About Mundus Urbano

Mundus Urbano (MU) is an interdisciplinary Master of Science programme specialising in International Cooperation in Urban Development, jointly offered by four European universities, with the support of the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union (Erasmus Mundus Master Course, EMMC). It addresses the dynamic challenges faced throughout the world due to rapid urbanisation processes.

For the first time in human history, more than half of the world's population lives in cities, a number which is expected to reach 6.4 billion people by 2050. This means that the urban population will double in the coming decades, whereas the urban built-up area will triple. 

In developing countries, particularly, this scenario is associated with a poor management of the urban expansion and insufficient delivery of infrastructure and public services, which lead to severe poverty, diseases, high child mortality, low literacy rates, high social inequality and violence. Developing countries are also more likely to suffer from climate change, natural disasters, environmental problems, destruction of cultural heritage, political crisis and war, not mention a lack of economic competitiveness to finance urban expansion and counter associated problems. Not only do they face the largest growth challenges, but also the largest capacity and resource gap. 

MU provides adequate professional and academic solutions that are required to address the steadily increasing needs in the field of urban development and international cooperation. The two-year course is innovative in its transdisciplinary set-up and arranges knowledge around emerging global phenomena, rather than only around purely academic frameworks.

Transdisciplinary approach. Conventional town planning approaches have proven inadequate in dealing with the constantly evolving urban challenges. MU provides innovative transdisciplinary solutions, including physical, managerial, economic, social and legal elements simultaneously. It provides students with the highest quality academic resources and teaching staff, and affords them insight into current development planning theories and practices, instigating them to propose architecturally, socially, economically and ecologically sustainable urban development solutions. As a large proportion of investments involve foreign aid, MU also focuses on international cooperation practice, which faces an unsatisfied need for well-prepared urban development experts.

Diversity as an asset. The multi-faceted composition of both the Mundus Urbano student groups and teaching staff fosters a diverse learning environment and allows for the development of a global professional network. Lecturers and students have backgrounds that range from Engineering, Architecture and Design to Social and Political Sciences, coming from different parts of the world.

International double degree. Mundus Urbano produces advanced graduates who can innovatively address the complexities of the phenomena facing the world's urban populations, mostly in developing countries. The consortium structure of the program allows students to pursue a double degree in International Cooperation and Urban Development with specialisations in Development Economics (Rome), Sustainable Emergency Architecture (Barcelona) or Urban Planning (Grenoble).

Vast working field. Professionals are increasingly required to undertake projects internationally in the urban development field. MU builds the capacity to meet the challenges that this type of work presents and prepares both professionals and academics for critically analysing and assessing the growing problems in urban areas internationally. Internship opportunities arise during the course and Mundus Urbano alumni are skilled to work in institutions as international cooperation agencies, municipal planning offices, research institutes and consultancy firms, involved in international finance, foreign aid, human settlements, slum improvement and infrastructure development, among other areas. MU also provides improved access to PhD programs. MU graduates thus far show the following career path distribution: