CARPE European Sustainable Solutions for Existing and New City Environments Erasmus Project

General information for the CARPE European Sustainable Solutions for Existing and New City Environments Erasmus Project

CARPE European Sustainable Solutions for Existing and New City Environments Erasmus Project
July 7, 2020 12:00 am

Project Title

CARPE European Sustainable Solutions for Existing and New City Environments

Project Key Action

This project related with these key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project Action Type

This project related with this action type : Strategic Partnerships for higher education

Project Call Year

This project’s Call Year is 2014

Project Topics

This project is related with these Project Topics: Regional dimension and cooperation; New innovative curricula/educational methods/development of training courses; Environment and climate change

Project Summary

In the coming decades important geographical, demographical and environmental changes will take place in the urban environment. The rate of urbanization is increasing rapidly, the age structure of the urban population is shifting towards more elderly people, and environmental pressures in especially urban areas are increasing. These changes challenges us to develop integrated sustainable solutions for economic, social and environment problems in urban areas. To optimize solutions, a tight cooperation between HEI’s and local authorities is needed. The need for a transition towards more sustainable cities requires a reinforcement of academic programs that educate professionals being able to develop viable solutions for creating smart sustainable cities. The cooperation of universities and municipalities will result at the end in local changes, learning from each other’s approaches and learning to work together on societal challenges.

The key-objectives of ESSENCE were:
1) (Inter) Regional dimension and cooperation: ESSENCE aimed at accelerating the design, development and uptake of viable solutions for sustainable cities by enhancing cooperation between HEIs and regional authorities such as municipalities, incubators (e.g. by introducing an international Sustainable City student competition and a Start-Up competition for students).
2) Environment & climate change: ESSENCE aimed with developing a joint international course programme on creating sustainable cities, involving HEIs and regional authorities, and disseminate parts as open courseware and setting an example for other regions.
3) New innovative curricula/educational methods/development of training courses: ESSENCE aimed at investigating, exchanging and testing best practices of innovative teaching approaches, blended learning, distance learning, flipped classroom and ICT methods, and to implement those in a joint course (30 ECTS) on creating sustainable cities.

The project partners in ESSENCE were 5 HEI’s and 3 municipalities. The HEI’s are partners in CARPE (Consortium on Applied Research and Professional Education), first of this kind in the field of Applied Sciences in Europe, started in 2011. CARPE aims at connecting education and research with their regions to increase social and economic value of the knowledge that they create.

Undertaken main activities:
In the first year the challenges for developing sustainable cities were discussed in more detail. A course outline was set up, and teams were formed to develop course material together, using the specific expertise of each other. The teaching staff was trained in the use of innovative teaching approaches (creative solution searching and blended learning). Two multiplier events were organised: a conference on blended learning & Smart Sustainable Cities and a conference on creative solution searching in a Smart Sustainable City. The infrastructure for using Open Education Resources (OER) was developed in Moodle.
In the second year, the course material for a study programme of 30 ECTS was completed, and placed within the infrastructure. With the 3 municipalities the real life challenge was analyzed and described, in a way the students could work on it. The international Start-Up competition for students was organized, to try out a part of the learning material.
In the last year, the course programme was tried out in Utrecht (in a blended learning format). Also the learning material was tried out in a pressure cooker, connected to the international student Sustainable City competition in the 3 municipalities (Utrecht, Turku and Alcoi) was developed. A conference on Viable solutions for sustainable cities was organised.

The impact is to describe as an increased attention to sustainability in the participating urban areas, an increased collaboration between the regional authorities and between the HEIs, and finally, with help of this program the students of the five participating HEIS are better prepared for their future positions. New learning material is developed, new learning approaches were implemented.

Longer term benefits are to find in:
– An increased uptake of innovative teaching approaches leading to the modernization of HEI education, in blended learning, in creative approaches and in learning for sustainable cities;
– More intensive collaboration within the HEI’s, resulted already in the common effort to implement the results in Vietnam, in collaboration with 6 Vietnamese universities;
– Intensified collaboration withins HEI’s and with the municipalities about Smart Sustainable Cities;

EU Grant (Eur)

Funding of the project from EU: 448095,2 Eur

Project Coordinator

Stichting Hogeschool Utrecht & Country: NL

Project Partners

  • Ajuntament d’Alcoi