A TEACHING STRATEGY FOR A STRATEGIC TOWN-PLANNING
Universidad de Castilla La Mancha (SPAIN)
Once aware of the existence of new town-planning tools, it would be wise to review the existing teaching practices within a new methodology of action’s environment which bears in mind the revaluation of public spaces and the development of new interconnection and integration mechanisms between both public and private initiatives.
This contribution will show the work performed by the students of Building Engineering carried out during the academic year 2009-10 at the University of Castilla-La Mancha, within the framework of teaching of town planning-disciplines. In the aforesaid contribution, the impact a new town-planning methodology may have on different European cities in reflected though the simulation of different project in real locations both in Spain and other European countries. A common feature to all these locations is required when choosing the urban environments: the location of the railway station’s square within the public space. Nevertheless, this requirement is not sufficient to guarantee the objectivity framework needed for the results’ extrapolation. In this sense, a second qualitative requirement was established for all the case studies: the scope is that of a medium-sized European city.
Representing the urban facts and the complex relations between them constitutes another problem to teachers. Town-planning training must aim at the student’s awareness of certain aspects that are scarcely intuitive to most people. The marked interdisciplinary nature of teaching projects of town-planning training is another basic aspect to deal with since it is an especially heterogeneous subject. For this reason, it can be doubly enriching within the university framework, covering both generic and specific competencies, obviously assuming that the necessity to process data from different origins may lead to another problem, i.e., setting up a validated set of concepts and terms allowing the transmission of information and knowledge.
In order to compare the different scopes covered (the railway station’s Squire of Kassel, Fulda, Ulm, Neu Ulm and Würzburg in Germany; Lérida, Toledo, Córdoba and Ciudad Real in Spain; Liège in Belgium and Arnhem in the Netherlands), an appropriate methodological scenario is chosen in first place to assess these effects so that, upon presentation of the results, a research is prepared on the causes aiming first and the foremost at contributing to a town-planning focusing on a society made up of citizens as opposed to a society made up of consumers.
This way, an approach to the research field is sought by university students, setting up a study field, a subject and the objectives, the appropriate methodology and the tools thereof, which allow taking into account a series of conclusions that finally strengthened other type of consequences: those going for a environment of a higher quality, security and level public participation as opposed to the simple defence of a high level of comfort and consumption.