YMS-30812 Metropolitan Challenges


Credits 12.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work25
Excursion (one day)8
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. BJM van Vliet
Lecturer(s)SCO Wertheim-Heck
dr. MF Greene
TH van Emmerik
prof. V Fogliano
dr. ir. BJM van Vliet
dr. E Meijers (TUD)
M van der Knaap
Examiner(s)dr. E Meijers (TUD)
dr. ir. BJM van Vliet

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Bachelor level understanding of metropolitan issues in a socio-technical discipline, including basic understanding of metropolitan systems. (see application requirements MSc MADE). AMS MOOC: Sustainable Urban Development

Continuation courses:

YMS-61312 Metropolitan Solutions


Please note that this course is offered at the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions in Amsterdam. Students who are not studying the master MADE but who would like to participate in this course should contact the course coordinator prior to registration.

In this course on metropolitan challenges, students are introduced to various typologies of metropoles throughout the world, with the city of Amsterdam as a real life example. The course covers all aspects of what makes a metropolis. It gives an historical-critical overview, with reasons for the existence and emergence of cities, and the technological challenges they face today. Besides the metropolis is approached as a web of interrelated socio-technical systems in which professionals are challenged to integrate knowledge and analytical, design and engineering skills. The course presents a range of conceptual views on technologies and practices in the cycles and spheres of urban mobility, water, housing, healthcare and well-being, food, waste and energy. Students learn and develop different concepts related to contemporary urban practices, and elaborate on them by means of observations, organizing debates, lecturing, and producing written accounts and videos. Learning activities in this course include lectures, studio research work in teams, field study and excursions in Amsterdam (by executing observations, interviews with stakeholders, and other methods presented in the course), as well as presentations and peer evaluations.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain the rise of cities, the evolution of some into metropolises that are increasingly complex and poly-centric: the spatial-functional and socio-spatial developments, and the development of processes of governance (planning, decision making, law) and design;
- explain the variety and the multidisciplinary nature of the challenges which metropolitan urban regions are facing with respect to the AMS themes urban mobility, food, water, waste, energy, health and well-being;
- develop an integral problem definition for an Amsterdam metropolitan challenge;
- apply observation skills and can articulate the multi-dimensionality of metropolitan challenges by means of various forms of presentation: lecturing, academic writing, and knowledge clip production.


The 'Metropolitan Challenges' course consists of three distinct, but strongly related stages: an introductory period on metropolitan history, governance and research approaches, a period in which the MADE themes are studied separately from a multidisciplinary perspective, and a third period in which an integrated, interdisciplinary metropolitan challenge is analysed and presented.
Work forms used in the course:
- lectures, including guest lectures;
- tutorials & peer review meetings;

- excursions;

- group work to prepare a student-lecture, paper writing, video and knowledge clip production.


- individual assignments after each theme week 45%;
- group paper 25%;
- group mini-lecture 15%;
- group knowledge clip 15%.


A digital reader on Brightspace with introduction texts, additional literature, and assignments. Lecture slides, maps and data.

Compulsory for: MMDMetropolitan Analysis, Design & Engineering (JD 2020)MSc1WD+2WD