UCL Urban Laboratory


Setting the Ground, Paving the Way, Consolidating the Gains: The TU Berlin Experience

This presentation introduces two international exchange projects of "Participatory Urban Regeneration" (PUR) and "Mahalle meets Stadtquartier" (MmS) hosted by Technische Universität Berlin. These two projects were both part of the "Hochschuldialog mit der islamischen Welt" Programme (Higher Education Dialogue with the Muslim World) funded by German Academic Exchange Service  (DAAD). PUR (2013-2014) was a partnership between Technische Universität Berlin, Cairo University, Istanbul Technical University, and Tehran University of Science and Technology, aiming at investigating the issue of participation at the urban regeneration projects of the partner cities through a series of events such as workshops, filed works, and winter school for both master and PhD students. MmS (2014-2016) brings together PhD students from partner universities of Technische Universität Berlin, INAU (Rabat), Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University (Istanbul), and University of Tehran in a series of PhD Colloquia in partner cities. These Colloquia, consisting of lectures, presentations, excursions and field works, intend to work as an exchange pool for the international students and give a broad knowledge regarding the dynamic and multidimensional character of  'neighbourhoods' in different socio-cultural contexts.

After a short introduction to both projects, this presentation intends to share the experience and lessons learnt from these activities, and raise the challenges regarding the knowledge exchange in the international partnerships. Following issues will be discussed: challenges of working with international universities with different structural and institutional backgrounds, challenges of working in different socio-cultural settings, dissensus on understanding scholastic concepts such as 'participation', 'regeneration' and 'neighbourhood,' contribution of student exchange and comparative field works in transferring knowledge, the meaning of partnership in culturally and institutionally different contexts, making partnerships sustainable, and the difficulty of achieving concrete outcomes and establishing long-term initiatives to last after the end of funding.

10 minute presentation by M. Reza Shirazi (Oxford Brookes University), Somaiyeh Falahat (Technische Universität Berlin).

Session two (parallel panel two): 14.00 - 16.00, Thursday 17 September, Darwin Building B12/B15. 

Image: PUR + MmS Projects - TU Berlin

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