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Land in the City - Green in the City

Cities are grey and full of smog? Not at all! City dwellers are spending their leisure time in gardens and cultivating their own fruits as well as showing their children where the food comes from. Parks are central places for a big variety of activities. We will explore these developments especially regarding Berlin theoretically and practically.

Course periodJuly 23, 2018 - Aug. 17, 2018 Session II
Category Metropolitan Studies & Urban Development
Course levelsBachelor
Class size

max. 18 participants in class

Credits and certificate

Participants will receive a final grade certificate and 5 ECTS credit points only in the event of regular attendance (must be present 80% of the time), as well as active participation. Additionally, six weeks after the end of the course a Transcript of Records is issued by Humboldt-University.

Application deadline June 1, 2018, or when participant quota is reached
Early bird discount50.00 Euro until Feb. 15, 2018
Alumni discount50.00 Euro
Course fee630.00 Euro


Urban agriculture and horticulture provide multiple functions and benefits to urban dwellers and cities. Their advantages are manifold: healthy nutrition, reduced loss of food due to inadequate transport and storage, poverty reduction through income opportunities and possible own consumption, education, leisure, and a greener livable city with all its ecological benefits.

Urban agriculture arises not only out of crisis situations, but also exists because of its proximity to urban markets, the availability of productive resources, closeness to institutions, etc. Especially in developing countries producers often live in marginal or illegal settlements.

The course will identify and show examples of the many functions that agriculture and horticulture fulfill in large cities, especially in Berlin.

The aim of the summer school is to provide students with knowledge about ecological, scientific and institutional conditions, as well as the production and the social functions of urban agriculture and urban gardening.

The seminars, lectures and field trips will offer specific skills, tools and know-how to manage urban design and environmental infrastructure, in particular to deal with food production, energy, housing, transport, water and recycling management.

Students learn about different fields of sustainable green urban development and recycling techniques.

Syllabus will be available soon
Course structure

Academic lessons

  • You will receive a total of 45 hours (one lesson equals 45 minutes; 11 hours per week).
  • The lessons are held three times a week.
  • Lessons will comprise lectures, group work, discussion sessions, excursions.


Schedule (Track B)

Monday: 9 am – 10.30 am & 11 am – 12.30 pm
Wednesday: 9 am – 10.30 am & 11 am – 12.30 pm
Thursday: 1.30 pm – 3 pm & 3.30 pm – 4.15 pm


Cultural extra-curricular activities:

HUWISU offers a fine selection of interesting extra-curricular activities and aims to give all participants an unforgettable stay in Berlin. Your program includes excursions, sport activities and social gatherings providing you the opportunity to get to know the city, the university and your classmates better and to meet students from all parts of the world. The costs for these offers are included in the course fees.

Activities and tours we offer regularly: Federal Chancellery, German Parliament, House of Representatives, Topography of Terror, Political Archive, Museum Island, Kreuzberg Tour, Daytrip to Potsdam, Boat trip, Beach Volleyball, Exhibitions, Farewell Party…

Language skills English: B2
Motivation Letter about one page in English
Student Profile

This course is designed for undergraduate students of all subjects with a strong interest in urban planning, ecological, environmental, cultural and agricultural topics.

In order to follow the course, a very good command of English is required. The minimum age requirement is 18 years.

Prof. Dr. Dr. Christian Ulrichs

PD Dr. Heide Hoffmann

Mr. Volker Minks, Dipl. Ing. Agr.

Volker Minks holds a master degree in agricultural engineering with specialization in urban gardening, landscape design and sustainable urban planning. Mr. Minks has worked in interdisciplinary research projects in the areas of urban agriculture and horticulture, green technology, innovation and sustainable urban planning in Germany, the United States, Cuba and Brazil. He is currently a PhD candidate atthe Life Sciences Faculty at the Albrecht Daniel Thaer-Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciencesof Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, andaffiliated with the University of Sao Paulo (USP).

His research is related to the ecological, economic and social benefits of green areas in cities as ecosystems, especially in the context of research, practice and education on megacities and climate change.In 2011 he worked as coordinator for the C40 Sao Paulo Large Cities - Climate Summit and co-produced the publication - Building Sustainable Cities. Since 2011 he acts as coordinator and lecturer for the HUWISU summer school course "Land in the City, Green in the City".

Since 2009 he is developing the cooperation between USP and HU Berlin, and organized several KOSMOS Workshops as coordinator and instructor at USP and Humboldt: Berlin meets Sao Paulo: Cities for all – livable and sustainable.

Since 2014 he is part of the Cátedra José Bonifácio of the Ibero-American Center (CIBA USP), dealing with the challenges of Latin America in the areas of international governance, trade, negotiations, security, energy, education, innovation and environment.

Dr. Cornelia Oschmann

CoordinatorPierre Steuer | pierre.steuer@hu-berlin.de
Contact detailsInternational Office
Unter den Linden 6
10999 Berlin

This course can be combined with: