‘Rethink the City’ MOOC Prize

TWO leading participants of the online course RETHINK THE CITY: New approaches to Global and Local Urban Challenges will be selected to come to Delft to participate in the 2018 Summer School “Planning  and Design with Water”. One scholarship will be granted to a candidate from SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA, and the other will be granted to candidates from elsewhere (all countries are eligible for this scholarship)

This course helps you explore alternative theories and innovative solutions for urban challenges in the Global South. For more information, please click  HERE.

This Rethink the City prize will cover the costs of the tuition fee, the costs of board and lodging in Delft during the period of the summer school, and the travel costs to The Netherlands. The selection criteria for this prize are available on the course website.

What is the ‘Rethink the City’ online course?

In this massive online course (MOOC), you’ll learn about today’s urban challenges focusing on developing countries. We will debate the benefits of three pathways, going beyond traditional urban strategies and policies:

  1. Spatial Justice

Spatial justice is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges of urban contexts in emerging economies. This concerns both the redistributive power of spatial planning and the potential for democracy building in participatory strategies.

  1. Housing Provision and Management

Increasing demand in the global south calls for alternative approaches in housing provision and management.

  1. Urban Resilience

Understanding resilience not as a mere struggle for survival, but as an opportunity to build better urban environments.

We will discuss question such as:

  • Is the just city framework applicable in cities with extreme socio-economic inequality?
  • Can community-led housing initiatives provide effective solutions for households in need?
  • How can resilience support development instead of perpetuating a disadvantaged condition?

In this course elaborated at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of the TU Delft, academic urban planning expertise  is used to formulate possible answers to these questions, and is applied in a range of challenging case studies in Ghana, Brazil, Malaysia, Chile, and China, among others. This course offers you a new perspective to understand and analyse the urban challenges of the global south.

Through a combination of short theoretical lessons, presentation of case studies, testimonies from practitioners and practical assignments you will also learn how to develop a critical perspective about your own urban environment and how to translate this knowledge into analytical tools and innovative urban solutions.

This course is designed for undergraduate and master level students of architecture, urban planning and disciplines related to urban themes. Nevertheless, anyone interested on debating spatial justice, urban resilience and housing provision and management are welcome.

No previous knowledge in urban planning or global south is required, just your eagerness to learn! Enrol HERE and get the chance to come to the Summer School!


The first person to be awarded the RETHINK THE CITY MOOC prize was Mohammed Ammar, from Egypt.

DSC00006Mohammed was one of the 9000 people who took part on the first edition of the RETHINK the CITY MOOC. He was selected among dozens of applicants to the prize because of his enthusiastic participation in the MOOC, commenting and interacting with teachers and other students, and because of his excellent assignments and texts.

“Hi, my name is Mohammed Ammar and I’m from Egypt. I study civil engineering at the university and I learn urban planning on MOOCs. I love civil engineering and architecture, trying to show people that “they are more alike than different form each other” #Maya_Angelou. My fields of interests are languages, music, human rights, books, logic, peace, equality, and the questions which start with “Why”, “Why not?” and “How”.

RTC MOOC is one of a very few courses discussing city planning and focusing on the Global South, this was my reason to start the course. What encouraged me to continue was the enthusiasm between the participants and the active participation from our lecturers too! I really enjoyed and learned a lot. And when I watched the summer school videos, I really wanted to  be part of it as I may find an opportunity to express myself and not be afraid because I’m different but rather proud and I can make it more diverse and add value with my work  This experience will add to me academically no doubt, but to be honest what I want the most is being with my peers from all over the world in one room, to be able to sit with someone from a very distinct place on earth and listen to him/her and to leave them with a peaceful and loving message from my country so they can spread it in their homelands. I love meeting new people!”


Mohammed with the MOOC Rethink the City organisers, Igor Moreno and Luz Maria Vergara D’Alençon, at BK, TU Delft.

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