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International Urban Redevelopment: towards sustainable cities and mobility (1st semester 22/23)

Retrofitting in a nutshell  

Cities around the world are aiming to reduce their car dependency and unrestricted growth (urban sprawl). The purpose of the minor is to pave the way for a shift towards a sustainable mobility and urban culture. This involves tackling issues related to air quality, obesity, the quality of public spaces, social cohesion etc. However, changing urban structures and citizen behaviour is no easy endeavour: it needs careful and specific interventions to change the way urban areas are laid out and used. It not only involves a shift in spatial and transportation policies, but also a new way of thinking about cities, people and mobility. That is Retrofitting in a nutshell. This minor program aims to spur this paradigm shift by using your expertise and perspectives. Ready to inspire?  


Challenging international case study  

In this minor you will work in a studio with a team of 4-6 students on a challenging international case study in which you combat car dependence and urban sprawl. We have contacts with potential project sponsors from Calgary (Canada), Seattle and Los Angeles (USA) and the Bilbao region (Spain).  

You will conduct an in-depth analysis of the challenges relating to urban sprawl and car dependency in a specific case study area. Based on this analysis, you formulate a vision, develop a concept and create detailed designs, in which everything is interrelated and reinforces each other:  

  • hardware (infrastructure, buildings, urban green, facilities etc.)  
  • software (neighbourhood identity, behavioural campaigns, attitudes etc.)  
  • orgware (participation, values, inspiration, and potential of local communities)  

What you ultimately deliver as a multidisciplinary team is:  

  • a 10-pager with the unique elements of vision and concept  
  • a poster and (optionally) additional means of visual communication for example, an interactive web page or a VR application  
  • a background report with all the details   

The best teams will have the opportunity to visit the project sponsor and present their work to local experts and the community.  


  • Assess the current situation in your international case study area with the STEEP and SWOT analysis tools;  
  • Create integrated concepts with hardware, software and orgware interventions for the redevelopment and revitalization of your case study area which are grounded in theory and are aligned with the results of your SWOT analysis;  
  • Create a detailed integrated plan to tackle societal issues related to urban sprawl and car dependency in your case study area;  
  • Provide a coherent storyline from the SWOT analysis to concepting and the specific measures;  
  • Conduct targeted Urban Guerrilla tactics in practice.  


Propaedeutic certificate obtained


During the minor you will be coached by experts from Breda University of Applied Sciences. You will receive qualitative feedback based on the learning objectives. You also monitor your personal development in assessments. Self-evaluation is important. This is a continuous process in which you reflect on personal performance and on situations and developments within your team. To help you with this, all team members also provide feedback on each other's work and actions. The final assessment of your individual contribution and the group product is given in the form of a grade (on a scale of 1-10). Both assessments count for 50% in the final assessment.  

Aanvullende informatie


Core competences:  

  • analysing & conducting research    
  • initiating  
  • specifying  
  • designing  
  • communication  

You will train these competencies throughout the minor, especially in the group work.  

Additional competences:  

  • Realizing & operating: in the Tactical Urbanism training you will work hands-on to perform real interventions on the street.   
  • Managing & entrepreneurial attitude: you will work as a professional and take the initiative in parts of the project. You will reflect on your own performance.  



  • Shifting car dependency / Bicycle oriented development   
  • Successful identity building / Making places for wellbeing (economy).   
  • Social cohesion and equity / Balanced density and living   
  • Tactical Urbanism and involvement / placemaking  
  • Resilience for climate change: water and greening 


Structure of the minor  

The minor program consists of three phases. In the first phase (Initiation Phase), you and your team explore the case study area using the STEEP and SWOT analysis. Each team member immerses himself in one of the previously mentioned topics.   

In the second phase (Integration Phase), you will work with the results of the teamwork and the individual studies and merge them into one vision for the case study area. Key challenge is to create a vision where the various elements and measures reinforce each other.  

In the third phase (Communication Phase), you will focus on communication skills. How are you going to bring the story to the project sponsor and the wider audience? During the minor, the project sponsor will come to Breda to engage in interaction and to challenge your concepts.  


In each phase of the minor, different knowledge modules are provided. In the first phase, the emphasis is on the nature and impact of Hardware, Software and Orgware interventions (HSO). In the second phase, there will be more emphasis on Tactical Urbanism (TU) and your group will execute a real-life on-street Urban Guerrilla action. In the communication phase, focus will be on visual communication (VIC) to enable you to convey your message to the project sponsor in the best possible way.  


Teaching method(s)  

Two days will be allocated for coaching in a studio. During these days we combine interactive feedback to your team with plenary feedback sessions. In addition, your group will plan an official meeting to discuss progress in the team at least once every two weeks. Masterclasses and mini lectures on the topics described above will be provided on the two studio days. The other days are spent on individual work and group work.  The language of instruction for the master classes, lectures and coaching sessions is English.  


International context  

Full international context.  




After the minor, the best teams and students get the opportunity to visit the project sponsor and present their work to local experts and community groups. The elected students have to take travel costs into account. The BUas team and the project sponsor will make arrangements for hosting.