Social Sciences

The Regenerative City

Regenerative Development in Place, Society and Self

Learn regenerative approaches to the development of place, society and self by working with, from the bioregion west of Amsterdam and communities living there. The course brings together pioneers in this emerging field for an immersive experience. 



Course Level
ECTS credits


Learn regenerative approaches to the development of place, society and self by working with, from and in the Western polders and communities of Amsterdam. The course brings together pioneers in this emerging field for an immersive experience. 

Regeneration is quickly becoming a trend in farming, finance, ecology, urban development and social change. For cities and living (eco)systems to thrive they require the capacity to regenerate, and adapt to change. But how do we ‘do’ regeneration at the scale of landscapes, place, communities and systems? This course brings together pioneers of this way of working and offers expertise on supporting disciplines.

This programme is offered by the Honours College, EWUU Alliance, and Academy of Place.

How would we develop our cities and countryside such that they support all life? That question guides our action research in the ecological corridor of the Amsterdam Wester Scheg that bridges urban life and countryside between Amsterdam and the North sea. It is home to some of the lowest polders in the Netherlands, has the largest diversity of species and cultures, and has the last fertile soil of the city. Many of the great challenges of the city come together in this place. The food transition, land enclosure, climate adaptation, disadvantaged communities, to name but a few. Meanwhile the city densifies, data- and distributions centres sprawl through the land, and families and farmers are trying to find ways to make ends meet.

Building local capacity for renewal and vitality go hand in hand with the need to navigate the increasing pressures of the global market, climate change, or social inequality. What practices do we have at our disposal to navigate these pressures and develop life affirming interventions? How do we make sense of place in its different dimensions and dynamics? What is our role and place in such complex and large challenges?

This course gives you an approach to regenerative development, provides the tools and frameworks for place-based work as a means to regenerate and heal our relationship to the land, ourselves and community. 

We will be weaving connections between stakeholders, deepening our understanding of place, and strengthening our community & personal leadership.


  • You are invited to take a role in leading certain activities in the course. As a community of practice we share the space of learning, and this participatory form of learning creates immediate experience in the work of regenerative practice. Working in community allows the programme to embody principles and practices that are essential in Regenerative Development.

Experience-Based Learning

  • Our approach is rooted in hands-on, place and project-based learning. We will work on places, projects and initiatives brought in by you, the participants, allowing for an integration of theory and practice that resonates with your reality. This approach also creates a rich learning environment where insights from diverse projects illuminate universal principles of regenerative development.

Why Should You Attend?

  • The Regenerative City offers an opportunity to contribute to the creation of more resilient, sustainable, and vibrant regions and communities. This course not only offers the chance to network and collaborate with like-minded students and professionals but also provides valuable resources and tools to aid in your professional journey.


Target audience

The course will be valuable for all levels of study as we use mainly experiential learning and frameworks that allow for both introductory and advanced work. It is a pre to have affinity with place-based development, agroecokogy, or sustainability in landscapes, communities, and cities, but the course transcends disciplines so all backgrounds are welcome.

  • Advanced bachelors
  • Master students
  • PhD
  • Postdoc 

Aim of the course


  • Know what makes a place or region flourish and where to start;
  • Have greater awareness of the relationship between our inner landscape and the landscapes in which we live.
  • Have a foundational understanding of frameworks and approaches to regenerative development;
  • Know how to identify the right scale for intervention and regeneration (site, community, place, (bio)region);
  • Have a range of ways to understand a place and what it needs.
  • Ways how to understand the complex social, economic, ecological and cultural dynamics of place as a whole
  • Know how to leverage the assets of place for its regeneration
  • Have developed practices for personal and community leadership in regenerative work
  • Learn to navigate the tensions caused by the large societal challenges and transitions (in energy, food, water, inequality, ecology etc), both in our own lives and in the unique context of a place
  • Have worked with experienced (bio)regional regeneration practitioners;
  • Have learned from the experience of a cooperative science, art, and urban farming community and its regional stakeholders in the Amsterdam polders;
  • Have become part of a living community of practice.

Study load

Fulltime including some of the evenings.


  • Course fee: €450.00
  • Included: Course + course materials + lunch
  • Housing fee: €200
  • Housing provider: Utrecht Summer School

  • For students from Utrecht University no fee applies
  • There are max eight places for EWUU students, who can participate for a fee of € 150,-

If you are in one of these categories, follow the regular application process after which the fee will be waived by the institution. Only accommodation costs apply.

Additional information

The Utrecht Summer School offers housing in Utrecht, though the course takes place in Amsterdam. Participants will travel back and forth (by train and bike) to the farm estate in Amsterdam. For participants it is possible to set up a tent at the farm instead if they want the proximity to the site. 


More details will follow at the onboarding session online.

Onboarding sessions

May 22nd 18.00-19.00 CET

May 22nd 18.00-19.00 CET


After the onboarding session we will have 2 preparatory online sessions to prepare for the Sumer school. Here we will iet to know each other, introduce key concepts, discuss preparatory material. 

Online preparation sessions:

June 26th - 18.00-20.00 CET

July 10th - 18.00-20.00 CET


After you have applied you will be invited for an introductory intake online. Here we get to know each other, the intentions of the course and participants, and can get prepared for what is to come. 

In preparation of the intensive week on site, we will have four online sessions (biweekly on Wednesday 18.00 hrs CET) and an assignment so that by the time we meet we share a background and the necessary knowledge to start. 

For this course you are required to upload the following documents when applying:

  • Motivation Letter
  • C.V.