The financial and economic crisis in southern Europe is also leading to dramatic developments in education, such as mass reductions at universities and lack of investment at schools. The challenge of innovative learning spaces is grounded on the development of concepts for the current pedagogical trends: learning in the digital age, individualized learning and inclusion are just some topics that change the way spaces need to be designed and respond to these new necessities. This is not an isolated German concern but a worldwide movement.

In the 21st century learning still takes place in formal learning spaces such as classrooms and lecture halls. In contrast, informal learning spaces are also gaining in importance in the city, such as co-working spaces, cafes and town squares. More and more European Cities recognize the great potential of their various educational institutions as important elements of urban educational landscapes and promote the networking of educational institutions and the city: The city becomes a learning space.

The main idea of this dialog is the exchange of approaches and ideas developed towards this matter by learning from each other and getting to know country-specific topics.

The SRH University Heidelberg/Germany, the Università degla studi Firenze/Italy and the Universidade do Minho/Portugal are planning as part of a sustainable interdisciplinary cooperation the implementation of a three-part event concept with students, junior researchers and researchers.

LEARN [IN] Symposium in Heidelberg: May 07 – 09, 2019

LEARN [IN] LAB I in Florence: September 10 – 12,2019

LEARN [IN] LAB II in Guimaraes: November 26 – 28, 2019

By taking examples of the selected cities; Heidelberg, Florence and Guimarães, each of which offers different perspectives for the implementation of innovative learning spaces, the links between architecture, urban planning, landscape, social sciences, art and education will be considered to develop new strategies for a sustainable future.

LEARN [IN] is a DAAD founded project in the research program “Hochschuldialog mit Südeuropa” (dialogue of universities with southern Europe).

The DAAD is the world’s largest funding organisation for the international exchange of students and researchers. The motto of the DAAD is “Change by Exchange”. Since it was founded in 1925, around two million scholars in Germany and abroad have received DAAD funding. It is a registered association and its members are German institutions of higher education and student bodies. Its activities go far beyond simply awarding grants and scholarships. The DAAD supports the internationalisation of German universities, promotes German studies and the German language abroad, assists developing countries in establishing effective universities and advises decision makers on matters of cultural, education and development policy. More about the DAAD on their website.