Exchange Programme:
Urban and territorial planning and environment

Fall term

(September – January)

UIT 071 - Spatial Planning Abroad - 4 ECTS
This course analyzes development trends and planning policies in European and developing countries. It provides an introduction to the methodology of comparing national and regional/local policies in the planning field. In the European context, it will first illustrate how the European Union is becoming a player in regional development, through the production of policy documents, the implementation of Structural Funds and the support of local development policies. The reform of the planning system in selected countries is also to be dealt with. The course also valuates case studies, which will cover various territorial contexts in developed countries, as well as developing ones (India, Brazil, Thailand...). The case studies will be presented by researchers, experts and students.
Tutorials: 48 hrs
Keywords: Comparative approach to planning systems, European policies, urbanization in the North and the South.
IMA 071 - Fluvial morphodynamics and sediment transport - 3 ECTS
The course delivers the scientific baselines for the management of the physical structures in river. River beds have been strongly modified in the past, by river training, channelization and dam construction. River bedforms, their dynamics and the sediment transport of natural systems must be known for a sustainable river restoration, the main problem being the re-introduction of dynamic elements in stabilized riverscapes, often combined with changed landuse or urbanisation on former floodplains. Practical courses include the analysis of bedforms using data from hydroacoustics and sediment analysis.
Lectures: 24 hrs, Tutorials: 24 hrs
Keywords: Sedimentology, bedforms, open-channel hydraulics, river training, restoration.
IMA 072 - Aquatic Biodiversity 1 - 4 ECTS
This course introduces the “biological hardware” of rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands. Students will learn to examine the ecosystem from the view of the diverse organisms. Past management options have largely ignored the environmental needs of many species, resulting in an extraordinarily high erosion of biodiversity in freshwater and wetland systems. The species, their ecological requirements, assembly rules for species communities, and specifically the weak points in the life cycle strategies, which make species susceptible to environmental changes, will be presented. Botanical issues cover algae, macrophytes and riparian trees, zoological taxa and benthic invertebrates and fish, as well as vertebrates depending on aquatic environments in at least one stage of their life cycle. During tutorials, students will be trained to sample and identify the species.
Lectures: 24 hrs, Tutorials: 24 hrs
Keywords: Ecology and identification of species, taxonomy, species traits, sampling methods.
UIT 073 - Territorial planning and development strategies - 3 ECTS
This course is based on the idea that contemporary competition among territories is fundamentally based on their capabilities in knowledge of creation-dissemination, competence building, innovation and creativity, and less on cost advantages. The course focuses on innovation processes and the analysis of R&D, innovation and attractiveness policies within territories (at various spatial scales) that can contribute to a sustainable territorial development dynamics (in terms of economic, social and environmental sustainability) within the global competitive area. The practical courses underlie case studies preparation and presentations by students.
Lectures: 24 hrs, Tutorials: 24 hrs
Keywords: Territorial creativeness and innovation dynamics, social innovation and territorial cohesion, territorial resilience and sustainable local development.
IMA 092 - Rivers in Europe: Management and risks - 3 ECTS
This unit analyses and validates different issues of river management in Europe. Part one deals with a gradient analysis of geographical-climatological and socio-economic drivers of environmental problems, and the regionally variable mitigation efforts, mostly in the context of the Water Framework Directive. As a practical exercise, group work will focus on a European project proposal. Part two continues with European project management, with a thematic focus on waterfronts and flood-adapted architecture. Part three includes exercises on flood risk management and evacuation planning.
Tutorials: 48 hrs
Keywords: Transboundary River Management, Regional environmental problems, EU project planning and management, Waterfront architecture, Flood Risk Management.
IMA 091 - Hydrology and Hydraulics - 4 ECTS
This course consists of an introduction to basic knowledge in hydrology and hydraulics. We will cover the most important topics related to water science linked to the courses offered in the major “Spatial planning and environment engineering”. This course is mainly dedicated to tutorial classes (48h), with homework for acquiring basic concepts in hydrology and hydraulics. Classes will be dedicated to discussion, more in-depth explanations and to applying concepts and tools in hydrology and hydraulics. Active learning will be proposed during this course.
Tutorials: 48 hrs
Keywords: Water cycle, hydrological balance, stream and hydrological processes, flow rates, hydrogeology, urban hydraulics.
PFE - Research project - 9 ECTS
This unit validates the research placement that will be conducted within the research laboratory Cities, Territories, Environment and Societies, and especially the research team “Urban and regional planning projects, landscape and environment”. A tutor will advise each student and supervise his/her research and seminars will be organised.
Tutorials: 12 hrs, Project: 84 hrs
Keywords: Research methods, research design, methodology, innovation, sustainable development, environment, agronatural space.
FLE - French language and French culture - 5 ECTS
French language and culture (in common with other courses at Polytech Tours).
TU 11 - Group research project 2 – Sustainable urban development - 10 ECTS
Following this module, which is organized as a workshop, students become experts in analysing a spatial situation from the perspective of sustainability. They develop solutions to such issues as re-using brownfields or mitigating natural risks. They consider different scales (building, block, district…) and link the planner’s toolbox with the regional culture, the environment and the users.
Tutorials: 55 hrs
Keywords: Case study, intervention strategy, research methods.
TU 12 - Eco-city development models - 6 ECTS
The course reflects critically on sustainable urban development ‘models’, such as new towns, green cities, smart cities, eco-cities. Students will analyse cutting edge urban models worldwide through a variety of interpretations (geography and radical urban development, neoliberal; texts, charters, urban development documents, etc.). They will understand the challenges of planning in urban and peri-urban spaces. They will also acquire skills in using research methodologies for urban comparatism.
Tutorials: 30 hrs
Keywords: Study of the circulation of urban models and global North - South hybridization, spatial planning of city-regions.
TU 13 - Research methodology - 3 ECTS
The course helps students to design a research strategy adapted to their topic. This comprises developing research questions, identifying useful sources to conduct planning research, presenting and structuring a research dissertation to meet required norms and rules. Following this unit, students will be able to carry out a critical choice of bibliographic sources and they will understand the idea of an original contribution to research.
Tutorials: 20 hrs
Keywords: Sources and deontology of planning research, method for writing a dissertation.

Spring term

(January - June)

COM 062 - Introduction to Aquatic Ecology: Riverine, lake, and wetland ecosystems - 2 ECTS
This lecture informs future engineers about planning-relevant features of rivers, lakes, and wetlands as well as their ecosystem functions and biodiversity with a focus on environmental management. A system typology is given and the physical-chemical (abiotic) and organismic (biotic) variables are explained. It is necessary to know the complex interactions of these patterns and processes to understand how they change under the influence of human activities in the catchment basin and in the aquatic system itself. Aquatic ecosystems are the most threatened, although they are essential life-support systems of humanity.
Lectures: 24 hrs
Keywords: Environment, water, biodiversity, human impact, restoration.
COM 053 - Statistics - 3 ECTS
This teaching unit is an introduction to statistics (uni, bi and multivariate plus inferential statistics) with specific applications to the field of “urban, regional planning and environment”. It is a study of statistical methods (ANOVA, Khi 2, regression…) and techniques with emphasis on computer analysis (XLStat, Python, etc.). The practical and technical skills learned will be applied during a student group project with a chosen topic.
Lectures: 24 hrs, Tutorials: 24 hrs
Keywords: Uni, bi and multivariate statistics, Lorenz curve and Gini index, sampling, regression (linear, exponential, etc.) ; contingency matrix ; Khi 2, ANOVA tests, PCA, CFA, etc.
COM 063 - Approaches and studies in aquatic Ecology: Functional ecology of lakes, wetlands and rivers, ecophysiology of aquatic plants and animals - 1 ECTS
Based on the general introduction on to processes and patterns in aquatic ecosystems (UE COM 062), this course (lectures and practical exercises) this course aims (i) to let students apply knowledge from UE COM 062 to case studies and (ii) to present aquatic ecosystems from a more organismic perspective. How do aquatic organisms (plants and animals) adapt to their environment? How do they shape their environment (act as engineers)? How do they cope with environmental variations, and where are the limits of adaptation? Can we transfer adaptive strategies by organisms to urban and landscape planning by humans? Based on this information, aspects of ecosystem management and restoration are introduced.
Tutorials: 24 hrs
Keywords: Organism, life-cycle strategies, adaptive traits, ecosystem management.
COM 072 - Geomatics2 - Advanced GIS - 1 ECTS
This courses focus on geographic data manipulation using a geographic information system (GIS). Complex spatial problems will be modeled and solved using geoprocessing tools (Model Builder). Students will work in pairs using ArcGIS software.
These tutorials cover different topics including: Combine spatial data (intersect, union, clip, buffers, fusion…), Create and edit spatial data, Join tabular data (Excel) with spatial data, Translate spatial data into different coordinate reference systems, Collect, import and analyze GPS data, Make use of collaborative data (Open Street Map), Geocode addresses, Georeference raster dataset, Handle 3D Digital Elevation Models (DEM).
Tutorials: 24 hrs
Keywords: GIS, spatial data, geolocation, spatial models, coordinate reference systems, geographic data acquisition, DEM.
COM 081 - Research methodology - 2 ECTS
This unit is designed to accompany the Master Thesis report elaborated during the semesters. It will explain and help the students step by step, from the research subject to the final findings. Concretely, The lessons will follow the different section of a academic article: Research Subject (1), Data & Methods (2), State of art/ Literature review (3), Theoritical Background (4) ; Results (5), and Discussion (6). This module aims to improve the research skills of students and to develop their critical evaluative skills in relation to the research conducted by other scholars.
Tutorials: 20 hrs
Keywords: Research methods, state of art, empirical data, theoritical framework, findings.
UIT 082 - Workshop – 8 ECTS (one among them):
Teamwork Project on “International Territorial Engineering (ITI)”:
ITI’s Workshop is conducted by groups of about ten students. It aims at the identification of relevant scale (neighborhood, city, agglomeration, region ...) to define spatial strategy elements. They cover many issues that articulate object and project in planning (places making, citizens in urban affairs, heritage and tourism, Master Plan’ orientations, economic development ...). Each workshop is supervised by 2 academics and 1 practitioner. The proposed exercise is field-oriented and calls for various analysis tools (data collection/analysis, interviews, surveys, sketching, mapping, graphing, photo, video…) to give a reliable diagnosis and introduce recommendations to solve a territorial problem (report/oral presentation).
Project: 120 hrs
Keywords: Diagnosis, recommendation, spatial planning, territorial issues, urban methods and engineering tools.
Teamwork Project on “Sustainable development and Ecology Engineering (ADAGE)”:
The workshop of the option (Sustainable development and Ecology Engineering), deals with a project in the field of the built or natural landscape. It discusses the impact of the project on the environment and develops an environmental approach to Urbanism (AEU) including the use of techniques of ecological engineering, sustainable construction, energy-saving, new ways of moving. In addition, this option plays a large role in the future of the rural and peri-urban territories in terms of knowledge, protection and development. The future of the rural territory is also dependent on what we do in our cities tomorrow.
Project: 120 hrs
Keywords: innovation, sustainable development, environment, agronatural space.
Teamwork Project on “Urban and Environmental Engineering (RESEAU)”:
The ecodesign workshop of NETWORK's option (DAE, PolyTech Tours) aims to have students produce urban projects. These projects must respond to a mandate framed by an operational sponsor according to economic, social and environmental issues, and have to be materialized through an urban solution rigorously spatialized, sized and appropriately reported. In this training, the term “project” means on the one hand, the urban solutions sized thanks to several engineering models (energy, transport, water, waste …), and on the other hand, the process that makes it possible to produce them ("agile" methods). At the conclusion of this process, students report scenarios of solutions (including the models they have designed) using innovative tools of communication (3D models, virtual reality, interactive GIS, web site, etc. - for an example, see )
Project: 120 hrs
Keywords: Agil method, network, energy, transportation systems, engineering models, urban design, environment.
FLE - French language and French culture - 5 ECTS
French language and culture (in common with other courses at Polytech Tours).
PFE - Research project - 9 ECTS
This unit validates the research placement that will be conducted within the research laboratory Cities, Territories, Environment and Societies, and especially the research team “Urban and regional planning projects, landscape and environment”. A tutor will advise each student and supervise his/her research and seminars will be organised.
Tutorials: 12 hrs, Project: 84 hrs
Keywords: Research methods, research design, methodology: innovation, sustainable development, environment, agronatural space.
TU 18 - Research internship – 25 ECTS
With the help of a supervisor, students develop a research question in relation to existing work and they conduct a state of the art literature review. They manage their research as a project (scheduling tasks, managing priorities and respecting deadlines). They write a thesis which sets out arguments, and links conclusions to data.
TU18 requires TU13 as a prerequisite (one year student mobility)
Keywords: Supervised research dissertation, documentary work, field work.