Federation for
Housing and

5th European Urban Summer School

Monday 01.09.2014 to Monday 08.09.2014
Tours, France

Heritage Conservation & Urban Sustainable Development.

About the 5th European Urban Summer School

The terms urbanization, deforestation, globalization, lack of public transportation, lack of heritage conservation, over energy consumption, ecological degradation, environmental extinction and so on are today’s realities which can be felt in every part of the world. Thus, they create a common experience in planning issues which may lead to a better understanding for planners from all over the world to exchange ideas and tackle the global problematic.


The European Urban Summer School (EUSS) for young professionals and academics, launched basically in 2010 by AESOP is hosted annually by one of the European Higher Education Establishments. This year Ecole Polytechnique de l'Université de Tours-Département Aménagement (EPU-DA) is organizing the 5th summer school from 1st to 8th September 2014 in Tours (France) to create a platform to discuss these issues.


This school with series of seminars and workshops is aiming to bring together young planners and academics to benefit from a worldwide creativity. The target is to create a platform for every participant to contribute to practical intervention in real time projects and exchange ideas in an international context with other students and professionals. It would be an effort to create a friendly environment in which every individual can discuss and transfer his/her knowledge to one another.


In addition, connecting planners to local authorities and emphasizing the positive effects of higher education systems, including students and professors, contributing to the success of urban projects managed by local authorities is another practical objective of this event.


European Urban Summer School (EUSS) is a joint activity of AESOP, ECTP-CEU and ISOCARP.


Subject: Heritage conservation and urban sustainable development

Contemporary planning in historic and consolidated parts of towns cannot avoid taking into account the current concerning about the so defined “sustainable development”. But such an operation is not exempt of contradictions: intervention on heritage sites is obliged by lots of strict rules about their possible evolution and any (physical) change is submitted to architectural conservation approach. Moreover, heritage and sustainable development often obey different political logic and are under the competence of different ministries. Also due to the possibility of better energy efficiency in buildings, operational sustainable development planning often points out on brand new constructions. Nevertheless we’re not giving up our existing parts of the town, especially the historic consolidated ones protected as heritage. From a sustainable point of view they are:


  1. Already they are cheaper to conserve than to destroy and build newly;
  2. Often not so bad in terms of energetic behavior (having been built when the only available buildings materials where locals and when it was not possible to systematically count on mechanic heating and conditioning);
  3. Their social and functional composition is much more complex and complete than the one of recently built peripheral quarters, which allow to think urban sustainable planning also in terms of social and economic aspects and not only on environmental ones;
  4. Necessary morphologically adapted, at a global urban scale, to specific climatic conditions.

So, how to solve the apparent contradiction? Selected study cases show that the chosen way to compose between the two tendencies (heritage conservation and sustainable planning) for instance pass through the planning of the only spaces left somehow “free” of conservation plans constraining rules: public spaces. Contemporary sustainable planning in historic centers acts on public spaces at the street level interpenetrating the heritage conservation plans more devoted to the physical architectural aspects, introducing some redesigns of forms and uses almost only of this specific material support made by the spaces “in between”.


How to apply for students

 According to the introduction of the summer school subject, the participants are asked to respond to the following question in order to have the opportunity to attend this event:


Identify contradictions between heritage conservation and sustainability among recent urban developments, analyze the decision process and propose a physical or process-related response.


Responses can be presented as essays, drawings, photographs, videos or in any other creative forms. The application should be made via email to with "Participant Application EUSS5" in the email subject. It is open till Friday, May 30, 2014. Among applicants who responded to the above question, few would be selected and notified by Monday, June 9, 2014. The participation fee of 250 Euros covering seminars and teaching materials (excluding travel & accommodation fees), payable upon registration by Monday, July 7, 2014 will confirm participants place.


Whilst we do not provide participants with accommodation, we can offer assistance in finding them proper accommodation.


Please note that more detailed outline of the summer school program including teaching courses and seminars would be published accordingly.


How to apply for tutors

Experienced professionals and academics can apply for teaching and/or tutoring at the 5th European Urban Summer School, "Heritage conservation and urban sustainable development".


Prospective tutors can propose related seminars and/or workshops and  are kindly asked to provide in one page details about their background, their previous tutoring experience, their proposed seminar/workshops as well as an explanation of their approach to tutoring.


Applications should be sent to with "Tutor Application EUSS5" in the email subject. The electronic application is open till Friday, May 30, 2014. and selected tutors will be notified by Monday, June 9, 2014.


Please not that we can only provide tutors and teachers with their travel expenses including the costs of travelling to and from their placements as well as their accommodation fees.


Important deadlines


  • 5th European Urban Summer School: September 1-8, 2014
  • Call for students: Friday, May 30, 2014
  • Call for tutors: Friday, May 30, 2014
  • Accepted students notification: Monday, June 9, 2014
  • Accepted tutors notification: Monday, June 9, 2014
  • Final registration for students: Monday, July 7, 2014


Travel & Accommodation

Accessibility to Tours

The city of Tours is located in the Central Region of France and at the heart of a European communication network. It is connected by the main TGV rail lines (Train à Grande Vitesse or high-speed train) to the largest French cities such as Paris (1 hour), Charles de Gaulle-Roissy Airport (2 hours by direct train), Lyon and Bordeaux.


The international access to Tours is either possible through Paris or through the Loire Valley Airport which connects Tours directly to London, Manchester, Marseille, Porto and Dublin.


Visa inquiries

A Schengen visa issued by an Embassy or Consulate of one of the Schengen countries (Austria, Belgium, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland) allows the holder to travel freely to France.


For citizens of the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein only a valid passport or I.D. card is required.


A valid passport from one of the following countries will allow you to stay in France for a maximum period of 90 days: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, the U.S.A., Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Republic of Korea, San Marino, the Vatican, Singapore, Uruguay or Venezuela.


If you come from another country rather than those mentioned before -holding a valid passport-  you should apply for a visa from the French Consulate/Embassy in your country of residence. In this case, it is highly recommended that you contact us as soon as possible. So that we can provide you with the invitation letter to the summer school. Note that the letter is required for visa application, however it does not guarantee a visa.


Accommodation possibilities

Tours is a student city with more than 22 000 students and is equipped with large facilities such as students’ residences, restaurants and accommodations. There are as well a large number of hotels, guest houses and vacation apartments.


In the historical center, all the museums, sights, restaurants, cafes, etc are accessible within a short walk. The university is located around 4 kilometers (20 minutes) from the center which is easily  reachable by public bikes, tram or bus.


Contact Information

Ecole Polytechnique de l'Université de Tours

Address: 35 Allée Ferdinand de Lesseps, Tours (France)



Principal &  Organizer: Laura VERDELLI

Coordinator & Co-organizer: Farinaz FALAKI


Photo: Alexandru Seltea