Join Syracuse University faculty members and local experts and visit several European cities where the changing transportation, food supply, waste cycle, and energy balance demonstrates an alternative urbanism that is on the way to reducing their carbon footprint by more than half. While the overall question of how to confront changing climate remains the central political issue of the future, you will examine inspiring transitional examples of new lifestyles that tend to bring citizens into denser living situations, reduce their collective needs for energy, manage their waste more economically, and in general produce a more satisfying existence. You will research specific aspects such as car-sharing, bike paths, zero kilometer markets, co-working, co-housing, geothermal energy, and urban agriculture. Most of your meals will be geared to the principles of slow food, and much of your transport will be on bicycles and trains. You will meet practitioners in alternative energy and urbanism, and read text on a specific theme prepared for each city.
Eco-City Europe is offered as a post-semester seminar in the spring (April–May). It begins after the Florence semester program ends and returns to Florence upon completion.
ARC 500.3/GEO 300.3 Eco-City Europe: New Lifestyles for Old Cities (3 credits)
The course will have a seminar format, with lectures framing issues at the beginning of each session, followed by discussion of readings and student presentations. You will be assigned preparatory readings prior to the start of the seminar, and oral presentations will be assigned.
The seminar will be led by Dr. Richard Ingersoll, a professor of 16th century Italian architecture and survey of Italian urbanism at the Syracuse Florence Center.
The seminar begins in Basel, Switzerland, where students will spend two nights at St. Albans, a sustainable hostel. You will visit Dornach (Rudolf Steiner’s utopia), Basel, Vitra, Novartis, Herzog & De Meuron works, Beyeler, and then take an evening train to Strasbourg, where you will spend two nights. A quck stop in Lille, France to visit Eurolille is followed by a train to Amsterdam, where you will spend two nights. Visits to Hamburg, Germany, Copenhagen, Denmark, and Milan, Italy round out the seminar.
Eligibility and Admissions
Eco-City Europe is open to students admitted into the semester program in Florence. Interested students must complete the Florence Signature Seminar Questionnaire in their online account. A $300 deposit will be required to hold your place in the program. This is due upon receipt of your Eco-City Europe acceptance email. Details on submitting the deposit will be included in your Eco-City Europe acceptance email.
Space is limited, and applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. In the event that there is insufficient interest in the seminar, Syracuse Abroad may choose to cancel the program.
Syracuse Abroad offers a group flight for students admitted to the Eco-City Europe program. Group flight information will be sent to all admitted students in the Eco-City Europe acceptance email. Students who choose to fly independently are responsible for making their own travel arrangements but must follow the dates of the program. Leaving before the seminar end date is not an option.
A program fee* of approximately $1,950 includes a $300 deposit, all ground transportation during the program, entrance fee to all seminar sites, hotel accommodations with breakfast daily, and some additional group meals.
*The final program fee is dependent upon the number of participants, and will be determined upon completion of program registration. The finalized fee will be communicated with all admitted students.
Eco-City Registration Instructions
- Complete the Florence Signature Seminar Questionnaire in your online account.
- Wait for an Eco-City Europe acceptance email, containing instructions on submitting the required $300 deposit and purchasing a ticket for the Signature Seminar group flight.
- Please note that you are required to register for at least 12 additional credits for a minimum of 15 credits for the semester. You should further understand that, if you register for more than 19 total credits, you will be charged additional tuition fees for each credit over 19, and you may not register for more than 22 total credits without prior academic approval.