Teaching for Urbanism: a didactical experience in a newly academicized area

Roberto Carlos Rocco, Michael Biggs, Daniela Buchler, R. Rooij

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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This paper describes a didactical experience in the Masters course of the Department of Urbanism of the Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands) and issues related to the academicization of its curriculum. Although urbanism is a firmly established discipline in many curricula, in The Netherlands it has entered higher education as a practical and vocational discipline from the engineering tradition. The experience of the implementation of a stronger academic approach in such an environment reveals differences in worldviews among practitioners and academics, which result in frictions about the role and the form of academic research in Masters’ education. This is becoming more evident as urbanism is confronted with the need to situate research actions and outcomes in relation to other more established disciplines, for example through research assessments. We have found problems related to a dysfunctional relationship between research claims and research actions, problems with assessment, trans-disciplinary dialogue and other issues common to areas of knowledge and practice recently entering academia. Here we discuss how new courses and requirements were introduced, that aimed to encourage an academic attitude and improve outputs in relation to academic standards, and how this was done by seeking a dialogue between research and design practice. The experience is examined both from the point of view of staff’s expectations and students’ reception.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlanning's Future-Futures Planning: Planning in an Era of Global (Un)Certainty and Transformation
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 3rd World Planning Schools Congress
Place of PublicationPerth, AU
PublisherUniversity of Western Australia
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-74052-237-3
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2011
EventWorld Planning Schools Congress 2011 - Perth, Australia
Duration: 4 Jul 20118 Jul 2011


ConferenceWorld Planning Schools Congress 2011


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