From September 10-12, the international Urb@Exp research project held a kick-off meeting with all partners at the International Centre for integrated assessment and Sustainable development of Maastricht University. Urb@Exp received funding for 3 years from the Joint Programming Initiative Urban Europe and establishes an intense collaboration between Maastricht University, Lund University, Malmö University and Graz University, city partners from Maastricht, Antwerp, Malmö, Graz and Leoben, and the consultancy Pantopicon.
Under the leadership of Prof. René Kemp from Maastricht University, the project will examine urban experiments with ongoing living and city labs to evaluate, conceptualize and improve new forms of urban governance and city development. Dr. Christian Scholl (ICIS) coordinates the project on behalf of the consortium. Dr. Joop de Kraker and Dr. Ron Cörvers (both ICIS) are also participants in the project.
During the meeting all partners discussed the research agenda and presented their contribution to the project. Upon arrival, they received a warm reception by the Alderman in the Town Hall of Maastricht. The next Urb@Exp meeting will take place in Malmö in March 2015. Soon, a website will inform all interested scholars and urban practitioners on the process and the results of this project.
The Winter School on Oil & Gas (9-18 July 2014, Maputo, Mozambique) was a joint initiative between Universidade Eduardo Mondlane and Maastricht University and financed by NUFFIC. The Winter School adopted a multidisciplinary approach, focusing on the exploration and production of oil and gas in Mozambique. There was ample of attention to the technical aspects of the gas finds, but the impact of gas exploitation on the country’s social and economic development, its legal framework and human capital was also part of the program. Annemarie van Zeijl-Rozema and Astrid Offermans contributed to this Winter School by developing and organizing a course entitled “System analysis – Knowledge and action in Mozambique: a multi-stakeholder perspective”. The emphasis was on recognizing and identifying different perspectives on (problems related to) oil and gas in Mozambique and to develop a multi-stakeholder process design to analyze and solve identified problems while considering a plurality of viable perspectives and knowledge sources.
Towards new forms of urban governance and city development: learning from URBan Experiments with Living Labs & City Labs, or to use its acronym URB@Exp, is a joint research project of researchers, policymakers and civil society actors from Austria, Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands. The project will be led by ICIS.
Knowledge development and knowledge exchange at city level and between cities are central in the project. The aim is to learn how urban labs contribute to city development, how innovative solutions for urban problems emerge, and what actors are involved. Special attention will be given to the role of local authorities and their plea for new modes of urban governance.
The cities of Antwerp, Graz, Leoben, Malmö and Maastricht are project partners and open their urban labs for experiments and research. The city administrators and policymakers are in particular interested in guidelines for improvement of their urban approaches. The universities of Graz, Lund, Malmö and Maastricht pull together their expertise to study urban labs and issues of (sustainable) urban development in an innovative way. Pantopicon, an SME in Belgium is also partner in the project because of their expertise in participatory approaches and foresight studies.
The URB@Exp project will run for three years, and starts with a kick-off meeting in Maastricht in September. The aldermen of Maastricht, Gerdo van Grootheest is excited about the project and declared last week at a press conference: “Maastricht is in a new phase of urban development. New times demand a different approach. This means that a new way of urban development is needed in which reallocation, flexibility, temporary use, gradual transformation, sustainability and co-creation is central. Maastricht-LAB, a development platform for co-creation and new urban development fuels this process of urban change’.
The URB@Exp project is funded by Urban Europe (an international research programme), but all project partners invest also own resources.
On the World Environment Day 2014, June 5th, the Gemeente Maastricht awarded three student projects for addressing sustainability in an innovative, sound and feasible way. From a total of 26 projects, the alderman on sustainability, Gerdo van Grootheest, gave the first prize to a team from the Master-program ‘Sustainability, Science and Policy’ that worked on Sustainable Tourism for the community of Leudal.
During the last two months all 26 teams of international students worked on sustainability and innovation challenges in Maastricht or the Euregion. The students are part of the master programs on Sustainability Science and Policy, (by the International Centre for Integrated assessment and Sustainable Development) or Business Innovation and Sustainable Development (from the School of Business and Economics). Numbers one to three were:
1. Sustainability Assessment Project Plan: Sustainable Tourism in Leudal. Team: Liza Wood; Iva Hořejší; Chiara Lissandrello; Vanessa Hofeditz.
2. Food Waste Management: Assessing the Feasibility of a Multi-Stakeholder Online Platform. Team: Fabian Liße, Tanja Milenkovic, Bram Hoogers, Sascha Niebel, Rafael Tojeira, Tim Hassenbürger, Quentin Gilon.
3. A Beyond Greening Approach to Save Water: A Green Business Model for reallocating the World’s Water Availability. Team: Kay Bemelen; Lorena Blickhäuser; Bernhard Geiler; Konstantin Huber; Martijn Klinkeberg; Valentin Reichert; Martin Scholtz.
On the 15th and 16th of May 2014, ICIS organized a PhD Workshop regarding public-private partnerships. During this workshop we discussed the relationship between certification, sustainable agriculture and development from different methodological perspectives. We elaborated on the specific knowledge and policy implications. On the basis of these insights, the participants were invited to reflect on their methodological choices and the implications for their own research.
Are you looking for a master’s programme with an international classroom and a global perspective? Maastricht University offers what you’re looking for! Experience Maastricht University yourself by visiting the next Master’s Open Day on Saturday 22 February 2014. During this day you can get informed on the Master Sustainability Science and Policy. You will also have the opportunity to visit the information market where you can talk to staff and students.
The Master Open Day was a success as many interested students visited our event and came to the presentation on the Master Sustainability Science and Policy.
Prof. Pieter Glasbergen (ICIS) and Prof. Bustanul Arifin (University of Lampung) presented our joint SPIN-project “Global Certifying Partnerships“ at the Open Science Meeting entitled “Science and Society“, organised by the Joint Working Committee Indonesia–The Netherlands, January 27-28 in Makassar, Indonesia. Nia Kurniawati Hidayat, one of our SPIN PhD’s was also invited to present her paper “Impact of certification on palm oil smallholders’ livelihood”. The OSM was followed by a three-day workshop organised by ICIS (MUNPOP) and the University of Lampung to discuss the results from the fieldwork of the 5 SPIN PhD’s and the content of the first working papers. Also the research program for 2014 was discussed. End February the Indonesian PhDs will return to ICIS for the next phase in our joint research project.
A Memorandum of Understanding between ICIS and the College of Agriculture at the University of Lampung was signed by ICIS director Ron Cörvers and UNILA dean Wan Abbas Zakaria on January 30th in Makassar, Indonesia. This Memorandum formalizes our joint willingness and efforts to continue the collaboration between ICIS and UNILA in the SPIN-MUNPOP project “Global Certifying Partnerships”.