The main focus of the NFI Programme on Sustainable Cities is to train scholars from different disciplines in the sustainable development of cities with strategies for the future. Scholars will experience hands-on field work and community engagement, will propose urban interventions focusing on neighbourhoods while developing communication, leadership and advocacy skills.

Stage 1

Duration 4 weeks (Jan–Feb 2024)

The first stage of the programme consists of an in-depth study of the concepts and processes necessary to understand a city, from history and governance to the ethics and metrics that define sustainable cities.

Through seminars by experts followed by brainstorming and round-table debate with the academic body on themes and pilot cities, scholars will engage with the foundations of a city.

Stage 1 Courses

-  Sustainability & Frameworks
-  History & Technology
-  Governance & Ethics

Suistainable Policies Frameworks

-  Sustainable Policies
-  Historical Research Methods
-  Leadership Skills
-  Introduction to Urban Analytics


Stage 2

Duration 12 weeks (Feb–May 2024) + 2 weeks of visits to the pilot cities.

The second stage of the programme will be devoted to the six layers of transformations of the city, essential skills and project development work.

Scholars will study and debate these issues to create a small number of well-defined project assignments in the form of challenges and opportunities for neighbourhoods in each city.

Stage 2 Courses

- Climate & Natural Environments
- Networks & Mobility
- Planning & Buildings
- Resources & Energy
- Culture & the Arts
- Economy & Social Activity

Skill Courses on

-  Urban Analytics I
-  Research Methods & Communication
-  Innovation & Entrepreneurship


Stage 3

Duration 12 weeks (June–Oct 2024)

The third stage of the programme will focus on the development of project proposals for pilot neighbourhoods and testing strategies for improvement through hands-on technical workshops and skills courses.

Focusing on tangible solutions for the issues studied in the previous stage, the scholars will develop, test and quantify the impact of their proposals opening up to a wider debate.

Stage 3 Courses

-  Climate Analysis & Nature-based Solutions
-  Networks, Graphs & Transport Models
-  Computational Planning & Land Use Models
-  Energy Models & Life Cycle Analysis
-  Media & Engagement
-  Socioeconomic & Demographic Models

Skill Courses on

-  Urban Analytics II
-  Leadership & Project Planning
-  Engagement & Outreach


All Terms

Duration 36 weeks (Jan–Nov 2024)

Project Work and Tutorials

-  Each group's director and tutors will help the students to translate the challenges and opportunities of their case studies into project ideas that will be further developed in the third stage of the programme.

Lab Work

-  The scholars will have the opportunity to work in real time with their city digital twin which will help them analyse and test their findings.

Support Sessions / Cultural Visits under the guidance of the tutors.



Norman Foster Foundation is a non-profit institution listed nº1818 in the National Public Register of Cultural foundations.
Ministry of Justice of the Government of Spain

Monte Esquinza, 48 28010 Madrid, Spain  +34 913898965

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