Course Details

Program dates


Travel dates


Course credits

Total credits: 6



Photo of Nicholas Zaferatos

Nicholas Zaferatos

Professor of Urban Planning and Sustainable Development, Huxley College of the Environment
Environmental Studies 444

The program focuses on comparative studies of Mediterranean urban and island communities. Beginning with an exploration of the importance of public spaces in Athens, we then shift focus to examining traditional medieval villages of the Aegean and Ionian Islands. The course emphasizes studies in sustainable development in urban and traditional Mediterranean Island communities and includes field investigations emphasizing sustainable development, the study of village form, and current issues facing Greece. Students will explore neighborhoods in transition as well as ancient sites and will assess village form using sustainability methods. Our residency stay in Ithaca focuses on a design project as part of our continuing research in Ithaca. The Ithaca project received the 2017 Outstanding Student Planning Study awarded by the American Planning Association and the Planning Association of Washington.

View the program poster.

Greece water surrounded by green trees

Program Highlights

Explore Mediterranean architecture, urban planning, traditional village development, and culture while performing fieldwork in village community settings.

The program involves 3 parts:

Part 1: Our exploration begins exploring urban Athens, examining urban design and spaces, the city’s historic development, plans to pedestrianize the central city, historical sites and museums, and the impacts of austerity and migration.

Part 2: Involves island hopping across the Aegean islands for comparative studies of traditional settlement villages in the Cycladic chain of Islands.

Part 3: Includes a residency in the island of Ithaca with planned excursions. In addition to Ithaca Island, we plan to visit classical Cycladic Islands (Aegean Sea) that include Syros, Folegandros, Serifos or other islands in the Aegean and Ionian Sea depending on scheduling feasibility.

Expectations of Participants

Activities include visits to museums, cultural sites, and hikes to and around medieval hilltop villages. With or without reasonable accommodations, students must be able to: sit and/or walk for eight hours/day, walk for hours at a time in warm weather, climb stairs and stand for prolonged periods.

Periodic refrigeration provided in many, but not all of our accommodations. Durations of traveling with no refrigeration available.

Participants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to departure.

group of students on a rock in Greece with water in background