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Citylabs: Engaging Students with Sustainable Cities in Latin-America
Start date: Oct 15, 2015, End date: Oct 14, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The CITYLAB project aims to enhance the quality of HEI’s in Latin America through problem based-learning. A problem-based learning is a proven innovative approach for introducing real-world problems in the education program with huge possibilities to transform the quality of learning and teaching. It is a kind of active, integrated and constructive learning method that works from a student centred approach and emphasizes on learning to learn and learning by doing, and breaks with traditional teaching methods such as ex-cathedra lectures. In order to introduce and spread PBL, it is required to work on specific problems through multidisciplinary approaches. We choose to work on typical urban problems, such as urban planning, conservation, energy and climate change, poverty and crime, employment, …which are in general complex, and wicked problems that can only be properly addressed through multi-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary working methods. Moreover, the selection of urban problems, and the transdisciplinary approach which works directly with urban actors, provides the opportunity to structurally strengthen the relation between universities and cities and to make education more socially relevant. The project departs from existing niches of problem based learning methods in curricula of Architecture, urban planning and urban engineering in 12 Latin American universities, and gradually involves other faculty members such as sociology, economics, environmental engineering, law, criminology, administration and political sciences, ….through the development of CITYLABS. The CITYLABS are accredited modules that will be integrated in existing curricula and which work directly in partnership with selected cities on urban problems. Teachers from different faculties will be involved and trained to implement PBL methods in their CITYLAB module. The Global Network of Cities, Local and Regional Governments will act as a linking partner between universities and cities.
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