Action 5 – Enhance

Bridge the gap between urban research and practice through mobile workshops and the development of MOOCs


Complementing Action 4 (practical-empirical implementations), workshops, as conference follow-ups further a shift from knowledge transfer to exchange and implementation.

Drawing on themes embedded in the SDG #11’s targets and a selection of the methods addressed in the conferences, teaching-research-courses and practical-empirical implementations, debates are encouraged to, for instance, deal with the positivist assumptions that seemingly continue to buttress research methods of urban design, planning and policymaking aimed at rendering cities and communities sustainable. Additionally, excursions will be organised in order to integrate a contextualised perspective, and locally-based practitioners will be invited to  participate  to shed light on the implications that deploying spatial research methods for practical purposes entails.

Further, when delving into interrelations among evidence, decision-making and actions to promote inclusion, resilience and safety in cities, the role and use of research methods, creativity and circumstantial contingency are pivotal elements. Accordingly, evidence-based practice of design, planning and policymaking is thought to help bridge the gap between academic research and professional work. However, several hurdles must be considered: the character of valid evidence, the accuracy and effectiveness of research methods and inequalities in respect to resource availability. Hence, synergies between research methods of the social sciences and those of design, planning and policymaking are to be explored to promote urban sustainability through evidence-based and low-impact urban development strategies. Out of the workshops, a conjunct research agenda will be put together to set the road for future research on spatial methods and urban sustainability to be developed and put into action.

Given the ongoing pandemic and the impossibility to carry out the workshops in the format originally intended, the first round of workshops is going to be delivered as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) based on the above framing. Plans to develop seven MOOCs are afoot, which comprise a wide array of topics and diverse contexts across the Global South. 

Action Speakers for Action 5


Scientific Coordinator


Prof. Dr. Gaurav Raheja

Prof.-Dr Gaurav Raheja b&w


Dr. Ing. Katleen De Flander

Katleen De Flander b&w


Prof. Dr. Angela Million

Angela Million b&w

Action 5 Outputs