Ecological Infrastructures: The Imperative to Redesign Urban Spaces with Nature

Ecological Infrastructures: The Imperative to Redesign Urban Spaces with Nature

In this intensive course (3+2 days online, 10-day face-to-face in Weimar), you will learn more about the biological complexity of the urban habitat and how to design multiform networks that operate ecosystematically and engage social, cultural and environmental systems. You will collaborate with your peers to plan sets of nature-based solutions that can transform our cities and reduce the impact of climate change.

A renewed conception of the city as a complex natural ecosystem
During the  online week, you will have the opportunity to attend online lectures from international professionals (architects, urban planner, landscape architects, researchers in urban studies) presenting their approach to contemporary urban challenges and engage in rich debates with those experts. Bibliography and case studies will be shared and commented on collectively to offer a clear understanding of ecological infrastructure. What is exactly a “green or an ecological infrastructure"? What are the challenges faced to develop green infrastructure in different urban contexts worldwide? How environmental, social and cultural systems are always intertwined and what key concept like “One Health” means?

An intensive workshop to design an ecological network that corresponds to the climate and urban challenges of specific sites
During the 10-day workshop in Weimar, you will engage in a collaborative process that leads to a set of analysis and interventions at different scales to improve the ecological performance of the selected site. This site can be found in the neighborhood of the workshop place (Thuringia), in your hometown, in contexts you are familiar to, or in places the teachers are experts in (Latin-America, especially Mexico). You will learn to apply approaches of landscape urbanism to design a multiform network where forces interact and accumulate in the long term to help cities become more resilient to environmental changes. This will lead your team to consider different scales, from the power of action of each citizen, to the building performances, to public space management and maintenance, to the planning of the city-region, to the fate of the primary forests and the other species.

Final performance: exhibition
In addition to the active participation of the students, an exhibition and public presentation of the final projects will be organized. Each team will elaborate a visual board -or any other visual support- to present the site analysis, the ecological network designed and some specific elements that compose the green infrastructure. You will be able to explain your design process and argument your proposal to your peers, professors and invited experts and receive constructive feedbacks on your work.

Phase 1: Understanding
Introduction: Course Organization and contents
Key Concepts: Carbon Cycle; Cities and Climate
Change: UN SDGs; Urban Ecology; Naturebased Solutions; Ecosystem Services

Phase 2: Exploring
Site analysis: Culture and Community;
Landscape: Movement and Infrastructure; Built Form
Case Studies: Challenges and Applied Strategies

Phase 3: Proposing
Project Goals: What? Why? How?
Project Map Out: Determining the problems to solve; Identifying the stakeholders; Defining project objectives
Master Plan: Overall strategy for the site; General frameworks; Phases of implementation
Detailed Specific Actions: Illustration of concrete strategies

Students (bachelor from 4th semester and master) from disciplines related to architecture, urban studies, engineering, landscape, geography, sociology, biology, ethnography, cultural studies, environmental economics and others space-related disciplines.

Students will:

  • acquire theoretical and practical knowledge applicable to the urban design process and analytical skills (a socio-spatial grid of lecture for urban areas in different urban contexts worldwide)
  • develop an assertive research and accurate interpretation as the grounding for a relevant proposal
  • implement strategic methodologies, frameworks and development patterns for the urban design process
  • conceive original design proposals that endow spaces with natural-based solutions and green

Elodie Vittu

Bauhaus-Universität Weimar: Elodie Vittu (


Aude Jahan

  • graduated from Sciences Po. Rennes
  • as an urban planner at the French Institute of Urbanism, she had the opportunity to work for international organisations and research centres (WHC/UNESCO, Paris; Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Mexico), private offices (Isocèle Architectes Urbanistes, Paris; Geoecosphera, Cuernavaca) and public administration (Instituto Municipal de Planeación de León) in France and in México.
  • she is currently working as an independent urban planner and as a professor for different universities in León (ENES-UNAM and Universidad La Salle Bajío). She teaches theoretical and practical urban courses and workshops in Master's and Bachelor's degrees, focusing on the rich complexity of urban environments. 
  • Over the years, she has specialised in environmental and land use planning, presenting my research as a lecturer in different types of forums. I recently published an article on green infrastructure and spatial planning in a joint publication of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and the Universidad Iberoamericana.

José Fernando Nieto Rueda

  •  senior architect and urban planner with over 15 years of experience in the development of residential and commercial projects, as well as master plans and real estate developments.
  • fascinated by cities all over the world and their architecture, my education and professional experience have been characterised by an open vision that has allowed him to work in different urban contexts (America, Europe and Asia).
  • in parallel with his professional practice, since 2016 he has had the opportunity to be a professor at the Universidad de la Salle Bajío and Tec de Monterrey Schools of Architecture (both in the city of León), where he teaches the "Urban Theories" and "Urban Design" courses, as well as the "Architecture and Context" and "Sustainable Architectural Design" workshops.
  • considering cities as living organisms, he believes it is important to imagine all their dimensions - social, environmental, economic, political, urban and architectural - in order to design projects that respond to their context. Therefore, urban projects imply transdisciplinary approaches and the ability to collaborate with other professionals in achieving relevant, feasible and creative design proposals.

The course fee is 990 EURO.

790 EURO for students & alumni
350 EURO for BUW students

The course fee includes:

  • Orientation & Support
  • Programme according to description
  • Teaching materials
  • Bauhaus Summer School ID card
  • Daily Lunch at the University Cafeteria (Monday - Friday)
  • Certificate
  • Internet access at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
  • Free use of library
  • Accompanying programme including excursions
  • Free entrance to museums belonging to Klassik Stiftung Weimar
  • Travel by public transport in Weimar

Please note our terms and conditions (admission conditions, cancellation conditions etc.)

The course fee does not include:

  • Travel costs
  • Accommodation
  • Insurance
  • Additional excursions

1. Online Registration

Please register first in our system ► Registration
Please follow the instructions on the page.

2. Documents

Please submit until 01.05.24 the following documents:.

  • CV

  • Letter of motivation



3. Selection Process

All applicants will receive notification about the outcome of the selection process as soon as possible via e-mail. In case of a positive answer you will receive the invoice simultaneously which you will have to pay within 10 days. If applicants fail to do this, places will be given to others on the waiting list.

If you need a VISA, we recommend you to get informed now about the requirements and to make an appointment with the German embassy in your home country.

A maximum of 20 applicants will be selected to participate in this course.

Discover how to design multifunctional green infrastructure to help cities and citizens face climate change challenges.


Blended course

Online period: 5 days August 03 - August 17, 2024

August 17 - August 31, 2024



The course language is English.