In an increasingly inter-connected and technological world, we must develop models for urban living that take full advantage of technology while increasing the participation of residents in developing new opportunities for a better life. The notion of the Smart City is a recent response to this challenge. It is based on an urban development model that enhances not just the physical infrastructure of a city, but also the intellectual and social capital of its residents. The participatory elements of this model seek to foster the collective intelligence of the population in a manner that is broadly inclusive and oriented towards innovative problem solving.
The idea of collective contributions to an improved living environment shares many features with the evolution of populations, be they bacteria in a colony, cells in a tissue or animals in an ecosystem. This project-based program uses the principles of evolution at the molecular, cellular and population level to innovate new models for engaging the citizens of Paris in meeting the urban challenges of their city.
The coursework lays a foundation based on the history of Paris as an intellectual, socially innovative and economic powerhouse, combined with an exploration of the Smart City model as it applies to such issues as transportation, information technology, and urban planning. At each step along the way, you also learn the fundamental principles of evolution, adaptation and ways to deconstrain evolutionary change while using them to transform the principles of Smart City design. Together with French university students, you work in interdisciplinary teams to develop and express these ideas in actionable project designs.
You must be at least 18 years old and have completed at least one year of college or be a first-year student in good academic standing to apply.
The application materials, outlined below, are due January 28, 2016:
- A completed online application (available in early December) that includes:
- A $50 nonrefundable application fee
- A statement of interest in the program and in the course, including information on relevant coursework and travel experience abroad (previous travel is not a prerequisite). In particular, your statement should address your interest in Paris, biology, and its application to urban development.
- Transcripts (student record accepted for Harvard students)
You will be notified of admission decisions by mid-February.
There is a nonrefundable $50 application fee. The program cost includes the following:
- Room and some meals
- Field trips
In addition to the program fee, you are responsible for:
- A health insurance fee (waived if you have US insurance that provides coverage outside the United States)
- Transportation to and from Paris
- Independent excursions
- The cost of passports and visas (if the latter is needed)
- Any immunizations
How to pay and funding options
See Payment and Funding for payment deadlines, deposit amounts, and more information, including funding options for Harvard College students.
You are housed at the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, a vibrant and international student community located next to the beautiful Parc Montsouris in Paris.
Contact Robert Lue, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students with disabilities
Contact the disability services coordinator as soon as possible. See Students with Disabilities for more information.