SEiSMiC Becomes Required Reading
As testament to SEiSMiC’s relevance in urban research, the project’s website recently became required reading in an international university programme on participatory planning.
The Landscape Education for Democracy Programme (LED) is a new project funded with EUR 300,000 from the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership Programme of the European Commission. The LED initiative is run by a consortium of five European universities and another institution, and will run three years beginning this spring.
LED targets landscape architecture and planning students and includes in-person lectures and field work as well as online components. Anyone can take the online course, whether for college credit or their own edification. LED’s core topics are:
- Landscape and democracy
- Concepts of participation
- Community and identity
- The design process
- Communication and representation.
One of the programme’s instructors, Kristin Faurest of Landscape Architecture Faculty at Budapest’s Szent István University, learned about the SEiSMiC project through the Hungarian network; she participated in the country’s second national workshop on public space. She said SEiSMiC’s website is excellent excellent reading for students of urban development and participatory processes.
“I like to emphasise real working examples in my courses,” Faurest said. “I do not like to spend a lot of time on diagrams, theories and methodologies because it doesn't stick with the students and it certainly doesn't inspire them.“
Faurest, who specializes in participatory planning, has also used the materials in two of her courses in Budapest: Community-Supported Green Spaces, a course taught at Szent István University, and Urban Sociology, a class taught at both Szent István and the Budapest Metropolitan University of Applied Sciences.
In these courses, the SEiSMiC materials complement other required reading such as:
- Jan. Gehl’s influential work Life Between Buildings,
- material from the US-based Project for Public Spaces
- A video from the Harvard Graduate School of Design about crowdmapping and urban design, and
- a video from the Huffington Post about bike lanes and gentrification.
Faurest says the SEiSMiC site makes a good complement.
“The Seismic materials give the students relevant, current, real-life ideas and tools for getting the public engaged and including them in the urban revitalisation process,” she said.