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National Research University Higher School of EconomicsNewsEducationGraduate School of Urbanism Students Take Part in French Summer School

Graduate School of Urbanism Students Take Part in French Summer School

This summer five students from the HSE Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism participated in the second summer school Les Ateliers d’Eté, organized by the French-Russian platform D’est and the Graduate School of Urbanism in Paris and Limoges.

The event attracted 11 young specialists in urban development, municipal governance, and civil initiatives.Participants had the opportunity to learn about the interdisciplinary decision-making process in urban development and municipal governance in France, see how residents and other urban development subjects can participate in the city’s life by looking at real projects.

The summer school’s programme included lectures, workshops, meetings, and discussions with French urban studies specialists, community leaders, representatives of municipal and city governments, and focused on residential policies, social diversity, and participatory democracy, among other issues.

HSE students shared their impressions of the summer school:

Anastasia Dubova, second year student at the Graduate School of Urbanism, architect

‘These two weeks of intensive communication and experience exchange gave us a detailed view of how residential urban policy is organized and implemented, what architects and urban studies specialists are taught, how citizens interact with the authorities, and the huge role in all these processes that is played by NGOs, to which each French citizen is related in some way or another. I’m grateful to D’est Association and the Graduate School of Urbanism for this opportunity to learn about how life and governance is organized in French cities, from truly legendary Paris to the small but incredibly cozyLimoges, as well as for the chance to meet colleagues and interesting people from France and Russia.’

Karina Garnaga, first year student at the Graduate School of Urbanism, sociologist

‘The Summer Workshop programme gave us a unique opportunity to learn more about the most recent practices in city management implemented France, where issues of the environment, residential construction, and social diversity are subject to long-term planning. The summer workshop offered the chance to meet representatives of municipal authorities and leaders of research institutions and associations, all high-level professionals’.

Olga Ponomarenko, first year student at the Graduate School of Urbanism, architect

‘French citizens’ involvement in urban projects, and authorities’ support for initiatives aimed at creating, restoring, and managing the urban environment are incredible. I was impressed with a high level of organization, strategic approach to planning, and attention to the needs of various social strata. The authorities’ ability to concede mistakes in city development and to involve professionals from various areas in the search for the best solutions are especially impressive.’

Ksenia Bobrova, first year student at the Graduate School of Urbanism, architect

‘Everything I learned will be very useful for my work since I’m an architect-analyst and intend to work with the municipal authorities.’

Ekaterina Dyba, Research Fellow at the Graduate School of Urbanism, organizer of the Les Ateliers d’Ete summer school

‘By studying various aspects of urban policy and looking at bottom-to-top initiatives in France, we can observe an environment where what is ‘right for the city’ is a natural everyday practice. Urbanism in France is not a hipsters’ fashion trend, but a civil society tool. Democracy is understood not as a choice between various things offered by the authorities, but as agenda formed by citizens themselves’.

The school was organized with the support of the French Embassy in Russia, the Paris city administration, and the Administration of the Central Quarter of Paris (Regie de Quartier Centre).

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