BLOXHUB Summer School on liveable cities

Cities have become the sites of both the world’s major problems and major possibilities. Consequently, liveability has become a leitmotiv of urban development, and it must be questioned what makes a city liveable, for who and what, and how in practice and theory?

The course introduces different critical perspectives on what makes cities ‘liveable’ and through various themes, we explore specific efforts to improve urban conditions as well as layout the challenges involved. The course is organised around cases from cities around the world and especially Copenhagen and its surrounding lands. Particular interest is given to Copenhagen because it is a site through which ideas and practices of liveable urban living are being explored, promoted and contested. What to learn from these actions and lessons?  

Unfolding liveable cities is about the ability to integrate social, cultural and environmental dimensions. Key to this integration is to investigate and experiment with the diversity of cities and the processes through which life unfolds and cities take shape. Through research-based perspectives and a strong collaboration with local planners and practitioners, you will learn not only from multiple perspectives, but also work with real-life challenges experienced by various urban agents.

More information will be added continuously

Introduction

Today over 50% of world population lives in urban areas, and cities account for 60-80% of global energy consumption and the same level of greenhouse gases emissions. They produce 50% of global waste, consume 75% of natural resources and are responsible for producing 80% of global GDP. Cities and their populations are vulnerable and increasingly exposed to rapid and slow on-setting climate and environmental disasters, which in frequency and intensity are growing exponentially. Cities are also major centers of economic activity, social life, culture, innovation, and knowledge creation.

Urban resilience aims at increasing the ability of urban systems to respond systemically and dynamically to present and future shock and stresses related to major global challenges as unsustainable development patterns, rapid and unplanned urbanization, climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Urban resilience is instrumental to address both causes and effects of these major global challenges, re-thinking the way in which cities are designed, planned and managed, at the same time fostering innovation.

The scientific research on urban resilience has been exponentially growing in the last decade, parallelly a growing number of cities worldwide started developing resilience related plans and actions, following the recommendations and prescriptions national and international policies such as The Sustainable Development Goals, The Paris Agreement, New Urban Agenda and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The key challenge for urban resilience is to co-develop and harmonize scientific and practice led knowledge to support informed and science-based decision and policy making, to enable our cities to evolve and innovate.

Course Description

Liveable Cities have become a leitmotiv of urban development, based on the observation that cities have become the sites of both the world’s major problems and its major possibilities.

The professional competences in demand to assist liveable cities to unfold are first and foremost the ability to integrate social, cultural and environmental dimensions in analysis and recommendations. Key to this integration is to investigate and experiment with the spatial organisation of cities, and this requires understanding the diversity of cities and the processes through which they are produced. It is essential that urban developers and other actors improve their abilities to understand different professional fields and collaborate across such disciplinary differences to meet the challenges confronting the modern city.

The course introduces different perspectives on what makes cities ‘liveable’ and for whom. Through various themes, we explore specific efforts to improve urban conditions as well as challenges involved. The course is organised around cases from cities around the world and especially Copenhagen, a city often associated with liveability and with efforts to ‘Copenhagenize’ other places. Particular interest is given to Copenhagen as a site through which ideas and practices of urban living are being explored, promoted and contested and to the potential lessons of these for efforts to make cities better. Through strong collaboration with local planners and practitioners, the students will learn not only from multiple perspectives, but also work with real-life challenges experienced by various urban agents.

Learning Outcomes
  • Students will develop knowledge of key issues related to urban liveability.
  • Students will learn to identify and problematize issues related to the life quality of urban dwellers.
  • Students will develop competences to work in cross-disciplinary ways in problem-based teams
  • Students will learn from practitioners and scholars alike to understand how urban issues are framed, understood and explored differently in varied contexts.
  • Students will develop theoretical, methodological and practical skills to explore real life urban issues
  • Students will develop competences to present key findings and solutions to group research
Target Groups

Primary target group: International and national Master students from the humanities and social sciences.

Secondary target group: Early phase Ph.D. researchers and young professionals seeking to improve their competences.

Course credits: 5 ECTS

Payment: Only for students outside EU

Course Structure (schedule)

Full day teaching ( the large room)

  • Tuesday October 1st
  • Friday October 4th
  • Tuesday October 8th
  • Friday October 11th
  • Tuesday October 15th
  • Friday October 18th
  • Tuesday October 22nd
  • Friday November 8th

 

Smaller rooms for supervisor meetings and group work

  • Friday October 25th
  • Tuesday October 29th
  • Friday November 1st
  • Tuesday November 5th

 

Course structure

First half of the course:

The first day will contain introductions to central concepts and Copenhagen as a site. Each of the following days will focus on one theme.

Mornings:

Class sessions with lectures and presentations. Each morning will have a theoretical presentation from RUC/Malmø core faculty and local practitioners

Afternoons:

Excursions to relevant urban spaces and/or to offices of collaborators. Here key problems and relevant cases for group work will be explored in collaboration with students, scholars and practitioners.

Day 1: The Public City

+ Introduction to essential concepts and Copenhagen as a site

Day 2: The mobile city

 

Day 3: The smart city

 

Day 4: The touristic city

 

Day 5: The green city

 

 

Second half:

Group work on problem-oriented fieldwork related to the themes of the course.

On-going presentation of work progress on a daily basis.

Research-based supervision from core faculty

 

Final presentations at mini-conference; Collaborators will be invited to participate and give feedback to student presentations.

Important Dates
Application Procedure
Organizers

This course is organised by Roskilde University with Lasse Koefoed as responsible faculty. On-going organisation will be facilitated by Mathilde Dissing Christensen and Emmy Laura Pèrez Fjalland. Discussions about staffing at Malmø University’s Department of Urban Studies have been initiated.

Each theme will be taught by a faculty member with research experience within that field alongside collaborators offering practical insights. Collaborators will not be contacted until funding for the course is secured.

Collaborators will be selected from among the key agents within the specific themes, the main criteria being their contributions and approaches to the various fields. The suggested collaborators under each theme below include partners we imagine would be engaging to work with. However, we welcome potential inputs for relevant collaborators, potentially through activity 7.

Evaluation and reporting to the Bloxhub network will be conducted by Mathilde Dissing Christensen and Emmy Laura Pèrez Fjalland, and be initiated at the end of the course and delivered to the Bloxhub network ultimo September 2019. This work will be conducted in collaboration

Throughout, the evaluation focus will be both on the learning outcomes of students as well as on the collaboration process with practitioners.  The evaluation process will be developed in collaboration with activity 8 ’Metodeudvikling, faglige koordinering, evaluering og rapportering’ from SDU. The evaluation report will thus be orientated towards the learning outcome of students as well as the collaboration process with practitioners. By delivering a thorough revaluation report to the Bloxhub network this module will work to ensure dissemination of knowledge moving beyond the learning outcome of the specific module.

Logistic
Fees