From 25- 26 February 2016 a first meeting of the Citylab project took place in Antwerp, Belgium. The Columbus university network gathered five universities from Europe and 12 from Latin America to work in cooperation with UCLG and its members on creating sustainable cities through Problem Based Learning (PBL) methodologies.
Given the complexity of tasks related to urban management, the future will call for urban professionals and academics who can relate their work to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through urban knowledge and competences in interdisciplinary approaches. Universities will have a key role in preparing them.
Traditional learning methods produce a relatively poor performance in comparison with problem based learning PBL which learns from real life problems and closes the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge.The participating universities want to broaden the selected “niche” (architectural and urban design studio’s) in which innovation is already present and expect UCLG to structurally strengthen the relationship between cities and universities by:
• Endorsing contact with city leaders and practitioners
• Reinforcing the perspective of cities and Politian’s
• Connecting the SDGs with working results
During the meeting, the vice-mayor of Antwerp Claude Marinower highlighted the importance of the universities in enhancing the competiveness, openness and innovation of cities. UCLG hopes to motivate the universities to engage in the learning agenda within the context of the next World Congress in Bogota.