Digital City - Geomatics and Urbanism

Specialisation taught in 2021/2022, no longer available from September 2022

Programme Overview

Implementing the digital transition of the sustainable city:

  • Build the digital twin of the city
  • Understand its impact on decision-making (mobility, health, land, resilience, etc.)
  • Address the complexity of urban systems, their stakeholders and processes for sustainable city management
To ensure the multidisciplinary nature of the courses, this specialisation is taught in conjunction with Nantes School of Architecture (ensa) and the AAU laboratory. Five of the courses are held at ensa and a majority of the teaching staff are part of the CRENAU research group in the AAU laboratory.


International students can follow this specialisation, taught (mainly) in French, via:

  • A double degree programme - Open to international students selected by our partner institutions. Selected students spend two years studying courses from the engineering programme at Centrale Nantes. This usually includes one year of the common-core engineering curriculum followed by one year of specialisation. Double degree students are typically accepted after successfully completing two or three years of higher education in their home institution.
  • The fast-track engineering programme: Open to students with a Bachelor's or equivalent degree in science. Our fast-track programme gives international students who are qualified to bachelor level the opportunity to gain the 'diplôme d'ingénieur' in just two years.
Course Content
Autumn Semester Spring Semester
Introduction to Programming  Building Information Modelling
Geographical Information Systems (partly in English) Image analysis and processing
Urban issues Urban policies
Geographic information systems and databases City representation
Professional applications Project 2
GIS Engineering Internship
Urban data modelling
Urban models: history and critical analysis
Project 1

Download 2021/22 syllabus

Examples of projects and internships

Examples of past projects

  • A dynamic interface for analyzing the public transport network load in the Nantes conurbation (in partnership with AURAN)
  • Definition of indicators for urban ambience (with the research laboratory CRENAU)
  • Development of indicators for 3D urban data (with Oslandia)
  • Representation of mobility and accessibility using an interactive 3D isochronous representation (with Siradel)
  • Cartographic representation of a pollution sensor dataset on Rennes resulting from a colloborative acquisition
  • Decision support, electrical power calculator and cartographic proposal for a tool for the electrical supply of real-estate projects (with Nantes Métropole)
  • Exploiting 12 years of bicloo data (Nantes Metropole)
  • Search for future "green" areas in Lyon (LIRIS)

Examples of past internships

  • Design, build and integration of GIS (Sopra Nantes)
  • Creation of an IT tool for feedback and testing of geomatic techniques for decision-making in order to prioritize the handling of industrial risks. (GrDF Paris)
  • Construction of 3D models, design and administration of spatial databases and development of operational tools (ForCity)
  • GIS/Smart Cities Consultant (Sopra)
  • GIS configuration of roadside trees (local authority)
  • Design and implementation of a style model adapted to a 3D web application (IGN-COGIT)
  • BIM Development in Digital Services (Vinci Construction)
  • Construction of BIM digital heritage and management of real estate databases (Foundation)
  • Development of an urban planning GIS (city of Redon)
  • Cartographic retranscription of illumination measurements (SPIE)
  • Analysis of local energy consumption according to the hourly activity profiles of users in the area (EDF)
  • Tramway and surface transport project, participation in eco-design studies (AEGIS Rail)
  • Issues, uses and limits of the urban digital twin: exploration of potential applications for modelling the city in summer (Nantes Métropole)
After the Specialisation

The varied tools and techniques explored in throughout this specialisation refer to the rapidly expanding market of urban engineering.

Sectors of activity

  • Local or regional authority (Nantes Métropole, etc)
  • Planning agency (AURAN, IAU etc)
  • Urban engineering consultancy
  • Companies in the digital sector such as Cap Gemini,Sopra, IBM
  • Architecture, engineering and building firms: Suez, Vinci Construction, GRDF, Artelia, NGE
  • Research bodies (IGN, CNRS)

Career Prospects

  • Urban data officer
  • Geomatic engineer
  • ‘Smart city’ project manager
  • Heritage project manager
  • Planning engineer
  • BIM manager
Published on November 2, 2015 Updated on August 31, 2022