Urban Concepts in Sustainable Transition

International Summer University 2018


An ambitious program for gap year students and freshmen

 

The Summer University on Urban Concepts in Sustainable Transition will will address controversial questions regarding urban lifestyle, its sustainable development and innovative concepts towards a transition to green urban business and way of life. It will challenge students to bring the discussion on sustainability into practice through real-world case scenarios with local partners in Emmendingen.

Students will develop skills for a needed local and global transition to a sustainable future. The content of the Summer University is relevant to both nations of the Global South and to industrialized countries. Students from different regions of the world will have ample opportunity to share their experiences from their diverse cultural perspectives.

Sustainable Industry in Urban Context

Work and research in a Real World Lab

Summer University Students 2016

Urban concepts for sustainable development are at the forefront of changes and challenges in our future way of life. Such concepts analyze of the value squandered by the linear industrial economy. They are redefining concepts of production, distribution and consumption in our everyday organization.

Students will be introduced to new frameworks in sustainable urban development and human ecology, as well as concepts in cultural and power dynamics, and community assessment. Students will be exposed to relevant subject matter, theoretical concepts and practical skills in a Real World Lab, with emphasis on practical learning through a transdisciplinary group project in the open ambience of a Charrette in the heart of Emmendingen.

After visiting selected local development sites, students will divide themselves into groups of two to three in order to investigate and address a self-chosen problem together with one partner business or organization. Each group will analyze the unique challenges of their site and will evaluate the potential to incorporate or expand sustainability into its strategy. Simultaneously, students will combine their observations from Emmendingen and new concepts from lectures and discussions to analyze the sustainable potential of local development. At the end of the two weeks, groups will present findings, key concepts and any recommendations in a public exhibition for the town of Emmendingen.

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Students will have ample time to gather first-hand experience on site with their partner or organization, and work autonomously in teams to develop their projects. Experienced faculty members from both COHE and COA will work with the students to guide their learning, while respecting individual interests and creativity and encouraging students to self-organize.

The Real World Lab takes the form of a Charrette, i.e., a workshop open to the public, giving all interested citizens the opportunity to be involved in process. As work progresses the student groups will show interim results and at the end in the final exhibition.

The town of Emmendingen

Emmendingen is a town near Freiburg im Breisgau. The region represents the origin of the environmental movement in Germany and offers great oportunities for a real world lab. The valley Hochrheintal as a central European transport axis could be a system pioneer of future mobility. Not surprisingly, Emmendingen offers a variety of links to the program, including a medieval center with historic gardens, a renaissance castle, a baroque quarter and urban extensions of the 19th and 20th century to build new concepts for climate protection, urban gardening and a future oriented lifestyle. It is also a hotspot of biodynamic production. The Wehrle-Werk AG, an industrial center for energy and environmental technology has kindly provided an office building for our working space. The small exclusive Art-Hotel Markgraf offers a welcoming place to stay.

The urban administration and local business are our supporting partners. They represent diverse areas of urban development and the very heart of the sustainable transition process of the town Emmendingen and their region.

The people and businesses of Emmendingen whole-heartedly supported the DGH Summer Universities in 2015 and 2016 and are supporting the steps necessary towards establishing the European College of Human Ecology in the town.

A Human Ecology College City Campus

A transatlantic American-German Cooperation

The German Society for Human Ecology (DGH), founded in 1975, has had sustainable education on its agenda since the very beginning. DGH-members founded the European College of Human Ecology (COHE) 2017 in Emmendingen to establish a liberal arts college in Germany. The College of the Atlantic (COA) is a small college of excellence on Mount Desert Island in Maine, offering an outstanding human ecology study program since 1969.

Responsible for the program:
Prof. Jay Friedlander (College of the Atlantic)
Markus Hoffman (Europäische Hochschule der Humanökologie)
Duan Phillips (DPZ-Europe Architects, Council for European Urbanism)
Dr. Wolfgang H. Serbser (Europäische Hochschule der Humanökologie)
Dr. Parto Teherani-Krönner (Europäische Hochschule der Humanökologie)