28.03.2018 change 28.03.2018

EcoCity - the University of Lodz launches an innovative course of study

Photo: Fotolia Photo: Fotolia

Future specialists in the field of sustainable urban development, urban planning and urban ecology will receive education at a new, interdisciplinary BA course at the University of Lodz - EcoCity. The course will start from the new academic year.

The course has already been approved by the university. It will be run jointly by the Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection and the Faculty of Economics and Sociology.

Prof. Maciej Bartos, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection emphasises that the term "ecocity", which serves as the name of the course, is already well established in science and reflects the essence of the interdisciplinary course that covers the economics and ecology of urban areas. In his opinion, the new course is an innovative and unique didactic offer in Poland.

"The course EcoCity was created in response to the demand for specialists in the field of sustainable urban development in the public sector. It also responds to quickly changing needs in the area of interdisciplinary education combining issues of the functioning of urban communities, urban planning and urban ecology" - explains Prof. Bartos. According to the scientist, interdisciplinary nature and innovative content of EcoCity enriched with practical elements respond to the contemporary needs of cities.

"The teaching process will focus on real environmental, economic and social problems relevant to the functioning of urban communities in Poland and abroad. The biggest problems of modern cities include deteriorating air quality, environmental degradation, shrinking green areas, civilization diseases , transport problems and insufficient participation of city residents" - says Prof. Bartos.

He reminds that there is currently a discussion in Poland and in the European Union about the need to recognize urban policy as one of the key public policies. This allows to predict that the demand for specialists in this field will increase in the near future. They will find employment in the public sector (especially local governments), in private companies specialising in consultancy, environmental protection, real estate services, and in non-governmental organizations.

"Combined forces of the faculties of Biology and Environmental Protection and Economics and Sociology will enable the training of specialists with broad knowledge, skills and social competences allowing them to actively participate in and shape the city`s development processes in the spirit of sustainable development" - believes Prof. Maciej Bartos.

"EcoCity" will be a six semester course. During the first two semesters, students will gain basic knowledge in four modules: urban economy and sociology, urban ecology, local government and municipal institutions, and a man in the city.

During the next two semesters, modules will be introduced to help understand and capture the connections between the economic, social, spatial, environmental and institutional aspects of city functioning, i.e. urban development planning, urban adaptation to climate change, integrated city development, infrastructure and monitoring systems.

During the last two semesters, students will have the choice of two specialist workshops concerning integrated city development - from the environmental or socio-economic perspective.

The study program includes subjects devoted to environmental economics, environmental conflicts, environmental valuation, shaping the city landscape, territorial marketing, city influence on human health, social communication and negotiations, GIS, city management systems, nature revitalization. Four-week vocational traineeships are also planned.

PAP - Science in Poland, Kamil Szubański

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