Wits – TUB Urban Lab Interdisciplinary Bilateral Postgraduate Studies Programme
The recently adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement have highlighted the fundamental roles played by cities and local urban stakeholders in achieving sustainable development. The Habitat III process and the New Urban Agenda (NUA), currently under discussion and expected to be agreed in Quito in October 2016, is a unique opportunity to strengthen the urban narrative globally and provide an enabling framework for cities and local urban stakeholders to achieve SDG goals. By recognising that cities and their inhabitants safeguard global common goods, such as climate, economic prosperity, social integration, democratization and political stability, a profound change in policy responses is needed to enable truly transformative actions, motivating changes in the way we use, build and govern our urban environments.
The bilateral Wits-TUB Urban Lab programme supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) seeks to improve graduate education in urban fields across sub-Saharan Africa. Both lead partners, the Habitat Unit at the School of Architecture of the Technische Universität Berlin, and the School of Architecture and Planning at University of the Witwatersrand offer a new urban-oriented graduate and postgraduate training and capacity building programme that would effectively address the challenges and needs outlined above.
The overall objective of the programme is to: Contribute to the implementation of urban-relevant SDGs and the New Urban Agenda in sub-Saharan Africa through the development of a sustainable, bilateral academic programme at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) and TU Berlin (TUB) that will deliver increased capacities at institutional and individual levels in academia, civil society, private and public sectors. The main project activities will include bilateral exchange activities, workshops and conferences implemented through the Wits-TUB Urban Lab and will focus on four innovation areas that address SDG implementation in urban areas:
- Integrated approaches towards SDG implementation
- Implementation tools
- Political context for urbanisation
- Practice orientation: Wits-TUB Urban Studio
The programme offers scholarships to African students with the first scholarships available for the masters studies at Wits University commencing in 2017.
The programme is funded by Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, School of Architecture and Planning, Professor Mfaniseni Sihlongonyane, Professor Marie Huchzermeyer