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Charrette Book 2018

Charrette 2018


Charrette Book 2018

Urban Concepts in Sustainable Transition

Download the full report of the summer program 2018:

Charrette Book 2018 - small pdf file 11MB

Charrette Book 2018 - high resolution pdf file 115MB

Please take a look to our Exhibition 2018

Human Ecology in Emmendingen

Transition Town

Located 15 km north from Germany´s Eco-Capital Freiburg, Emmendingen has decided to become a climate neutral community by 2050 and was awarded prices for climate excellence in 2011 and 2015 by the ministry for environment of Baden-Württemberg.

A vital mid-size town and administrative centre in south western Germany with 40.000 inhabitants is looking for strategies and effective measures to support the ambitious goals for the  climate adaptation necessary.

The discussion around a College of Human Ecology started together with experts and citizens from Emmendingen in 2011.

Climate Challenge

The faculty of newly founded European College of Human Ecology (Europäische Hochschule der Humanökologie gGmbH) has conducted international Summer Programs since 2015 in Emmendingen.

This year´s focus was put on Sustainable Urban Development, looking at the challenges caused by Climate Change. Innovative urban concepts for transition were investigated and applied to Emmendingen contexts, creating unique opportunities that would derive for the region from Emmendingen becoming a vivid college-town, where change agents could be trained to shape a more sustainable future.

Thus a college of Human Ecology could both mark the beginning of an new area of sustainable urban planning while enabling local and global partners in the transition process towards 2050. The curriculum of the European College of Human Ecology will address: 

-Urban and Regional Development

-Sustainable food- and agriculture

-Infraculture and sustainable mobility

-Environmental technology and services

City Campus

The concept for a multifunctional city campus for the college was used as a guiding principle for this summer program.

The idea is to establish a college of Humane Ecology as a Real World laboratory for sustainable development, combining teaching, research and implementation competencies. With approximately 300 students such a college could ignite further economic and social initiatives within the region e.g. in affordable housing, urban farming and start-ups and by this increase attractiveness of the city for young families and highly qualified people.

Additionally the city campus aims to

Demonstrate how architecture with a sustainable code can meet cultural and environmental challenges from climate change for urban neighborhoods. The Federal Program for Urban Development NPS (Nationalen Projekte der Stadtentwicklung) offers Emmendingen an unique opportunity and could provide an initial funding for a sustainable city campus development.


During the two weeks in Emmendingen the students were introduced to a human ecological framework around food systems.

Concepts of sustainable food, food security, and meals were explored with respect to meeting ecological, health, social andcultural criteria. They were exposed to relevant subject matter, theoretical concepts and research methodologies in a Real World Lab.


Practical learning took place within a transdisciplinary group project with the goal of designing a sustainable food map for the town and the region.The group work is meant to familiarise students with the practice of the businesses on the one hand and introduce them to a collective workshop environment.

The Real World Lab takes the form of a Charrette, i.e., a workshop open to the public, giving the cooperating businesses and interested citizens the opportunity to become involved in the study process. As work progresses the student groups showed interim results and gave a final presentation.

Methods where used:

-Project experiential learning

-Visual representation

-Real world Lab

-Collective workshops

Experienced faculty members from both DGH and COA worked with the

students to guide their learning, while respecting Individual interests and creativity and encouraging students to self‐organize.


During the first phase of the program we visited a wide range of local sustainable food enterprises related to food production, food marketing and trade, food consumption including meal preparation, and food waste. Students chose the partners that awoke their interest and formed three working groups.

Each group consisted of two to three students who for their project decided on a self‐chosen problem to investigate together with one of the cooperation partners in Emmendingen.

Each group also analysed the current cultural conditions of this actor in Emmendingen and proposed improvements in terms of greater food and meal security and sustainability.

These results are presented on the following up pages.

Students 2018

Anja Simić, Serbia

– is a 16 years old young woman from Serbia. Within her home country she participates successful in science competitions because she has a broad interest beyond school subjects. Anja is passionate about chess and during the summer program she wants to learn about ways to change and transit a city towards sustainability.

Braulio Andres Covarrubias Vargas, Mexico


– is a 21 years old Mexican student at the University of Oklahoma doing his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He is interested in bringing together urbanism and transportation engineering within an environmental approach. He also hopes to get involved with the research and development of green energy in his future academic experiences. He is part of Sooners Without Borders, a student organization with the purpose of improving the lives of others through sustainable and community-based projects.