Programs : Brochure
- Locations: Lecco, Italy
- Program Terms: Fall
- Restrictions: Drexel applicants only
The Responsive Urban Environment (RUE) looks at the city through the lens of ecosystem management. RUE considers the city as a complex network of interrelated systems that rely on each other to maintain system balance. A dialogue of hardscape to landscape, city infrastructure is comprised of buildings, roads and bridges with respect to green public space, waterways and food access – home to humans, plants and animals, the glue of its ecosystem crossed by issues related to public health, the watershed and biodiversity. Ecosystems themselves are complex adaptive systems that require flexibility and the capacity to respond to environmental feedback to cope with change and uncertainty. The well-tempered RUE is a low-energy sustainable city.
Developing strategies for the RUE is critical to ensure a low-carbon future for our planet. The proportion of the world’s population living in cities has steadily increased over the past century from 14 percent in the year 1900 to 50/50 in 2007. While more people are living in cities than in the countryside today, an estimated 70 percent of people are expected to live in the urban environment by the year 2050 – which is why RUE research is imperative today.
2018 ICA program on Facebook: Responsive Urban Environments
2019 ICA program on Facebook: Responsive Façade 2019
Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:
Prior to departure, students will be required to meet with the instructor twice to prepare for the course. Post return, students will submit a well-researched document that uses principles of ecosystem management to guide the development of strategies for the Responsive Urban Environment.
Credit/Registration: Students will be registered for AE T480 / AE 580 / WEST T480: Responsive Urban Environments for 3 credits as part of their fall term course load. Students must leave room for the 3 credits in their credit load when registering for fall term, or will be billed for credits exceeding the 20 credit maximum. Graduate students will be billed for 3 Drexel credits at their normal rate.
Pre-requisite: None. All undergraduate and graduate majors are welcome to apply for this program.
Optional Global Classroom: Students may opt to take AE T441/541 BIOdesign Global Classroom during spring term 2022 where they will collaborate virtually with students from Politecnico di Milano. In this class, students will be introduced to the methodologies and tools used to govern energy, resources and environmental quality decisions for the design and construction of energy-effective buildings that respond to site specific environmental conditions where they will collaborate virtually with students from Politecnico di Milano.
Instructor: This program will be led by Dr. Eugenia Victoria Ellis, AIA (email@example.com), Associate Professor in the Westphal College and the College of Engineering
Arrival Date: Sunday, September 4, 2022
Departure Date: Sunday, September 18, 2022
Students may extend their travel independently after program date but are responsible for all arrangements.
2022 Tentative Itinerary - Click here for a more in-depth itinerary
September 4, Sunday (Lecco Campus) – WELCOME TO DREXEL STUDENTS
Arrival and check-in at the Adolf Loos Students Dorm
Welcome Apéro with buffet dinner in Lecco @Imbarcadero
September 5, Monday (Lecco Campus)
Welcome and RUE Workshop Introduction; Lecturers: Eugenia V. Ellis, Giuliana Iannaccone
Students present themselves; Team building
Walking tour around Lecco and ascent to the bell tower (400 steps!)
September 6, Tuesday (Lecco city)
Site visit to the project area
The Gerenzone River, the historical district of Laorca and the masterplan for the new lake promenade.
(in collaboration with Laorca Lab)
September 7, Wednesday (Lecco Campus)
Lecture + discussion: “THE ECOLOGICAL FUTURE OF CITIES”, Guest Lecturer; Teamwork
September 8, Thursday (Tour of Chiavenna)
Train to Chiavenna; Historical Center of Chiavenna– walking tour
Lunch break in a traditional “crotto”; Visit to the Park “Marmitte dei Giganti” (Giants’ Pots)
September 9, Friday (Lecco Campus)
Teamwork; Mid-term presentation; Social dinner
September 10, Saturday (Tour on the Lake)
Visit of Bellagio – walking tour; Boat and and tour of Tremezzina
September 11, Sunday (Tour of neighbouring city)
Visit of Bergamo – walking tour
September 12, Monday (Lecco Campus)
Lecture: “REFURBISHMENT AND TRANSFORMATION OF THE INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE. CASE STUDIES”
Guest Lecturer; Teamwork
September 13, Tuesday (Lecco Campus)
Lecture: “BIO-BASED SOLUTIONS FOR THE REGENERATION OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT”
Guest Lecturer; Teamwork
September 14, Wednesday (Tour of Milan)
Train to Milan
From Piazza Duomo to Navigli – walking tour
Visit of the Porta Nuova District
AFTERNOON FREE IN MILAN (with suggested itineraries)
September 15, Thursday (Lecco Campus)
September 16, Friday (Lecco Campus)
Exhibition set-up' Final presentation
September 17, Saturday
Check-out and travel day
Due May 1st: $500 Advance Payment + $25 Application Fee
Due July 1st: $950 Final Payment
*All payments are non-refundable unless declined admission or program cancels for unforeseen reasons.
Included in Program Fee:
Not Included in Program Fee (estimated):
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