Review of the Best Practices on Educating Sustainability and Heritage Studies 

The review of the Best Practices on Educating Sustainability and Heritage Studies presents an overview of the first derivable of the program, IO1, which aims to address the need to strengthen the European architectural education area, through familiarization with a variety of different approaches both academically and pedagogically, but also to facilitate the exchange of best practices and the access to occasional universal conclusions.

The report conducted followed 3-step approach analyzing 20 specific local case studies (4 for each partner) of pedagogical and educational models that have faced challenges in sustainability of heritage, 20 specific local case studies (4 for each partner) of built architectural and urban design projects and reviewing the influence of national policies on the sustainability of heritage.

The overall assessment of the content and the structure of the outlined courses and programs are deemed adequate to meet the current needs and requirements of the local market in the field of architectural and urban design in relation to sustainability and heritage. Explicit learning outcomes (skills, abilities, knowledge) focus on providing theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of conservation and environmental /sustainable design aspects, thus preparing students for practice in the private or public sector as well as in theoretical or applied research.

Sustainability issues involved in the case study – projects are expressed through social, economic and environmental aspects. The social aspects in most case studies are seen in the connection created between the project and the local communities. The economic aspects, as presented by the case studies, are related to the upgrading the financial outlook of the local communities, the introduction of new investments and the creation of new economies in favor of the local needs. In most cases, the implementation of the new designs respects the environmental values of the building and sites, implying the coexistence of architecture and surrounding environment.

The case study projects displaying good practices, incorporate aspects of heritage and sustainability that constitute important teaching tools for the universities, as students can gain valuable knowledge throughout successful practical applications. These projects show the competence and motivation of educators and researchers to include curricular elements that will have tangible results and very environmentally sensitive relationship with built heritage and sustainability concepts.

The very rich urban policy framework regarding heritage and sustainable development of each partner shows the involvement of cultural heritage and sustainable aspects in the management of the existing built and physical environment and can be also incorporated in the educational models.

IO1 revealed that the partner universities take considerable steps towards integrating heritage preservation and sustainability in teaching, making use of case study projects, as well as legislative frameworks, especially in the field of energy management. Even so, further improvements are necessary in order to support financial and social engagement and enhanced adherence to coherent rules.



Author: Maria Philokyprou
Associate Professor, University of Cyprus

Author: Maria Nodaraki
Researcher, University of Cyprus

Author: Theodora Hadjipetrou
Researcher, University of Cyprus

Author: Stavroula Thravalou
Researcher, University of Cyprus

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