As part of the "Students Reinventing Cities" international competition, launched by the C40 Cities organization (a network of cities committed to sustainable development and ecological transition), students were invited to propose their vision of greener and more inclusive urban neighborhoods. This competition allows academics and students to collaborate with cities all over the world. Together, a vision of more sustainable and inclusive cities is envisioned, including rethinking the way neighborhoods are planned.
The objectives of the contest are not only to develop greener cities, but also to build a broad coalition of young climate activists, representatives of unions, businesses, universities and civil society. Each of the 18 participating cities (e.g., Athens, Bogota, Chicago, Dakar, Reykjavik...) identified neighborhoods, city blocks or streets to be redesigned and regenerated.
During the 13 weeks of the workshop, dedicated in part to the contest, the students, divided into multidisciplinary teams, are immersed in the professional world and are called upon to develop a whole range of transversal skills in project set-up and management (teamwork, respecting deadlines, communicating progress, drafting reports, drawings, sketches and maps of the development plan...). In parallel to the group projects, the course sessions help students to acquire theoretical and practical knowledge on urban planning tools.
In concrete terms, each team of students develops a project for the city with a complete action plan in collaboration with local universities. The actions and solutions proposed to regenerate the selected sites are in line with the 10 C40 principles (e.g., sustainable living) and the priorities defined by each city. The action plan must be consistent with a Terms of Reference as well as the selected cities' strategy and planning regulations. It should include a budget, timeline with phases of implementation, specific technical challenges, key players, and their responsibilities.