University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

UConn Sustainable Amsterdam, Netherlands (Summer) (Faculty-led)

The Program

The overarching goal of the course is to provide students with an opportunity to do field-based research into various topics relating to sustainable urban and transportation planning. Methods will include standard qualitative approaches such as structured and unstructured interviews and direct observation. Research findings will be documented in a short film which the students will design, shoot, edit and produce during their time in the field.

The course has three main objectives:

1. To provide students with a solid foundation in seminal literature on alternative planning paradigms from both a theoretical and applied perspective, and to introduce them to emerging debates in sustainable transportation and sustainable cities.

2. To provide students with an opportunity to collaborate in an interdisciplinary setting to broaden their perspectives about and experience in addressing cross-cutting issues.

3. To provide students with training and guidance on how to distill complex ideas into clear and concise communications that are easily understood by a general audience through a variety of media, particularly short films. This objective is important because any approach that adopts a sustainability orientation requires public engagement. Too often, academics are not equipped with the necessary skills to be able to work with a variety of stakeholders beyond the academic realm. These courses therefore seek to enhance students’ communication skills to allow effective engagement to take place.

4. For Graduate Students only: In addition to the film, students taking the graduate course will prepare a 10-page research paper on their chosen theme.

The Academics

Students may choose to receive undergraduate credit for either Urban Geography (GEOG3200) or Case Studies in Transportation Engineering (CE4710). At the graduate level, students may register for Sustainable Transportation (CE5715), which involves completing all of the undergraduate-level requirements in addition to a 10-page paper.

The course will have four distinct phases: (1) Preparation (April 2017); (II) Online (mid-May 2017-August 2017); (III) Field Component in Amsterdam (3rd-24th August 2017); (IV) Post Production (25th August-19th September). The objective, activities, deliverables, and course elements for each stage are listed below.

PHASE DATES KEY THEMES AND DELIVERABLES % GRADE
I April 2017 (two weekend days) Introduction to Film Making: Software and Hardware, Pre-Production, Production, and Post-Production; Creation of a practice film

Introduction to Amsterdam: Background on city planning

Deliverable: 2-3 minute short practice film

10%
II Mid-May through end July Theoretical Context about Sustainable Urban and Transportation Planning

More detailed background on Sustainable Amsterdam and introduction to potential themes (see list below)

Pedagogy associated with the Field Method

Deliverables:  5 x Homework Assignments including online discussions of key readings and themes for fieldwork.

25%
III 4rd-23rd August 2017 Field Component in Amsterdam.  Full schedule is detailed below.

Deliverables:  First cut of film (35%), reflective journal detailing learning and its connection to the theoretical ideas (15%).

50%
IV 24th August – 19th Sep 2017 Editing Final Film

Date for First Cut of Films:  Tuesday, 9/5/17

Final Due Date for Film:  9/19/17

Due Date for Grade:  9/26/17

15%

The Experience

The course is divided into four separate components including some work that will take place before the Field-based experience, and some that will need to be completed afterwards. The Field Component of the course will take place in Amsterdam, with students living and working in the city. Below is a draft schedule.

Schedule for Field Component of Course in Amsterdam

DATE DAY ACTIVITIES
8/4/17 Fri Introduction to Fieldwork Objectives

Orientation to Amsterdam (Rules and Overview of Field Component of Course)

Welcome Dinner

8/5/17 Sat Scavenger Hunt:  Learning to Explore Amsterdam
8/6/17 Sun Sustainable Amsterdam Tour I:  introduces historical and modern innovations that make Amsterdam a healthy, livable city by illustrating examples in four key areas: renewable energy, clear air, a circular economy and a climate-resilient city.  It explores Amsterdam’s first car-free neighbourhood, the conversion of a brownfield into a cultural park, and the city’ first climate neutral district.

http://sustainableamsterdam.com/tours/

8/7/17 Mon Sustainable Amsterdam Tour II:  Visit the most successful transformations illustrated in Sustainable Amsterdam’s Livable Cities campaign.  The tour has been designed for urban planning and transport professionals interested in understanding the evolution of Dutch urban design, and how it makes streets complete for people, not cars.
8/8/17 Tues AM: Lectures.  PM:  Meetings
8/9/17 Wed AM: Lectures.  PM:  Meetings
8/10/17 Thurs AM: Lectures.  PM:  Meetings
8/11/17 Fri Workshop for group and Project Selection

Preliminary Storyboarding

Determining required pre-production

8/12/17 Sat Exploratory Research and Filming of B-Roll
8/13/17 Sun FREE DAY
8/14/17 Mon Group Research and Filming:  Morning Check in with individual groups to provide suggestions about research resources, study sites.  Evening check-in to review footage and help students develop narratives.
8/15/17 Tues Group Research and Filming:  Morning Check in with individual groups to provide suggestions about research resources, study sites.  Evening check-in to review footage and help students develop narratives.
8/16/17 Wed Group Research and Filming:  Morning Check in with individual groups to provide suggestions about research resources, study sites.  Evening check-in to review footage and help students develop narratives.
8/17/17 Thurs MORNING:  Presentations from Each Group to share ideas, tactics, sources

AFTERNOON:  Group Research and Filming

8/18/17 Fri Group Research and Filming:  Morning Check in with individual groups to provide suggestions about research resources, study sites.  Evening check-in to review footage and help students develop narratives.
8/19/17 Sat Editing Workshop
8/20/17 Sun DAY OFF
8/21/17 Mon Due Date for Rough Cut of Film

Previewing and Feedback

8/22/17 Tues Group Research and Filming

Wrap up and Group Dinner

8/23/17 Wed Leave Amsterdam

Finances

Please note that financial aid, other than certain scholarships, cannot be applied to the cost of this 3-credit program. Students must be enrolled for at least six credits during the summer to be eligible for summer financial aid. Click the link below for this program’s budget sheet.

Budget Sheets: Summer
The Details

  • Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Terms: Summer
  • Homepage:

Dates / Deadlines:

Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 02/20/2018 02/27/2018 TBD TBD

Fact Sheet:

Class status: 2nd Year, 3rd Year, 4th+ Year, Graduate Student Academic area: Engineering, Humanities
Language of instruction: English Prior language study required:
Open to non-UConn students: Yes Required GPA: 3