The inaugural session of the first edition of the International Master’s Degree in City Resilience Design and Management run by UIC Barcelona School of Architecture and the Urban Resilience Research Network (URNet) took place on 1 October. The ceremony was held in the morning at the UN-Habitat offices (one of the international partners of the master’s degree), located in the modernist building of the former Sant Pau hospital.
Lorenzo Chelleri, director of the programme, welcomed the first intake of students coming from countries like France, Italy, the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica and Namibia. Rosa Suriñach, Partnerships, Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator at the organisation’s Barcelona offices, spoke on behalf of UN-Habitat: “UN-Habitat works in close partnership with UIC Barcelona and the Urban Resilience Research Network. It’s an honour for us to be able to host the first session of this master’s degree we are working with, and which aims to train top experts in city management. This is an area we have been working hard on for a while now from Barcelona”, she noted.
The official opening of the programme was also attended by Professor Jon Coaffee as a special guest. Coaffee is professor in Urban Geography at Warwick University (UK) and an visiting professor at the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) in New York, and is one of the most well-known and cited researchers internationally in the area of urban resilience. He was one of the first people to publish on the topic, defining research focuses and challenges and he is currently working as director of the Resilient Cities Laboratory and the Warwick Institute for the Science of Cities. In his speech to the students, Coaffee revealed that “urban resilience is trying to understand how we can survive and prosper in a world full of constant uncertainty. It also requires high doses of forecasting and the need to keep in mind the multiple risks which we will have to face in the near future”.
The new Master’s Degree in City Resilience Design and Management is an educational programme developed by the Urban Resilience Research Network (URNet). This is the international research network on urban resilience which is the most prestigious and has the highest level of impact on a global scale, co-founded and directed by Lorenzo Chelleri, from UIC Barcelona School of Architecture. The programme has a strong international focus, is multidisciplinary and is mainly aimed at students and city practitioners interested in learning governance models and management tools appropriate to integrating sustainability and urban resilience while contributing to the hard task of implementing the United Nations’ sustainable development objectives.