The decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2004-2014) advocated for Higher Educational Institutions (HEI) to enforce a focus on skills, knowledge and competences needed for the grand societal transformation (UNESCO 2014). As the world is increasingly becoming urban, disciplines educating the future generation shaping the urban have specifically been addressed to educate „change agents“ and to develop tools for sustainable solutions (e.g. UN HABITAT). The New Urban Agenda and the SDGs have reemphasized the urgency of change. HEI across the world, however, have been reluctant to integrate aspects of sustainability into their urban curricula (Bina et al. 2016). Internationally there are a number of urban-focused master programs with a developmental focus. More recent programs follow the didactical aim to facilitate shared learning experiences and to co-produce knowledge in the urban realm in order to develop collaborative research methods for sustainable solutions. „Co-Design “and „Co-Production “in science are meant to bridge the gap between science and practice to solve social and environmental problems. It is based on the perception, that feasible solutions for our complex urban reality can only be developed in partnership and requires knowledge that is co-produced by various actors (e.g. UN-Habitat & GLTN, 2010). Furthermore, as planning is a normative terrain co-production deals with the need to negotiate contested solutions as well as to ensure legitimacy of any research conducted (Polk, 2014).
Our session addresses co-production of knowledge that incorporates the ability to work in a multi-actor environment. This includes the integration of knowledge from different disciplines, but moreover the inclusion of values, knowledge and know-how from non-academic sources such as the private sector as well as civil society – individuals and associations (Klein et al. 2010, Polk 2014). The session takes also a critical look and questions the reliability and applicability of the knowledge being co-produced, as scholars have criticized the researcher-driven project initiation and ownership, highlighted the problems of communication and the time and resource consuming process as well as the often raised expectations (Polk 2014, Winkler 2013, Bénit-Gbaffou 2011).
For this session we are inviting papers that focus on modes of co-production of knowledge in research and teaching. We welcome both papers from practice, as well as theoretical contributions. We are especially looking for empirical examples of co-production of knowledge in the context of real-life settings. Among other themes, papers could address the following topics:
• theoretical conception(s) of collaborative research and teaching, its normativity and its implication for urbanity
• research on actor constellations and power relations in and through collaborative research and teaching
• examples of conflictual or non-conflictual co-production of knowledge in different urban settings
• presentation of teaching methodologies and practices that promote collaborative research and co-production of knowledge in urban settings