Academicians from across the Mediterranean meet in Tirana to materialize cooperation among Schools of Architecture and Urban Planning in the region through concrete joint actions, including the launching of a student competition on urban design.
Tirana, Albania, 18-19 May 2023. The third meeting of the “Academic Advisory Group – Network of Schools of Architecture and Urban Planning of the Euro-Mediterranean Region” was organized by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and hosted by Polis University in Tirana on 18-19 May 2023, and gathered a group of academicians from across the region committed to working together to advance efforts towards the internationalization of Higher Education, as well as towards the implementation of the UfM Strategic Urban Development Action Plan 2040.
The meeting served to advance the discussions on concrete joint actions to materialize cooperation among architecture and urban planning schools in the region, including the launching of a student competition on urban design.
The inaugural session of the “UfM Meeting of Schools of Architecture and Urban Planning” was organized in Barcelona on 23 May 2022, to set in motion the process of review, updating and convergence of curriculums of those Schools, with a view to enhancing skills development in higher education, while facilitating youth employment, and promoting links between academia, students of architecture and business enterprises active in the region. The meeting was also the occasion to hear about the opportunities that the EC offers to universities, including COST and ERASMUS+ programmes.
A follow-up meeting held in Ankara on 1-2 December 2022 and hosted by the Middle Eastern Technical University, advanced in consolidating a group of academicians from across the region interested in working at a regional level.
The UfM Urban Agenda and the UfM Strategic Urban Development Action Plan 2040 provide a roadmap for addressing challenges of urban development around the Mediterranean and proposes evidence-based, integrated and participatory education, focusing on the contextualisation of global policies such as the SDGs and the mutually reinforcing relationship between sustainable, fair, and inclusive urbanization.
The Action Plan highlights the key dimension of the science-policy interface for boosting planning and design capacity in the region. Universities across the Euro-Mediterranean region are seen as catalysts of this process, providing on-the-job training to planning professionals, through lifelong learning programmes (LLPs) and educating the next generation of urban planners and designers. Local universities must build bridges between science and research on the one hand, and public authorities, spatial policies and urban interventions on the other.