Summer Abroad Europe

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Sustainable Cities of Northern Europe

Program Overview

In this program we will study the policies, plans, systems, and designs for urban sustainability, exploring transit, bike, and pedestrian circulation; renewable energy systems, water systems, and waste management; economic development; land use and urban design features; landscape/open space design and the planning principles on which they are based. Relying on lectures, field trips, bike and walking tours, guest speakers, and reading-the-city exercises, the program shows what lessons can be taken from Europe back to U.S. cities. We will visit 8-10 cities—large and small—in four countries that have demonstrated a commitment to and success in becoming more sustainable. This includes looking in-depth at various deliberate eco-districts and neighborhoods in places like Stockholm, Copenhagen, Freiburg, and Lucerne.

Program Contacts

Program Highlights

  • Visit some of the most sustainable and vibrant cities in Europe, seeing them on foot, train and bicycle.
  • Learn how European communities have embraced energy efficiency, recycling, renewable energy, water management, car-free transportation, nature areas in the city, alternative housing and social organization and innovative urban design.
  • Get exposed to innovative business models such as cooperatives, co-housing, co-location of businesses, and waste to energy solutions.
  • Explore 8-10 European cities in four countries that demonstrate many principles and design strategies for sustainability.

What Students Are Saying

  • "I have learned more and understand more now than I feel I have during my entire time at Davis."
  • “I learned about effective policies and technology that are worth trying to implement in the US. It opened up a new potential career field for me.”
  • "I feel like I've left the program more focused on my academic goals. I feel like I've learned something many people haven’t learned and will carry it with me for the rest of my life."

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