europe study tour

Landscape Architecture/Urban Sustainability - Paris, Amsterdam, &Rotterdam Spring 2016

LA 593F, 3 Credits, Spring 2016
Professor Jack Ahern, 473 Hills South
Course meeting: Tuesdays 7-9  PM
Study Tour: March 11-20, 2016 (Spring Break)

Spring 2016 Semester Seminar

The course will meet weekly throughout the Spring 2016 semester to gain an international perspective and theory and best practices on historical and contemporary landscape architecture, urban design, and urban sustainability (sustainable transportation; pedestrianization, urban land use planning, brownfield redevelopment and park/open space planning and design)  

Weekly homework will include readings, individual research projects and sketching. 

Preliminary Travel Itinerary

The study tour part of the course will occur from March 11-20, 2016 with 4 days in Paris, 3 days in Amsterdam, and 1 day in Rotterdam.

Each of these cities are known as international sustainable cities.  Each also has a rich history of urban design and landscape architecture.

  • Paris: The historic landscapes/parks/urban spaces of the “city of light” including: Jardin du Luxemborg, Tuilleries, Champs Elysée, Palais Royal, Pere LaChaise Cemetery, Canal St. Martin, Notre Dame Cathedral, Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coer Cathedral/Montmarte, and Versailles Palace gardens. Also late 20th Century parks: Parc de la LaVillette, Parc du Bercy, and Parc Andre Citroen, Promenade Plantee (precursor to NYC High Line), Place de la Republique and sustainability initiatives including VeloLib Bicycles, and urban greenway planning.
  • Amsterdam: The daily itinerary will include visits to Vondel Park, The Canal District, the Jordaan neighborhood, Hoofje Housing neighborhoods, the new brownfield Westergasfabriek Park, the new urban waterfronts of Borneo-Sporenburg and Ijburg.  Amsterdam is known as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world.
  • Rotterdam:  The itinerary will include visit to The Schowerburgplein Square (West 8)  the Museum Park, the Kunsthall (Rem Koolhaus) and the Kop-van-Zuid district.  Planned office visit to the West 8 Design Firm, a leading international Landscape Architecture practice.

Course Fees and Expenses

$3550-$3950 Total Estimated Cost/student – including course fee, air-travel, and meals/personal expenses

  • $2250, International Programs Office Course Fee: covers hotels (2 or 3 persons per room), breakfasts, ground transportation (train, metro passes, bicycle rental, bus), and entrance fees. Note: the course fee may be decreased once the number of students is set.
  • $900-$1100*, Estimated Airfare: to be booked as a group fare and paid separately by students. AIRFARE is Not included in course fee above. Will depart from Boston on Friday March 11 (Arrive Paris Sat AM, March 12) and return from Amsterdam to Boston on March 20 (bus back to Amherst Sunday evening, March 20.
  • $400-$600* for meals and personal expenses.  These costs can be reduced if you are frugal.  Living costs are high in the cities we will visit.

Financial Aid

The IPO course fee (minus your $500 deposit) will be added to your UMass Bursars bill and will be due with your Spring 2016 tuition and fee payment (January 2016).  Students who are receiving financial aid may be able to add the full participation amount to their student loan. Please speak with IPO for questions about financial aid.

What to do if you are interested in the Course:

1. Register for the class with IPO:

Read the course brochure information, continue to “Register Now” and follow instructions. 3 Course credits will be awarded for SPRING 2016.
If you have questions about registering please contact International Programs Office.  Your registration application will be reviewed by IPO. 

2. Pay the deposit

To reserve a place in the class, a $500 deposit must be paid to the International Programs Office within 2 weeks of your acceptance into the program, or by MONDAY NOVEMBER 30, whichever date is earlier.  Please pay deposit at the Main Office of IPO at Hills 467.  The maximum enrollment is 20 students. The minimum number is 14.  A waiting list will be maintained if there are more than 20 students interested.  A $500 deposit is also required to be on the waiting list.

Please make your $500 deposit by cash or check, payable to the University of Massachusetts.  Please hand-deliver your payment to the IPO Office 467 Hills - open 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.   

3. December 1 Announcement

Decision on course offering depending on enrollment (minimum 14 students).  Students will be advised about purchasing airfare and billing of remainder of course fee. All deposits will be refunded in full if the course is cancelled for lack of enrollment or other reasons. If a student on the waiting list, who has paid a deposit, is not offered a place in the class, they will be issued a full refund. 

4. Course fee Billed

The course fee will be billed on your Spring semester bursars bill. 

5. Passport and Visa

If you are US citizen you need a passport valid until September 2016. If you are not a US Citizen you may need a visa.  Check with IPO. 
If you have questions about the course content, organization, financial or other concerns, please contact the instructor: Prof. Jack Ahern (