Integrating the UN-Habitat NEW URBAN AGENDA in higher education curriculums

Between 7 and 9 June 2017, the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of the TU Delft will organise an Urban Thinkers’ Campus (UTC ) on Higher Education for the New Urban Agenda. The title of our UTC is “EDUCATION FOR THE CITY WE NEED: HOW DO WE TEACH THE NEW URBAN AGENDA?”.

The New Urban Agenda is the outcome document agreed upon at the Habitat III cities conference in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016 and signed by all the UN member states.

The NUA will guide the efforts  of a wide range of actors around urbanisation — nation states, city and regional leaders, international development funders and civil society — for the next 20 years.

After the enactment of the document, attention has shifted towards IMPLEMENTATION: how to implement its principles?  

We believe that universities have a special role in preparing young professional and critical citizens to face the challenge of making our cities sustainable, prosperous, fair and inclusive. But in order to do so,  we are reaching out to stakeholders from the academic and educational worlds, as well as NGOs, companies and government agencies, to discuss how best to teach and learn issues related to and stemming from the New Urban Agenda. 

The TU Delft UTC will discuss strategies, methodologies, literature and practical exercises that can be implemented in higher education courses in Europe and elsewhere. Our attention is on social, economic and environmentally sustainable urban development everywhere, but the challenges of urbanisation in the Global South are truly urgent.

Our main question is:

How to prepare young professionals to understand and implement the New Urban Agenda in very diverse national and local environments? 

This UTC will also be a moment to meet like-minded people, engage in debate and form new partnerships. 

This is an initiative from TU Delft in partnership with TU-Eindhoven, IHS-Erasmus Rotterdam, Arcadis and others.

What are UTCs?

The Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC) model is an initiative of UN-Habitat’s World Urban Campaign, conceived in 2014 as an open space for critical exchange between stakeholders and partners. It aims to promote sustainable and inclusive urbanization. It is also envisaged as a platform to advocate enlightened planning and design of our cities and propose urban solutions for different contexts of development.  

Read more about UTCs HERE.

Our premises

We use the following premises to start the discussion:

  1. Education for urban development is inter and multidisciplinary ( we are a school of planning and design but we want to hear from other areas of knowledge and practice)
  2. Staff and students are increasingly mobile and universities are internationalising quickly. Universities everywhere are responsible for educating young minds to tackle global challenges of urbanisation.
  3. The Global South and the Global North share many problems of urban development, but the intensity of the problems varies dramatically, and so does implementation capacity.
  4. Knowledge about urban development in the Global South must be produced or co-produced by and with researchers and practitioners from the Global South. 
  5. Education in urban development must happen within frameworks of discussion on democracy, values and ethical challenges.

TU Delft is one of the leading technical universities in Europe. It strives to create and disseminate knowledge in crucial areas of sustainable and resilient development, such as renewable energy and water management.  The Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment is a global learning centre for fair and sustainable cities and regions.  

What drivers of change will we tackle?

The WUC has established 10 drivers of change that will lead to the city we need. What drivers of change will the UTC TU Delft emphasise? While we believe that the 10 drivers are intertwined and cannot be completely separated, we will concentrate on EDUCATION. This is because we believe Universities have a special role to play in preparing young citizens with critical minds to tackle the challenges ahead.

Within EDUCATION, we emphasise other drivers of change that are specially realted to design and planning of the built environment. These drivers of change are 1. GOVERNANCE & PARTNERSHIPS, 2. PLANNING & DESIGN, 4.LAND HOUSING & SERVICES, 5.ENVIRONMENT, 9.TECHNOLOGY and finally 10. MONITORING and EVALUATION.

These are the drivers of change established by the WUC:

1. Governance and Partnerships

2. Planning and Design

3. Finance

4. Land, Housing and Services

5. Environment

6. Health and Safety

7. Economy and Livelihoods

8. Education

9. Technology

10. Monitoring and Evaluation

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