16-30 July in Amsterdam and Bologna 

For 2017 the application has been closed.

Turn your research into practice with our two-week PhD summer school on improving Urban Districts. Two case studies in Amsterdam and Bologna will challenge multi-disciplinary participants to shape the urban landscape and its community

Case 1: Amsterdam Overtoomse veld
In the neighborhood Overtoomse Veld, situated in the West of Amsterdam, housing corporation De Key owns housing complexes that are in the start-up process of retrofitting. They were built in 1958, and they are mostly in their original state. Maintenance has not been done for the past 15 years, so the apartments are in poor shape. There are problems with moisture and mould, and infrastructures for heating and ventilation are out-dated or malfunctioning . The energy label of the houses is low, on average an “E”.

The area Amsterdam Nieuw West has a mixed population: about 60% is of non-Dutch origin. The apartments are relatively big (60-80 m2, with up to 5 bedrooms) and the rents are relatively low (400-550 euro on average). They are occupied by bigger families and elderly, many of which of lower income groups of first to third generation migrants. It is expected that part of these residents do not speak Dutch.

The challenge is to develop a strategy for implementation of energy conservation measures like wall insulation, mechanical ventilation and double glazing, to contribute to a better energy label (in this case from E to B) of the building. However, energy performance in terms of energy consumption does not necessarily follow because it depends on future behavior of the residents, therefore an additional challenge is to recruit residents into the retrofitting project. Based on earlier experiences De Key expects resistance towards the project. That is why they want to develop a strategy to involve residents and to ensure their approval so that the project can proceed smoothly.

Case 2: Bologna Sant’Orsola District
The Sant’Orsola District is a very specialized site close to the city center of Bologna that hosts the city hospital and key medical facilities according to a consolidated concept of the past where a number of hospital pavilions were aggregated in a wide green area within the city. On the one hand, this makes the site and the services directly accessible from the historic city by the several user categories visiting it every day. On the other hand, its specialized functions limit the use of outdoor spaces and reduce the possibility of integration with the surroundings.

Sant’Orsola district is facing an ambitious renovation process aimed at strongly reducing energy demand and emissions while increasing the quality of services and working/living conditions for both users and staff. The challenges for this case are to define innovative retrofitting methodologies, connect the site and the surroundings providing additional services, develop solutions for considering end users’ behavioral implications in the process, define new arrangements for outdoor spaces while considering the business side and feasibility of solutions.

Programme Catapult

Preparation: Webinar & Homework

Monday 26 June
Webinar: Case presentations, meet & greet participants and coaches introduction progamme and methodology introduction homework assignment on education portal

Week 1 Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Sunday 16 July
Arrival & Welcome drinks

Monday 17 July
Meet & Greet & Homework presentations
Lecture: Reshaping Urban districts - Frank de FeijterTuesday 18 July
Visit & Tour Overtoomse veld Amsterdam - Frank de Feijter Workshops: Cradle to Cradle - Bram van der Grinten

Wednesday 19 July
Visit & Tour Onze Lieve Vrouwen Gasthuis Amsterdam Workshops: Gains & Pains Stakeholders

Thursday 20 July
Lecture: Envisioning a sustainable city - Prof. Arjan van Timmeren Workshop: Problem definition - Willemijn Brouwer

Friday 21 July
Workshop Value Proposition Canvas - Bram van der Grinten Group work & Mid-term presentations

Week 2 Bologna, Italy

Saturday 22 July
Transfer to Bologna

Sunday 23 July
Free time

Monday 24 July
Wrap up week 1 & Reconnect short term-long term Visit & Tour Bolognina - Giovanni Fini
Visit & Tour Sant’Orsola District , workshop dialogue stakeholders

Tuesday 25 July
Workshops with coaches
Lecture: innovative models for hospitals - Nicoletta Setola Stakeholder session

Wednesday 26 July
Urban center introduction & visit
Lecture: Build interest and Lemon projects lesson learned – Serena Maioli Workshops: Prototyping & Piloting

Thursday 27 July
Workshop: communication (coach/training) Workshop: project finalization

Friday 28 July
Presentation end results: solution and strategic plan to the jury of experts & stakeholders Final party

Key Note Speakers

Giovanni Fini

Giovanni Fini

Giovanni Fini is Environmental Quality Project Coordinator, Environment and energy at the Urban Regeneration department of the Municipality of Bologna. He strongly contributed in the Bologna Adaptation Plan development and took part to several research project involving the municipality to deliver energy saving measures and innovative solutions. He is also involved in Bologna Smart City project.


Serena Maioli

Serena Maioli is an Architect and expert in technological and social innovation in the urban planning and construction sector. Since 2016 cooperates with ASTER – innovation and technological transfer platform of Emilia Romagna Region – on two European projects, LEMON and BUILDINTEREST funded under Horizon 2020. She specifically focuses on sustainable architecture and financial models for building renovation.


Nicoletta Setola

Nicoletta Setola is Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture University of Florence and an Architect specialised in healthcare building. She holds a PhD in Architectural Technology and Design and is currently lecturer in Architectural Technology Studio at the School of Architecture, University of Florence. Her work focuses particularly on spatial configuration analysis related to people flows and users’ behaviors in buildings; she is an expert in ‘Space Syntax’ theory and methodology and its use in analysis and design of healthcare spaces.

RTEmagicC Bram van der Grinten portret

Bram van der Grinten

Bram van der Grinten is Circular Economy product design consultant and Climate-KIC start-up coach. He studied Industrial Design Engineering, master Integrated Product Design, and is specialized in cradle-to-cradle engineering. He is author of the book ‘Nature inspired design’. In March 2012, he re-joined his faculty for the NID research programme, a collaboration between TU Delft and major Dutch companies, aiming to develop a method for Nature Inspired Design that works in practice and is scientifically sound.

arjen van timmeren

Professor Arjan van Timmeren

Professor Arjan van Timmeren is scientific director of the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS). He has played a significant role in integrating technologybased metropolitan solutions for sustainable cities, both in practice and in academia. Through his position and his research group at TU Delft, he is involved in many projects within the Netherlands and abroad, ranging from individual buildings to large ‘climate neutral’ city districts and infrastructure.


The PhD Catapult is an integral part of Climate-KIC’s PhD programme, which means that fees are fully covered for Climate-KIC labelled students. For partcipants of the SENSE graduate school and Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions the fee is €400,00 euro.For all other participants (PhDs registered at an EU university, Researchers and Professionals) the following fee applies: €800,00 euro

The fee of the programme includes:

  • Accommodation (in double rooms). Single rooms are available for an extra charge
  • Breakfast and lunch, and approximately two dinners per week
  • Local transportation & transfer from the first location to the second location

Participants need to cover the travel costs to and from the destination themselves. After the confirmation of acceptance, you will receive an invoice. Course fees need to be paid three weeks before the start of the programme.

Registration & Contact

For 2017 the application has been closed.
General contact: martine.vanveelen@climate-kic.org
Italian week contact: Jacopo.gaspari@unibo.it