ICUP receives AESOP Certificate of Quality

April 10, 2018

We are so proud to announce that our partner programme in Grenoble, Master of International Cooperation in Urban Planning (ICUP), recently received Quality Recognition by Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) until 2022.

According to AESOP, "this programme fulfils the European quality standards of planning programmes according to the AESOP Charter, complemented by an effective internationalization of teaching and learning processes." AESOP's mission is to promote excellence in planning education and research, and by quality recognition, to make the best of the plurality and diversity of approaches.

Mundus Urbano students have the possibility to choose to study this programme during their second year at the Institut d'Urbanisme et de Géographie Alpine and are awarded a double degree in Urban Planning.

For more information on the programme please visit:

Annual Consortium Meeting in Darmstadt

February 2, 2018

As always, it was a great pleasure to host the annual consortium meeting and to welcome the administrative team of the programme in Darmstadt. The Consortium was represented by: Annette Rudolph-Cleff and Nina Gribat (Technische Universität Darmstadt), Federica Gatta (Université Grenoble Alpes), Carmen Mendoza Arroyo and Raquel Colacios (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya), and Carmen Tata and Paolo Paesani (Università degli Studi di Roma ‘Tor Vergata’). The Consortium made a selection of the new students for the 2018/20 intake and planned the forthcoming academic year. Special thanks to Nebojša Camprag (Consortium Management), Anaïs-Marie De Keijser (Programme Management) and Edith Subtil (Programme secretariat). We meet again soon!



Mundus Urbano Scholarships

October 24, 2017

Mundus Urbano Consortium gladly announces several scholarships available for the 2018-2020 intake, which will cover the tuition fees for the most outstanding candidates!

Applications are open until the 1st of December.

Apply now:


Our 10th year anniversary

Photo: Carlos Andres Lopez Franco

October 17, 2017

Mundus Urbano consortium celebrated ten years of its successful operation on the 7th of October 2017 at Christoph-Georg-Lichtenberg-Haus in Darmstadt. More than 100 alumni, lecturers and friends took part in the whole-day programme, during which they shared not only the most valuable experiences and thoughts, but also used the opportunity for networking and exchange. To see some photos from the event, please follow this link:

During the opening session, the founder of the consortium Kosta Mathéy reflected on the early establishment challenges from the year 2007, as well as on some of the major achievements during the early programme development phase. Coordinators of the partner universities, Carmen Mendoza from Universitat Internacional de Catalunya in Barcelona, Carmen Tata from Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata in Rome, Jean-Michel Roux from Université Grenoble Alpes in Grenoble, and Annette Rudolph-Cleff from Technische Universität Darmstadt highlighted some major results of the cooperation and shared perspectives on potential strategies for the future.

The following session opened the floor for the alumni. The focus was on research and academia in a world of cities, on which the guest speakers shared their perspectives: Maria Ustinova (World Bank, Russia), Mbongeni Ngulube (KU Leuven, Belgium), Luciana Dornelles Hosannah (GSSI, Italy), Andreas Brück (TU Berlin, Germany), and Natasha Aruri (UR°BANA, Germany). The session after that emphasized experiences and perspectives of the alumni involved in urban development practice. This session hosted presentations from Alexandria Novokowsky (The United Nations World Food Programme, Italy), Brenda Perez-Castro (Consultant at Habitat for Humanity International, Asia Pacific), Lukas Hoye (GOPA, Germany), and Ulyana Vynyarchuck (former Sector Manager EU Delegation, Ukraine). The sessions were chaired by Nebojša Camprag, Anaïs De Keijser, and Kosta Mathéy, and discussed by Nina Gribat and Pierre Böhm.

Finally, World Café session provided a platform for several parallel sessions to explore issues about making an impact in the field, challenges of intercultural communication, urbanization in higher education, ways of strengthening the alumni network, and urban planning and emergency architecture in the field of international cooperation. After the hard work, the event was concluded with a reception and dinner, and with melodies of Mundus Urbano alumni DANA Band, Frederico Duff de Azevedo (guitar and vocals), Reza Mahdi Daniswara (guitar and vocals), and Pinar Bilgic (vocals).

Mundus Urbano consortium wishes to extend its gratitude to everyone who made it to actively participate in the event, providing thus valuable contributions for the years to come!

Mundus Urbano 10 Year Anniversary!

August 24, 2017

Dear Mundus Urbano alumni and friends,

For the past 10 years the Mundus Urbano Program has been providing urban professionals and researchers with innovative solutions required to address the increasing needs in the field of international cooperation in urban development.

To celebrate this occasion we are happy to invite you to join us for a day of discussions, exchange of experiences and networking in Darmstadt on October 7th, 2017.


09:00-10:00     Registration

10:00-10:30     Opening session: Remembering the past, envisioning the future

10:30-12:00     Research and academia in a world of cities

12:00-14:00     Lunch break

14:00-15:00     Keynote lecture: Thinking across the theory-practice divide: modes of dialogue and/or disengagement

15:00-16:30     Managing the urban: practitioners' perspectives

16:30-17:30     World Café Session: hosting conversations that matter

17:30-18:00     Wrap-up and closing remarks

18:00               Reception and dinner

The programme in PDF version can be downloaded here.

We look forward to your presence and participation, please send us a confirmation to before September 15th.

Kind regards,
Mundus Urbano Team

Urban Resilience Institute (URI) Inception Meeting

March 2017

Hosted by Dan Lewis, Chief of UN-Habitat’s Urban Risk Reduction Unit and head of the City Resilience Profiling Programme, the Mundus Urbano consortium represented by Prof. Dr. Annette Rudolph-Cleff, Technische University Darmstadt, and Prof. Dr. Carmen Mendoza, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, took part in the Urban Resilience Institute (URI) inception meeting from March 13-15, 2017. URI will embody a network of institutions including: Cardiff University, Chalmers University of Technology, Cornell University, National University of Singapore, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and RESURBE/RECNET.

The URI network will address urban resilience through research and projects touching the following topics: Circular Economy and Urban Metabolism; Healthy Cities; Participative Approaches, Co-Design and Co-Evolution; Process Design and Strategic Urban/Regional Planning; Risk Management and Adaptation; and Tools and Methodologies. We look forward to next meeting and fruitful collaboration with the URI partners!

Mundus Urbano Consortium Meeting

January 30, 2017

The Mundus Urbano team is pleased to announce the closing of the annual Mundus Urbano Consortium meeting in Darmstadt. The Consortium was represented by: Annette Rudolph-Cleff and Nina Gribat (Technische Universität Darmstadt), Jean-Michel Roux (Université Grenoble Alpes), Carmen Mendoza Arroyo and Allison Koornneef (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya), and Carmen Tata and Paolo Paesani (Università degli Studi di Roma ‘Tor Vergata’). The Consortium made a selection of the new students for the 2017/19 intake and planned the forthcoming academic year. Special thanks to Nebojša Camprag (Consortium Management), Anaïs-Marie De Keijser (Programme Management) and Edith Subtil (Programme secretariat). We meet again soon!

MU Interviews Prof. Dr. Nina Gribat, the new TU Darmstadt chair of Design & Urbanism

Prof. Dr. Nina Gribat joins the Mundus Urbano team at the TU Darmstadt, where she holds the chair of Design and Urbanism. Find out more about her work on city shrinkage and her thoughts on the Mundus Urbano programme through the full interview here.

Mundus Urbano at the Habitat III Conference in Quito

As over 50,000 people from all over the world gathered at the Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador from October 17 to 20, 2016, professors, ex-alumni and friends of the Mundus Urbano community joined workshops and events to support the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda. With a focus on housing and sustainable urban development, Habitat III gathered stakeholders (Member States, multilateral organizations, local governments, private sector, academia and civil society) from all over the globe to join the dialogue on how to realize a sustainable growth in cities facing challenges of rapid urbanization and climate change.
The Technical University of Darmstadt (TUD) was pleased to take part in Habitat III and the announcement of the Urban Resilience Institute (URI) which is backed by the United Nations under the mandate of UN Habitat’s City Resilience Profiling Program. The partner organizations will jointly work toward urban resilience in line with the post-2015 sustainable development frameworks including the New Urban Agenda. URI will address the specific challenges for urban resilience transition creating a platform for collaboration on growing research interests, facilitation of increased interaction between research and practice, and the support of a growing community of practice.
The Chair of Design and Urban Development of TUD is also looking forward to collaborating with UN Habitat’s Global Water Operators’ Partnership Alliance (GWOPA) whose mission is to contribute to meeting national and global water and sanitation commitments, including those relating to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Human Right to Water. TUD will assist through research and data management to improve the efficiency of Water Operator Partnerships, where water and sanitation utilities co-develop solutions and the capacity to improve, establish new regimes, monitor progress and strategically plan next steps.

Mundus Urbano representatives in Brussels

Photo: J. Francois ©EACEA 2016

July 27, 2016

Representatives of our prorgamme took part in the networking conference "Mastering Joint Excellence under Erasmus Mundus". The conference organised by the Executive Agency in cooperation with the European Commission's DG for Education and Culture was held in Brussels, 29-30th June 2016. The event gathered representatives of all Erasmus Mundus Master programmes selected since 2009, both under Erasmus Mundus Phase II and under Erasmus+, as well as practitioners and representatives from the European Commission, the Executive Agency, the Erasmus+ National Agencies and EMA, the Erasmus Mundus students and alumni association.

The event was intended to kick off a networking process as well as to provide support for the implementation of projects. Great importance was given to the exchange of experience among the Master programmes themselves, so that lessons learned and good practices identified under the previous Erasmus Mundus programme can be used as a feeding ground for the new generation of Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees. The conference offered a complementary mix of plenary sessions and practical workshops on themes such as added value of joint programmes, employability, promotion, sustainability, etc. Moreover, plenty of networking opportunities were provided to the participants - all in order to make Erasmus Mundus Master programmes even better experience.

Success at the "Designing Resilience in Asia 2016"!

July 6, 2016

Students of the Faculty of Architecture, supported by the Mundus Urbano students, are the winners of international competition "Designing Resilience in Asia", organised by the National University of Singapore (NUS). The "Urban Design Excellence Award" was presented last week in Singapore.

Resilience refers to the ability of an urban systems to respond to natural disasters and to cope with their consequences. In the focus of this year's competition task was the Valenzuela City in the metropolitan Manila, Philippines, which is plagued by typhoons several times a year due to climate change. In addition to storm and heavy rain, Valenzuela faces the challenge of almost permanent flooding that affects life in the city. The students were expected to develop prompt and innovative urban, architectural and building technological measures enabling the residents to deal with the new climatic challenges.

Of the ten participating universities from Asia, Australia, US and Europe a total of 19 projects were submitted and presented to the jury in Singapore. The Faculty of Architecture was represented by two design proposals. The "Urban Design Excellence" and the prize of 4,000 SGD was awarded to the project "S.A.F.E. Waterscape" by the students
Lara Giacometti, Felix Graf, Fabian Gräfe, Tyagita Hidayat, Boshra Khoshnevis, Min Kim, Rui Nong, Leonie Lube, Jonathan Mwanza, Ni Made Wenes Widiyani and Khatun E. Zannat.

Apart from the actual planning area in Valenzuela, the winning design considered the entire river and waterflow system of Manila, which is mainly responsible for the floods. The rivers of Metro Manila get loaded by enormous amounts of water during the rainy seasons, which can not be efficiently drained due to heavy contamination, erosion and illegal construction. The concept of “S.A.F.E. Waterscape” is based on establishment of a linear park along the riverfront. Besides the use as an open green space, introduction of this park also addressed various social and cultural aspects, as well as the necessity to renature the rivers in order to support the natural ecosystem. In addition, the park offers great compensation areas and polder zones, and thus not only increases the capacity of the existing 'La Mesa' dam, but also creates a second reservoir to respond to the increased heavy rain events. A relief channel in the city itself leads the water from the linear parks in a controlled manner towards the sea, thus protecting the urban environment.

The project was coordinated by Prof. Dr. Annette Rudolph Cleff, Dipl.-Ing. Simon Gehrmann, Dr. Nebojša Camprag and MSc Lucia Wright-Contreras. Guest critics Peter Mewis (FB13) and Klaus Meier (FB15) offered necessary external support.

Review on the lecture series "Thinking Outside the Box - Innovative Approaches to Current Urban Challenges"

June 23, 2016

On Wednesday, 22nd June 2016, lecture series in German Architecture Museum DAM were closed by the lecture given by Prof. Carmen Mendoza from UIC Barcelona. Since the official opening of this manifestation on innovative approaches to current urban challenges, the intention was to promote thinking outside the box in different ways and through different media. During the past four weeks, diverse socio-economic issues, uncertainties of climate change and above all unpredictable impacts of urbanization were all in the focus of this exhibition and lecture series.

During the first session, emeritus professor Alan Mabin from Wits University of South Africa dealt with the rising issues of affordable housing in 21st century city. In the present climate of migrations, popular disenchantment with political elites and economic difficulties, affordable and decent housing remains a growing challenge. This lecture offered a broader perspective on the concept of affordable, reminding us that affordable housing also requires maintenance and renewal. Neglect of these vital issues can lead to immense problems in public housing projects and other schemes, as it already happened over the past generations.

The second guest, Mr Dan Lewis from Urban Risk Reduction Unit of the UN-Habitat, presented the necessity to find common ground, common purpose, and common action. His lecture highlighted the efforts to integrate disaster risk management into the already complex urban development agenda, challenged by missing functional links between the still very separate sectors of academia, commerce, and aid. In addition to that, also our approach to the concepts of risk and disaster need to evolve and adopt a broader perspective.

Last Wednesday, Prof. Marie Aquilino from the Ecole Spéciale de l’Architecture, Paris, put an emphasis on diverse interpretations, understandings and challenges of urban mobility. We learned from the specific case of Canaan, the youngest suburb of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, which became home to more than 40,000 families after the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake. Prof. Aquilino was of the opinion that such arrival cities hold the promise of change and creativity, as much as they do the dangers of resentment and exclusion. Through this particular case, everything about the way we live in cities today was questioned.

Finally, the closing lecture by Prof. Carmen Mendoza Arroyo from the School of Architecture of the Universitat International de Catalunya in Barcelona focused on urban upgrading through socio-spatial interventions on the example of squatter settlements in Latin America. The potential of the vital place-making through social actions is unfortunately rarely acknowledged by professionals, although  spontaneous civic sites - usually open spaces or streets - can be essential to a successful and inclusive outcome. Prof. Mendoza demonstrated how these spontaneous civic sites can be essential to a successful and inclusive outcome, when identified and incorporated to an urban regeneration process.

Mundus Urbano consortium is grateful to all the students involved in the preparation of the exhibition, interviewees and visiting lecturers, Vereinigung von Freunden der TU Darmstadt for their support, Ms Britta Eiermann for setting the exhibition, and Prof. Dr. Annette Rudolph-Cleff for her conceptual idea and management of the project.

Visit to planning and development institutions in Frankfurt

June 21, 2016

Frankfurt am Main is globally known financial center, hosting some of the most influential large commercial institutions, such as Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt Stock Exchange, European Central Bank, and more than 220 domestic and foreign banks. The city attracts many investors due to not  only  its  reputation  as  an  important  financial  and  economy  centre,  but  also  to  other advantages,  such as  proximity  to  important  players,  its  function  as  a  ‘hub’,  quality  of  life and location-specific  qualities. Such specifities also have some side implications, especially considering the extremely positive migration trends and rapid polulation growth occuring during the last decade. What are the planning challenges that this city and its metropolitan region are facing under the latest circumstances? This was one of the key questions related to one of the last events of the first academic year of the 2015-2017 students batch.

On Tuesday 21st June, the students visited three important planning institutions in Frankfurt, in a day trip organized by Prof. Dr. Peter Gotsch. The first meeting took place at AS&P - Albert Speer & Partner GmbH, an international architecture and urban planning office headquarted in Frankfurt. The second stop was the Regionalverband FrankfurtRheinMain, the regional planning authority of the FrankfurtRheinMain metropolitan region. The last visit was at KfW, a German government-owned development bank, where students were presented some of their work related to financial cooperation in many regions of the world.

Farewell Party 2015-2017

June 20, 2016

On monday, 20th June, the Mundus Urbano farewell party took place to celebrate the end of the academic year 2015-2016. The students brought specialites from their home-countries, and once more shared cultures and experiences. 

After the first intense year of learning and new discoveries, starting from the next semester the group will split between our tree partners Universities: UIC in Barcelona, Spain; UGA in Grenoble, France; and Tor Vergata in Rome, Italy.

We wish them lots of success in their further studies and experiences!

"Thinking Outside the Box" in DAM from 21.05 until 26.06.2016!

May 23, 2016

The complexity of urban systems and the uncertainty of the impact of urbanization and climate change ask for new ways of thinking about planning objectives and solidarity in action. “Thinking Outside the Box” is more than an exhibition; it is also a reflection of urban reality we are facing today. The extraordinary challenges our global cities currently face was the starting point for developing new ways of thinking about planning objectives and solidarity in action. These challenges are mostly connected to the fact that more than half of the world’s population is for the first time in human history already living in cities. In addition, the global urban population is predicted to double in the coming decades, while urban built-up areas are expected to triple. Unfortunately, these scenarios are mostly affecting developing countries, which not only face the largest growth challenges, but are often confronted with shortcomings in capacity and resource gaps when dealing the the associated problems.

Exhibition and lecture series "Thinking Outside the Box" on innovative approaches to current urban challenges has officially been opened in DAM on Friday, 20th May. Shortly before the opening, curator of the exhibition Britta Eiermann provided an overview of the exhibits for the many journalists. "Mundus Urbano" consortium manager Nebojša Camprag introduced the series of lectures, which will address the rising issues of affordable housing, the changing roles of public spaces, the various interpretations and understandings of urban mobility, and finally, the complexities of disaster-risk management. The first lecture, which was announced by Prof. Peter Gotsch, was held by Emeritus Professor Alan Mabin from the Wits City Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. The lecture entitled "What prospects for affordable housing in twenty first century cities?" set its focus on the burning issues of affordable housing. The remaining lectures will be provided by three additinal experts in their fields, accoridng to the following schedule:

"Common ground, common purpose, common action:defining new modalities for protecting cities from critical events"
Dan Lewis, Chief, UN-HABITAT Nairobi, Disaster and Post-Conflict Section (DPCS)

"Canaan, Haiti: Thriving in the Arrival City"
Marie Aquilino, professor of architectural history at Ecole Spéciale de l’Architecture (ESA), Paris

"Urban upgrading through socio-spatial interventions"
María del Carmen Mendoza Arroyo, Head of the Urban Design and Planning Department, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

All the lectures start at 7 PM in German Architecture Museum (DAM Deutsches Architekturmuseum), Frankfurt a.M., Schaumainkai 43

Visit us at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum until June 26th!


Public Lecture by Prof. Alan Mabin: Johannesburg - Planning for DiverCity

May 17, 2016

More then 20 years after the end of apartheid regime, Johannesburg is among the most divided, but at the same time among the most vibrant and dynamic cities on earth. One of the most renowned urban scholars from South Africa, Prof. Alan Mabin will deliver an interactive lecture titled Johannesburg - Planning for DiverCity.

The lecture will take place at our faculty on May 18th at 9:30-11:00 in the Mundus Urbano Room (R08) in the ground floor of the architecture building. Hosted by Mundus Urbano and EuS, the lecture is open for everybody.


Think outside the box in DAM!

May 11, 2016

Exhibition and lecture series "Thinking Outside the Box" is to take place this year in DAM - German Architecture Museum, from 21. Mai to 26. Juni 2016.

The lecture series will be provided by four leading experts in their fields, accoridng to the following schedule:


"What prospects for affordable housing in twenty first century cities?"

Alan Mabin, Emeritus Professor, Wits City Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

"Common ground, common purpose, common action:defining new modalities for protecting cities from critical events"
Dan Lewis, Chief, UN-HABITAT Nairobi, Disaster and Post-Conflict Section (DPCS)

"Canaan, Haiti: Thriving in the Arrival City"
Marie Aquilino, professor of architectural history at Ecole Spéciale de l’Architecture (ESA), Paris

"Urban upgrading through socio-spatial interventions"

María del Carmen Mendoza Arroyo, Head of the Urban Design and Planning Department, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

All the lectures start at 7 PM in German Architecture Museum (DAM Deutsches Architekturmuseum)
Frankfurt a.M., Schaumainkai 43

Join us!


Mundus Urbano International Excursion to Athens

May 11, 2016

Democracy, Western philosophy and mathematical principles – those are only some of the outstanding achievements that designated Greece as the cradle of Western civilization. Today, more than two millennia later, Greece has been a focal point of international media due to the socio-economical crisis it has been facing in recent years.

The country’s capital and largest city, Athens, is the center of economic, industrial, political and cultural life in Greece. Although Athens is considered to be the symbol of freedom, art and democracy, the programme of the MU excursion that took place from May 2nd to May 6th 2016 intended to explore burning issues related to current urbanisation trends. The main aim was to get to know and rethink urban transformations on the specific case study, moving out of the daily routine of lectures and classrooms activities.

On the first day students visited the former Hotel “City Plaza”, which was recently transformed into an informal accommodation centre for refugees. In the morning of the second day a guided walking tour around Athens city center put an emphasis on its currently degraded state, predominance of immigrant communities, as well as on discussions about mostly failed regeneration projects in the area. On Tuesday afternoon students visited a self-organized migrant social centre in Exarchia, which over the last 15 years has been the place where locals and migrants come together through various educational and cultural activities. Wednesday morning a bus tour to the waterfront of Athens aiming to show another side of Athens, as a global city striving to enhance its position on the global competitive stage. The guided walk that followed targeted the unnexisting boundary between formal and informal, and between private and public spaces in Athens on the example of a refugee neighborhood from the 1930s. The following day we had a privilege to visit the National Technical University of Athens, where Prof. Penny Koutrolikou held a lecture emphasizing the interplay of discourses and policies concerning urban de­velopment, migration and stigmatization of neighborhoods in the city center. In the afternoon we visited the Metropolitan Planning Directorate of the Ministry of Environment and Energy which provided insights into many large-scale urban megaprojects. Finally, the last day was reserved for the visit to the Multifunctional Centre of Social Support and Integration of Refu­gees of the Hellenic Red Cross. The excursion was finalised with a pleasant afternoon consisting of different fun activities, from hiking and enjoying local food products to a visit to the Sounio historic site and Temple of Poseidon, to contemplate one of the most marketed sunsets in the region.

Key-note lecture at Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai by Prof. Dr. Peter Gotsch

Prof. Dr. Peter Gotsch, interim Professor at the research group for Design and Urbanism and at the International Master Program Mundus Urbano at TU-Darmstadt, presented a key-note lecture at an international conference at the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai. The conference was held on February 27th 2016 and titled "Exploring Planetary Boundaries and their Challenges and Opportunities", presenting the interim results of the works of the Indo German Centre for Sustainability (IGCS) which is based in the city. Prof. Dr. Gotsch discussed the trends and typologies of contemporary urban expansions in India in the context of climate change, fast demographic growth, economic development and multiple processes of spatial restructuring. Prof. Gotsch also presented several principles for resilient and sustainable neighbourhoods.
Chennai is among the large mega cities in the world. It faces the effects of a significant sea-level rise in combination with the conditions of rapid urbanisation. Only in the last quarter of 2015, devastating floods have hit the region and left more than 500 dead and 2 million people (temporary) evicted.
(More Information on the conference:
Photo: Chennai - Water Submerged bridges, Wikipedia Commons

Hacking the Urban Box - Hackathon with Marie Arquilino 2015

Why is networking important in the field of International Cooperation in Urban Development? What challenges do participants of the Mundus Urban Programme face on a weekly basis? How are the dynamics between professionals from all over the world translated through transdiciplinarity and collaborative work? How does the mixture of different backgrounds and skills that each person brings to the table make a difference?

Maybe there are no right answers. Maybe the answer lies in formulating wiser questions. Who determines the problem? Who determines the way to tackle the problem? What is the outcome? Why do we design? How do we design our own process? How is our process relevant on a bigger scale?

As we talk about the problems in of our world today, this Urban Hackathon transforms into a platform that joins alumni from the consortium universities and partner universities, lecturers, representatives of non-profit organizations, private enterprises, and government dependencies, and serves as a critical think-tank that challenges both academic and professional worlds. In this occasion, we thank Marie Aquilino for her input on disaster management and urban planning in post-conflict situations.

MU semester exchange in Shanghai, China

October 13, 2015

To learn and research the Global South urbanization and development issues in the Global South. It was with this idea in mind that last September two Mundus Urbano students went to Shanghai, China, to a semester long exchange program with Tongji University. This is the first time that Mundus Urbano programme exchange students with universities other than the core partner institutions. 

The classes already started, and so far MU students have been exposed to many exciting activities. In the beginning of the last month, professor Su Yunsheng, a MU lecturer that teaches at Tongji, invited students to take part in a three-day trip to Beijing to witness some of the urban transformations of the country. A few days after, it was time to attend a lecture with the Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Amale Andraos. A lunch with Surendra Shrestha, director of the International Environmental Technology Centre of the United Nations Environment Programme was organized weeks later. Also, TU-Darmstadt Strategic Partnership Office in China hosted a “welcome day” to all the students coming from the German university and the staff organized an event to meet Chinese students.

Mundus Urbano Students are taking classes in many subjects, ranging from transports and mobility to contemporary architecture, including comparative studies of Chinese and German architecture and planning. All classes are taught in English. It is during these classes that students are invited to attend excursions and other activities outside the campus. For example, a trip to the Qingpu district of Shanghai was organized last Sunday and a few days earlier it was the trip to the Shanghai Urban Space Art Season 2015, with guest lecturers from the Faculty of Architecture of Havana, Escola Técnica Superior d'Arquitectura de Barcelona, Oslo School of Architecture and Design and UCLA Urban Humanities Initiative. Chinese language courses, as well as Chinese history, art and foreign affairs, among many others, are also offered.

International research days on the Université Grenoble Alpes

9-10th September, 2015

TU Darmstadt (URBANgrad) and Université Grenoble Alps (PACTE CNRS – GTR FAMME) jointly organised a symposium „International Research Days on the Université Grenoble Alpes“, taking place from 9-10th September 2015 at the Institut d’Urbanisme de Grenoble, France. The two-days symposium started with the presentations of master theses of the Mundus Urbano students from the 2013/2015 batch. Tashana Villarante (Philipines), Aida Murtic (Bosnia Herzegovina), Raisa Cole (South Africa), Alexandru Munteanu (Moldova), Kristina Gjini (Albania), Rasha Kanjaraw (Syria), Nisha Maria Poulose (India), and Paula Cassas (Brasil) presented the results of their final work in front of the jury and international audience. The second day was reserved for the doctoral candidates from both universities; Pierre Böhm (Germany), Anaïs De Keijser (Belgium), Anshika Suri (India), Venkata Narayanan Aekbote Lakshminarayanan (India), Jimmy Hajj (Lebanon) and Layal Bou Antoun (Lebanon) presented the current stand of their research on various topics related to urban issues. The symposium was also a helpful source of inspiration and information for the future doctoral candidates taking part in discussion that followed.

In the organisation team of the symposium were: Prof. Jean-Michel Roux (UMPF Grenoble), Prof. Fanny Vuaillat (UMPF Grenoble), Prof. Markus Zepf (UMPF Grenoble), Prof. Annette Rudolph-Cleff (TU Darmstadt) and Dr. Nebojša Camprag (TU Darmstadt)

Thinking Outside the Box exhibition

June 26, 2015

“A reflection of the urban reality that we are facing today” and “new ways of thinking about planning objectives and solidarity in action”. According to its curators, this is just a glimpse of what to expect at the Thinking Outside the Box (TOTB), the new art exhibition opened last Monday at the ground floor of the Lichtwiese campus library. The exhibition proposes a small step to make the world a better place: to provoke both critical and creative thinking by means of raising local awareness. It is the result of one year and a half of intense work of TU-Darmstadt students and professors. “Thinking Outside The Box” is on display in Darmstadt until 30th of June. After that it will be presented in Barcelona, Grenoble, Rome and Shanghai. The last destination is the Frankfurt’s DAM (German Architecture Museum), when the exhibition opens in April 2016. You can learn more about TOTB in their Tumblr account.

Visiting professor gives a lecture at DAM

June 19, 2015

The Mundus Urbano visiting professor dr. Su Yunsheng gave a lecture at the German Architecture Museum (DAM), in Frankfurt. The presentation was open to the public and took place on Monday, 6th of June. Entitled “Super Smart Cities”, the lecture presented by dr. Yunsheng was focused on explaining the 6S principles, which are Safety, Sustainability, Security, Smart, Share and Service. “In the terms of Super Smart City construction dynamics, the close and exclusive decision process has been replaced by the open and dynamic information system”, explained the Mundus Urbano professor. To support his ideas, dr. Yunsheng compared the uses of energy in different times during history, enabling what he calls “a multi-scale energy-information cell”.

Public Lecture with Pratyush Shankar

May 12, 2015

“Construction of South-Asian Urban History” is the main theme of the lecture to be given to students by the Indian architect Pratyush Shankar next week. The Associate Professor and Acting Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, CEPT University, in Ahmedabad, India, is primarily focused in Himalayan Architecture and Indian Cities.

His book “Himalayan Cities – Settlement Patterns, Public Spaces and Architecture” is a result of documentation and research on the city and architecture of Himalayas. Its underlying debate is the relationship between natural systems and human ingenuity as projected through its built traditions.

Shankar is the author of a blog about Indian cities called “The Urban Junction”. More information and examples of the work of Pratyush Shankar can be found in his personal blog. The lecture is free and open to the general public.

  • WhatLecture with Pratyush Shankar.
  • When: 10am – 18/05/2015. 
  • Where: Mundus Urbano classroom.

Mundus Urbano excursion to Belgrade

May 11, 2015

Few places in the world have so many lessons to offer like the post-socialist cities of East and South-East Europe. Belgrade, the Capital City of contemporary Serbia was the cradle of Non-Aligned Movement during the early 1960s that established the terminology of the Third World. The city features a richness and diversity combining historical influences from the Roman, the Ottoman and the Habsburg Empires with more recent layers of socialist cities and Dubai style neighbourhoods. It also features various influential civic movements.

To sum up, with a history that spans over seven thousand years and a population around 1,6 million people, the former capital of Yugoslavia has plenty of issues to learn and to debate. So that is why this year the international Mundus Urbano excursion headed to the Serbian capital. The excursion occurred between May 4th and 8th and was designed to provide students with an overview and introduction to current issues of urban development and rapid urbanisation processes in the region.

The main aim of the trip was to analyse the socio-economic and urban transformations of the city. “International studies in urban development cannot be seriously apprehended in a classroom only. The complex range of different challenges which interweave in ‘real life’ situations can be best studied on the ground, so that is why we organize these excursions each year”, explains Mundus Urbano professor Peter Gotsch.

The first day of the excursion was Monday 4th of May, when students went to the Urban Planning Institute in the morning and headed to visit the informal settlement of Padina in the afternoon. On the following day students went to a guided tour of the Old Belgrade and then on a tour to the Savamala neighborhood. Wednesday was reserved to learn more about the Waterfront project and the Roma settlements in the city at the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) headquarters. Two social initiatives were visited on Thursday: “Who Builds the City” and the “Ministry of Space”. On the last day of the excursion students went to a guided tour of the New Belgrade neighborhood.

Mundus Urbano trip to Frankfurt

April 24, 2015

While the city of Frankfurt has 700,000 residents the greater metropolitan region comprises 5,5 million people. What challenges exist and how is this system governed? This and other questions have been in the focus of the Mundus Urbano visit of three institutions in Frankfurt on April 15th. First, the group went to the Regionalverband FrankfurtRheinMain, the regional government association. The second stop was at the Stadt Frankfurt am Main where students were lectured on topics related to spatial urban development planning of the Frankfurt Rhein Main area. The last stop of the journey was at the office of AS&P - Albert Speer & Partner GmbH, an international architecture office headquarted in the city. Students could learn and discuss more about urban planning and landscape architecture.

The trip was organized by Mundus Urbano professor dr. Peter Gotsch. "It was an unparalleled learning experience to listen to the practitioners that are working on the field" reflected Gotsch after the long day. Frankfurt am Main is the largest city of the German state of Hesse. It is also the largest financial center in continental Europe, home to the European Central Bank and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.


Public lecture with Aditya Kumar

April 14, 2015

Mundus Urbano is going to host a public lecture with the professor Aditya Kumar. He is the technical director of the Informal Settlement upgrading program at Community organization Resource Centre (CORC), in Cape Town, South Africa. The title of his lecture is “Owning the design process: community driven approaches” and it is scheduled for Tuesday, April 28th, at the Kuhle. The lecture is open to students and the general public.

Kumar holds a master degree in Architecture “MR+D (Metropolitan Research and Design)” from the Southern California Institute of Architecture, in Los Angeles. He has an outstanding work which comprises among others the reconstruction of Nahr El Bared Palestinian refugee camp. He is the Head of the Design and Planning Unit of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Tripoli, Lebanon.

“My role involves supporting communities living in poverty stricken slums in Southern and Eastern Africa, with a strong focus on South African slums, townships, housing and backyard communities. I am responsible for coordinating multi stakeholder partnerships; supporting and strengthening community structures; poverty reduction through generating livelihood and capacitating communities on issues of water, sanitation, and hygiene”, explains Kumar.

What: public lecture with Adi Kumar.
When: 18h30 – 28/04/2015.
Where: Kuhle.


Nairobi Half Life at the MUIFF - Mundus Urbano International Film Festival

April 14, 2015

Movie nights are back at Mundus Urbano. This Thursday, 16th April, 18h30, Nairobi Half Life is going to be screening at the MUIFF - Mundus Urbano International Film Festival, a event hosted by MU and the International Office FB-15. The basic idea of the project is to display every month a thought-provoking international film that showcases the dynamic nature of cities and settlements around the world. After the movie, the floor is always open to informal discussions.


Mundus Urbano summer semester activities released; actions include student trip to Belgrade and United Nations security council simulation

April 14, 2015

A new and exciting semester just started for the Mundus Urbano students of the class 2014-2016. The new block includes several activities carefully organized by the management team of the programme. Students are going to attend eight mandatory classes and a security council in the same model of the United Nations. They can also join in a field trip to Serbia and four other elective courses offered. 

The structure of the semester was divided in weekly modules and semester long courses. The later includes one mandatory class and four electives. Students can choose between one of the main subjects of the mandatory class, which are research proposal and project proposal. Elective classes includes student lectures, a design workshop on urban resilience, “Thinking Outside the Box” project, and language courses.

On its turn, the weekly modules include two-weeks courses on Urban Safety and Slum Upgrading. The first is taught by professor dr. Peter Gotsch and the second is taught by Aditya Kumar. There are also and one-week courses on Statistics, taught by Merlin Schaeffer, Project Finance and Budgeting, with Nicolai Wendland, Project Planning Techniques, with Su Yunsheng, Urban Mobility, with Jeffrey Kenworthy, and Development Aid and Funding Agencies, with David Jesuit.

In the beginning of May students are welcomed to take part in a weeklong trip to Belgrade, the federal capital of Serbia. “This excursion aims to provide students with an overview and introduction to current issues of urban development and rapid urbanisation processes. During our excursion to Serbia we are particularly trying to analyse the socio-economic and urban transformations of the city of Belgrade”, says professor dr. Peter Gotsch.

At the end of the semester students are going to take part in a security council simulating the United Nations working environment. The activity is going to be conducted by professor David Jesuit. The summer semester starts in April 7th and it runs until July 3rd, when the students finish their first year of the programme, in Darmstadt.


Mundus Urbano featured in the European Year for Development

March 02, 2015

Mundus Urbano was recently featured in the European Year for Development website. The advanced master of science programme in International Cooperation in Urban Planning was showcased in the Stories section of the European Union website devoted to development in 2015. The article includes opinions from Pierre Böhm, the consortium manager, and two students: Giulia Sala, an urban planner from Italy who is expected to conclude the programme in 2016, and Tharmendra Pulendran, from the class of 2011-2013. Click here to read the full story.


Workshop at the FAO headquaters in Rome: Assuring sustainable development in a changing rural-urban scenario

February 18, 2015

73 students and 12 lecturers from more then 40 countries representing the Mundus Urbano Masters Programme ( participated in the workshop "Changing rural-urban dynamics – Implications for sustainable development in a post 2015 world" from February 8th to the 12th in Rome, Italy. The event was hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and organised by the Masters Programme in Development Economics and International Cooperation (MESCI) of the University or Tor Vergata in Rome. MESCI is a partner university of the Mundus Urbano Consortium based at TU Darmstadt.

The workshop included sessions presented by university professors, international experts and government officials. During the opening session the former Italian Minister of Labour, Enrico Giovannini delivered the key-note presentation on the United Nations Global Survey for a better world ( The event represented an opportunity to explore current trends in the rural-urban nexus. It's aim was to increase knowledge and skills on the following items: bottom-up initiatives (e.g. microfinance), food security and foodsystems, Sustainable Development Goals indicators (e.g. measuring urban happiness), land management and ecosystem preservation and social issues (e.g. gender dynamics and change).

"We have to see urban and rural as two sides of the same coin. In the context of world-wide urbanisation the dynamics of cities and villages are deeply intertwined", said TU-Darmstadt Mundus Professor Peter Gotsch, at the end of the workshop last Thursday. The day marked the final presentations of the students from both TU-Darmstadt and the other partner universities that compose the Mundus Urbano consortium: University of Rome Tor Vergata, Université Pierre Mendès (Grenoble/France) and Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (Barcelona/Spain).

Last year the Mundus Urbano workshop was held in Bellegarde (France) and hosted by the Mundus Urbano partner Université Pierre Mendès. The next year’s workshop is going to be organised by the Mundus Urbano partner Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, in Barcelona.

France, Italy or Spain. Where to go in the second year?

January 28, 2015

What to expect in the second year of the programme? This question, among many others, could be answered last week with the presence of members of the other three universities that compose the Mundus Urbano consortium. Directors from Université Pierre Mendes France (UPMF), Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC) and Università degli Studi Roma Tor Vergata gave detailed explanations about the structure of their programs, the university facilities and the cities where students are going to live.

Two members of each university had around 20 minutes to present their programme, with details such as the track of studies, the schedule and the faculty members. After that, an informal session with direct question & answers between students and faculty took place. A series of meetings to discuss further details was held during the period that the group was in Darmstadt. The group was also responsible to select the scholarship holders to the next year. They were received by the Academic Director of Mundus Urbano, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Annette Rudolph-Cleff. All students spend the first year at TU-Darmstadt, in Germany. The second year is completed either at the same university or in one of the partner institutions, resulting in a double-degree award.

GIZ Student’s Day on Urban Development

January 20, 2015

The Mundus Urbano class of 2014-2016 attended on Friday 16th January the GIZ Student’s Day on Urban Development. GIZ is the acronym for Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation. The initiative was held in the offices of GIZ in Eschborn, a city in the Frankfurt am Main area. The agency has more than 16,000 employees and operates in more than 130 countries in the field of the international cooperation for sustainable development.

Along with Mundus Urbano class, students from four other universities across Germany attended the day: TU-Dortmund, TU-Berlin, TU-Stuttgart and HA Frankfurt. During the morning, students could learn more about the GIZ approach to Urban Development, Local Governance and Decentralization and also the work of GIZ on the field. The afternoon activities consisted of nine Speaking Corners where students could learn more about the work of GIZ. The themes covered a diverse array of subjects, from city sanitation in India to mobility in Namibia, India and Indonesia.

Participatory Planning course

Students in the final presentation of the participatory planning course.

January 19, 2015

In the last week of December the Mundus Urbano students had the “Housing 2.0: Affordable, Ecological, Social” course with Turkish professor Yasar A. Adanali. Sociologist and political scientist, he holds a masters in Development and Planning from the University College London and he is finalizing his Ph.D. research at TU Berlin focusing on the urban transformation of informal areas in Istanbul. 

During that week, students were assigned to work on a case study situated in the city of Düzce. They were divided in four groups and had to develop models and ideas for a social housing project involving 389 families affected by an earthquake that occurred in 1999. To accomplish the task the students had the support of a website, which is available at the following address:

Previous to that, MU students had another week with professor Adanali. During the course “Participatory Planning and Design”, students were assigned to write entries to the Participation Dictionary, which can be accessed by this link:

Get a taste of Mundus Urbano. Three Masters Thesis Presentations.

October 13, 2014

Did you always want to know more about Mundus Urbano? On Monday October 13th 2014 we cordially invite you to attend three public Master Thesis presentations in the MU classroom. Afterwards we invite you to meet our new students toast with us on the new academic year. 

15:00h. Cohousing: A Housing Option Towards a Sustainable City: Case Studies in Kreuzberg-Mitte, Berlin. Wai Ling Cheah

Is cooperative housing in Berlin a contribution to sustainable urban development or a solution for the intellectual Middle-classes?

16:00h. Urban Governance of Informal Settlements on Conservation Land: The Case Study of San Francisco Tlanepantla, Mexico. Itzel Saida Obregon Prescott

What to do with the conflict between growing informal settlements and the protection of natural resources in a megalopolis such as Mexico City?

17:00h. Scaling up Alternative Food Initiatives: A Theoretical Discussion and a Parisian Case Study. Eleonore Francois.

Which future potentials have alternative food initiatives in Paris?

18:00h. Welcome and farewell event.

Mundus Urbano is a Masters Programm on International Cooperation in Urban Development which tackles questions of city planning in an international and interdisciplinary context. The excellency programme of the European Union exists since 2007. Since then it has prepared more than 200 graduates for careers in academia, in international organisations, in governmental and non-governmental institutions and in the private sector.


Cities+Language is out!

30 September

Cities+, the magazine produced by Mundus Urbano students, alumni, staff and friends just launched the 4th issue!             
After Cities+Smoke, Cities+Limits and Cities+Myths we are celebrating our 2nd birthday and we’d like to share our fourth issue, Cities+Language. This edition is bigger and brighter, featuring articles from across the globe and some inspiring stories, poems, photo essays and even urban experiments!

You can read on our webzine here: or in a blog version:

Ananya Roy’s Lecture

June 19, 2014

With another year of Mundus Urbano coming to an end, the students and the Staff of MU were honoured to host Prof. Ananya Roy of UC Berkeley. Prof. Roy enthralled an audience of more than 120 people with her lecture on "Territories of Informality- Urban informality in a re-arranged south-north word" on Tuesday, 17th of June, 2014. The Mundus Urbano board would like to thank Prof. Roy, its partners from Urban Agglomerations and the Deutsches Architektur Museum (DAM) for starting the joint public lecture series on a positive high. With a striking venue and a diverse audience, the photos reflect the inspirational enthusiasm of the lecture atmosphere.

Lecture summary:

The lecture examined how spaces of poverty are governed and new theories of poverty shape interventions in urban poverty, especially those who seek to regularise relations of urban informality. The lecture also analysed globally interconnected social movements that are the imagining alternative understandings of land and shelter. The lecture conclusion opened the platform for discussion with the audience where questions were raised by Mundus Urbano students on how recent urban social movements have space symbolisms attached with it which is very much missing from Poor people´s movements. This brought forth the discussion on whether poor people can actually claim to the world  territory after being engrossed in a permanent temporariness their entire lives. Consortium Manager Lauren Ugur delivered the vote of thanks to conclude the session.





Accreditation certificate

March 28, 2014

The Mundus Urbano Master programme is now re-accredited by the Acreditation, Certification and Quality Assurance Institute (ACQUIN) under the licence of the German Accreditation Council.

New Cities+ Website and Call for Submissions!

March 28, 2014

Cities+, the magazine produced by Mundus Urbano students, alumni, staff and friends, is excited to launch a new website!

We are presenting all the articles of the last three issues on the new website but we are also keeping the parallel webzine format that makes Cities+ so special.

We open the call for submission for the fourth issue, Cities+Language! See here to submit a publication or to get more information.

Cities+myths is now online

February 19, 2014

Cities+, the magazine produced by Mundus Urbano students, alumni, staff and friends, has just released its third edition. This time, the idea of myths is the starting point to analyse urban landscapes, concepts, situations and objects through unconventional and diverse points of view. Enjoy the reading, share the news and follow further updates at the Cities+ facebook page.

International Workshop: Grand Bellegarde 2030

February 3rd-7th, 2014

Planning the outskirts of a cross-border metropolis: Bellegarde-sur-Valserine and the “greater Geneva”. From the 3rd to the 7th of February of 2014, the workshop gathered professional students from 4 universities to propose a visionary future in urban development for the city Bellegarde. For more information refer to II Mundus Urbano International Workshop.

Excursion: International Organizations in Geneva

February 3rd, 2014

Mundus Urbano classes of 2012 and 2013 were warmly welcomed by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Shelter Center, and the International Labour Organization.

Visit to GIZ

January24th, 2014

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) welcomed students from several interdisciplinary and international urban development programs to a learn about GIZ’s approach to urban development and GIZ’s work in the urban field, and to introduce the Center for International Migration (CIM).

Mundus Urbano becomes a member of Habitat-UNI on behalf of TUD faculty of architecture

December 10th, 2013

the Mundus Urbano programme has become a member of Habitat-UNI (UN-Habitat's University Network Initiative) on behalf of the faculty of architecture at TU-Darmstadt. Prof. Dr. Peter Gotsch represents the focal point. 

"UNI is UN-Habitat’s network for academia/research partners. UNI's vision is to create the next generation of urban leaders, managers, researchers and practitioners and promote the global exchange of knowledge. Furthermore to encourage and support the global dissemination of ideas on sustainable urbanization, enhancing the quality and relevance of university work.
As a member Mundus Urbano signed up to the principles of UNI and agrees to promote an agenda for sustainable urban development on local, national, regional and global levels."

The partnership will further strengthen linkages between Mundus Urbano UN-Habitat and the other Universities (in particular in the global South) and promote joint activities, projects, programmes and fundraising.

Faculty and students are invited and encouraged to become individual members of the focal point and UNI here.

TU Darmstadt Faculty of Architecture becomes an affiliate member of AESOP

December 6th, 2013

The Mundus Urbano programme is proud to announce that the Faculty of Architecture at the TU Darmstadt has been admitted as an affiliate member to the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP).

AESOP was founded in 1987 in Germany and since its inception promotes excellence in planning education throughout Europe and beyond.

As an affiliate member of AESOP students and staff of the TU Darmstadt’s Faculty of Architecture and the Mundus Urbano programme are able to register to the online community, including the AESOP Young Academics Network and gain benefit through being able to attend AESOP conferences and events at reduced rates. AESOP and its Young Academics branch organise a number of events on an annual basis such as dedicated lecture series with internationally renowned scholars, a European summer school, PhD Workshop and of course its annual congress held every year in July.

For more information and to join the network visit and

Excursion to Hamburg

October 23, 2013

During the first integration week, students went on a 3-day excursion to Hamburg. They visited the IBA building exhibition and the Hafen city. They had workshops and discussions about the city and were asked to complete an assignment on "Quality of Life and Public Space in European Cities" as a result of this excursion.

2011-2013 Cycle Graduation

TU Darmstadt
UIC Barcelona

September 13, 2013

The  Barcelona students presented their theses on July 17 and 18, Darmstadt students on July 24, Grenoble students on September 6 and Rome students finished their exams by the first weeks of July.

Coming soon: You will be able to download the abstracts from the students' theses.