WATER BASED CITIES: Urban Quality Development & Management

Project Details


The overall objective of the AUNP financed project Water Based Cities-Urban Quality Development and Management, WBC-UQDM, is to enhance competencies for improved development and management of life quality in water-based cities in Thailand, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Denmark.

The universities and cities who are directly involved (partners and external partners) will be immediate beneficiaries of the project. The 5-university (Aalborg University, Berlage Institute, Chulalongkorn University, Mahidol University, and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia) consortium, which is to be developed under this project, intends to continue its cooperation after the project by disseminating the methodologies and project results to other potential users, as well as by offering the International Masters Programme and other education and training courses to additional cities and universities both in Asia and in Europe. The university consortium cooperates closely with 4 city administrations, namely Aalborg Municipal Administration, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, Kuala Lumpur City, and Rotterdam City.

The specific project objective is to upgrade the competencies of professionals who are already in city management positions, and to improve the education of university graduates, who will fill public and private positions that influence city life quality in the future. The project aims to increase the co-operation between cities and universities within the field of UQDM by a number of activities. The five universities and the four city managements will together examine existing physical, social and economic infrastructures and identify bottlenecks, barriers and deficiencies in on-going urban development processes. On the basis of this material, and building on interdisciplinary and problem-oriented and project-based teaching methodologies, new continued education programmes for city managements, including a new International Master Degree Programme in “Urban Quality Development and Management” and revised curricula at universities will be developed and tested. The project will establish an international university consortium to enhance intercultural and interdisciplinary development and the interaction between universities and cities (theory and practice) in the field of UQDM.

Features. To focus the broad subject of Urban Life Quality within the limited time and resources of this project, it has been decided to deal with especially urban spatial design, urban environment and urban socio-economics. This approach covers some very essential challenges in improved urban life quality. For example, it allows a systematic evolution of new methodologies that specifically address questions such as cities as generators of socio-economic development, increased public health and life quality, public participation in decision-making, and urban poverty alleviation.

Another important feature of this project is that cities and universities will co-operate and create a symbiosis by cities providing cases and data, and universities providing the necessary theory and room for reflection and analysis of practical experiences. In the longer perspective citizens will profit from this project, because city development and life quality problems will be identified earlier and by more skilled professionals, who can practise interdisciplinary work and secure participatory approaches in planning and implementation of solutions.

The Project Management Team is located at Aalborg University and consists of Prof. Jens Aage Hansen (I18), Prof. Hans Kiib (I19), Assoc. Prof. Björn Johnson (I3), PhD Student (Project Manager) Martin Lehmann (I3), and Project Secretary Sophie Vestergaard (I20).

Main Activities are

·         Assessment of partner city needs for improved Urban Life Quality and competence development of city administrators.
·         Review of existing partner university curricula
·         Cross-country academic development of new modules (English language study plans and materials) based on the principles of problem-based learning for 3 scientific areas: Spatial Urban Design, Urban Water and Waste and Urban Socio-Economics
·         Development and integration into the blocks of case materials based on real urban management problems from Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Rotterdam and Aalborg.
·         Testing and quality assurance of the new modules in collaboration with city administrators/professionals and graduate students
·         Use of these new, mutually accredited blocks to create an International Masters Degree in Urban Quality Development and Management and to practice a more interdisciplinary approach in existing continuing education programmes and university curricula.
·         Three (3) joint workshops for ensuring commit­­ment to interdisciplinarity and integrated used of course and case materials.
Effective start/end date10/01/200401/05/2006


  • ASEAN-EU University Network Programme (AUNP)


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