 hours of final internship, for a total of 70 credits.

The course, during the period in Ferrara, is organized in several thematic training modules. Each module is organized in lectures, seminars and conferences, exercises, visits, presentation of case studies. Within each module the case studies and the best practices will be presented directly by social actors and by the protagonists.

The didactic period in Ferrara ends with an workshop of at least two weeks. The workshop will be done in partnership with the Centro Studi Dante Bighi and will focus on the theme of Urban Creativity, being inside of the Program “Città della Cultura/Cultura della Città” 2013, which is being constructed together with private institutions and private subjects.

Teaching is organized as follows:

  • An intensive phase of lectures, seminars and round tables, 
  • A phase of teamwork on case studies (workshop). This mode allows the students to practice the strategic approach to problems, to deal with the difficulties of multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral coordination, to construct the leadership, to face the community and the specific questions of citizens, institutions and businesses, 
  • A period of individual training (300 hours, equivalent to three months) in a host institution (universities, research centers, public and private institutions, public administrations, companies, professional firms, NGOs, cooperatives) on the basis of the recommendations and advices of the Director and of the staff of the Master course. Every year three workshops are organized. The first workshop takes place in Italy, at the end of the phase of theoretical training, the next two workshops take place in Latin America, for the duration of one month each. 

The quality of the commitment of the students during the workshops and their commitment during the training period constitute the final assessment test of merit for the assignment of the Master's degree.

The teaching modules

1. Smart City
        Concepts and principles of Smart City
        The seven main axes of the Smart City paradigm: smart energy, smart economy,
        smart mobility, smart environment, smart people, smart living, smart governance.

        1.1 Smart cities

  • Smart Cities, city of technology
  • Innovation in services to citizens
  • Smart City and public tools (plans, projects and agendas)
  • Soft mobility and urban quality
  • Collective intelligence and Mobile Mapping System
  • Social network strategy for the management of social networks
  • Sustainable waste management
  • Energy, energies, networks
  • Small and Smart firms
  • Public green spaces 

        1.2 Ecologic and Responsible Design

  • Sustainable buildings and intelligent buildings
  • Bio-Architecture
  • Urban biodiversity and quality of the urban environment
  • Reconstruction of natural environments

        1.3 Green Economy

  • Principles of Environmental Economics
  • The Green Economy and the Knowledge Economy
  • Ecosystem services
  • Green businesses: agriculture, construction, chemicals, clothing, digital, energy, information technology

2. Urban Form creativity and social innovation 
        (in collaboration with the Centro Studi Dante Bighi and other private partners)

  • Concepts and Principles of the Creative City
  • Concepts and Principles of Economy of Culture
  • Concepts and Principles of Social Innovation 

        2.1  Culture, Heritage and creative production

  • Cultural policies and Local Authorities
  • Laboratories of urban creativity
  • Heritage, cultural tourism and creative production
  • Design and management of events
  • Management of cultural heritage
  • Experiences of social innovation in creative production

        2.2 Urban Regeneration

  • Principles and concepts of planning
  • The historical centers: from recovery to development
  • From urban renewal to urban regeneration
  • Principles of anthropology and urban sociology
  • Inclusion and citizen participation
  • The urban reuse 
  • Creativity, urban regeneration, employment

        2.3 Strategic Spatial Planning

  • Concepts and Principles of strategic planning
  • How to build a strategic plan

        2.4 Tools

  • Delphi analysis
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Indicators and Statistics
  • Tools for Geomatics (GIS)
  • Focus Groups
  • Management of citizen participation

3. Local collaborative development

  • Principles of Economics of the Local Development
  • Models of local development, sustainability and social inclusion
  • Principles of sharing economy and ‘weconomy’
  • Principles of law: public and semi-public, collective and individual goods 

        3.1 Local economic development

  • Building networks and supply chains
  • Economics of districts and clusters
  • Brands and local products

        3.2 Collaborative Cities and regions

  • Experiences and practices of collaborative cities 
  • Principles of solidarity economy and practices of social enterprises (economy of communities, social cooperatives and ethical finance)
  • The different dimensions of development: well-being and happiness (a measure of public happiness, welfare policies and well-being)

        3.3 Governance and management of common goods

  • Principles of the commons: dilemmas and solutions
  • Examples of the commons: the environmental commons, the intellectual and cultural commons
  • Common goods governance and management
  • Experiences of communitarianism and civic
  • The local commons and the role of local institutions
  • The planetary common goods and the role of international organizations

Final Internship

The period of internship ,lasting three months, can be carried out in several public institutions both Italian and foreign, in companies and private consulting companies or in NGOs. The destination for the final internship is not imposed to the students. The direction of the course togheter with each student will know how to identify the final destination and the specific sector or field, in relation to the interests of the student. In previous editions of the courses Eco-Polis and Mapaus, internships were carried out at the following companies and organizations:

ACER di Ferrara
Andria srl (Correggio)
Associazione Ademadan (Antonina, Paranà, Brasil)
CEDEL, Centro de Desarrollo Local, Educación e Interculturalidad , Universidad Católica (Villarrica, Cile)
Centro Marina Waisman (Cordoba, Argentina)
Comune di Ferrara
Consorzio Ferrara Ricerche
Consorzio del Parco del Secchia (Rubiera)
CoopeAgro (Maragogì, Alagoas, Brasile)
ENEA (Brindisi)
Freedman Tung & Sasaki Urban Design and City Planning
Hera Ferrara
IILA, Istituto Italo-Latino Americano
IPPUC, Instituto de Pesquisa e Planejamento (Curitiba, Brasile)
Istituto Delta Srl, Ferrara
Lands Network Srl
Milano Metropoli (Milano)
Nexus (Bologna)
Organizzazione Internazionale del Lavoro (Torino)
Pontificia Universidad Càtolica de Chile (Villarrica, Cile)
Provincia di Bologna
Punto3 Srl, Ferrara
Regione Emilia-Romagna
Studio Albatrozs (Curitiba, Brasile)
Studio Gap (Genova)
Tecno Studio (Palermo)
Torino Internazionale (Torino)
Università della Calabria
Università di Ferrara
Università di Trento
Uteco Srl (Ferrara)

Since the 2013 Edition, students of the course could carry out their internship also at:

Kuva (Ferrara)
Tryeco2.0 (Ferrara)
G-mpas (Ferrara)
Spazio Grisù (Ferrara)
Centro Studi Dante Bighi (Copparo – Ferrara)
HS Hydrosynergy Srl (Bologna)
Impossible Living (Milano)
Well b Lab
Ademadam (Brasil)