Master of Arts in Urban and Regional Studies: Smart Cities and Urban Informatics

General

Programme Description

General Information

The program builds on the success and combined strengths of the current MA program in Geography and Urban Planning a combined degree offered by Geography and the Institute of Urban and Regional Studies. This is currently the largest MA program in the Social Science faculty with an intake of nearly 70 students. The proposed program will diversify this successful collaboration. It will add a Smart Cities emphasis to the curriculum of the Institute of Urban and Regional Studies and concomitantly, it will extend the current Geoinformatics emphasis within the Geography Department, that exists at the BA level, to the post-graduate level. This proposal is unique within the landscape of Israeli universities. The Urban Planning program at HU is the largest in Israel and the Geoinformatics track in the Department of Geography is the largest, broadest, and highest standard program offered locally. We intend to capitalize on these strengths in order to develop this new area of higher education and equip a new generation of urban planners and policymakers with the requisite toolbox for addressing the Smart City.  

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Unique Value Proposition - Why Us? 

The uniqueness of this centre will be its a-priori social science perspective. It will emphasize the role of technological innovation and smart urban practice in improving the economic welfare, democratic participation, and quality of life of urban residents. In this respect, smart cities are conceived as a vehicle for empowering smart citizens, rather than the other way around.

  • Excellence grappling with big ideas, promoting cross-disciplinary research on cities, technology, and democracy, training and educating the next generation of Israel's top urbanists.
  • Utilize the expertise housed in the various departments of the Social Sciences faculty to meet the challenges of the era of Smart Cities.
  • Translate academic knowledge to the world of practice through promoting community engagement. 
  • Collaborating with the Jerusalem Municipality in applying Smart Urbanism.

The Programme Offers

  • Offer short, intensive courses for local activists and leaders in the Jerusalem municipality;
  • Launching a roundtable series of seminars as periodic events devoted to agenda-setting Smart City topics, and aimed at bringing together students, faculty, and specialists;
  • Hosting a range of public and academic courses and demonstrative workshops on topics relating to public participation and Smart Citizenship involving students, scientists, civil society, and urban practitioners;
  • Launching a roundtable series of seminars as periodic events devoted to agenda-setting Smart City topics, and aimed at bringing together students, faculty, and specialists;
  • Offering scholarships to support study-tour courses to cities around the world, with an emphasis on providing a unique learning experience, fostering comparative work across countries, and broadening our student's understanding of urban networks;
  • Enabling students to participate in Smart City internship programs offering the opportunity to work alongside private and public sector agencies, gaining first-hand practical experience and improving their employment opportunities.

Structure of the Programme 

  • Leveraging the neighborhood managements as VGI data collection hubs, dealing with issues of urban services, planning, and transportation. Hebrew U researchers from the Faculty of Social Sciences have already started an ambitious project in this direction;
  • Using Urban Intelligence for decision support. Hebrew U researchers from the Faculty of Social Sciences have developed simulation models for large-scale disruption to the city;  
  • Preparing the city for Autonomous Vehicles (AV). Hebrew U researchers from the Faculty of Social Sciences are currently exploring avenues of collaboration with the Jerusalem-based AV start-up Mobileye (part of the Intel group);
  • City innovation startups—collaborating with the HUstart innovation centre on facilitating city-related startups.

Details

Application Period: to be announced.

Tuition: approximately $5,000.

Studies take place on one track: non-research track without final thesis.

Admission and Requirements 

Pre-requirements: no preparatory courses are envisaged nor is proficiency in Hebrew is required.

Eligibility: is contingent on a good quality bachelor's degree (82 or equivalent grade average) and a high level of English proficiency. Students are generally expected to come from a relevant disciplinary background such as, but not limited to, social or environmental sciences including Geography, Urban Studies, Sociology, Statistics, Economics, Public Policy, Political Science, Environmental Studies, etc. Admission will be partially based on a personal interview (via skype).

Last updated Nov 2020

About the School

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is consistently ranked as the top university in Israel and among the top 100, worldwide. In addition, The University was ranked the top Israeli university and 201-20 ... Read More

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is consistently ranked as the top university in Israel and among the top 100, worldwide. In addition, The University was ranked the top Israeli university and 201-205 best out of the top 800 institutions in the 2016-17 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, published by the British magazine Times Higher Education. HUJI was the only Israeli university to place in the world’s top 200 universities in the rankings. Read Less