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City on Water

European Urban Summer School (EUSS) for young planning professionals 2015

Last year’s European Urban Summer School (EUSS) was held in co-operation with AESOP and ISOCARP at the University of Bremen, Institute Labour and Economy, from 21st until 26th of September 2015. The Summer School for young planning professionals addressed one of the most challenging tasks for urban planning: The design and arrangement of the urban interface between land and water raises many questions, which are always closely connected to societal development, political discussions, local cultures, global process of styles of building and architecture etc. The particular challenge of waterfront development results from the special function of water expanses in cities and towns. Even if we are fascinated by highly artificial environments, for example the skyline built up of iconic skyscrapers, the aesthetic and emotional impression occurs to us in many cases from the contrast to the corresponding flat and natural water expanses. So, water (as well as mountains, too) is a crucial element for our understanding of beauty and attractiveness of cities.

As the City of Bremen extends over 50 kilometers along the River Weser and is also crossed by several other water courses, it provides the whole range of problems and challenges urban planning is confronted with in respect to waterfront development - from resilience, environmental and climate protection to questions of public access and exclusiveness of waterfront spaces, citizens’ participation, brownfield regeneration or conflicting options for land use.

Hence, last year’s summer school participants were able to perceive and learn about methods to solve or at least minimize those problems in various constellations. Potential practical works refer to “planning for forgotten/hidden places on the river”, “inner city flood protection”, “planning a water bus system”, “regenerating an old industrial port area”, “reshaping an inner city island to an attractive public park site” and others. Experts from the planning department of the city administration were willing to acquaint participants with details of those selected projects. Besides this, experts from the University of Bremen and the University of Applied Sciences of Bremen as well as distinguished international speakers held lectures on general aspects of urban planning and development.

Lectures and participants project works get published and provided to all participants.