Promoting interdisciplinary Higher Education in Danube Region

The Danube region is characterised by largely diverging levels of development in different regions. Especially small and medium-sized cities (SMCs) in lower regions are facing challenges linked closely to shrinkage processes, ageing population structures, labour shortages, loss of local identity, and a diminishing river industry. Furthermore, their spatial development is characterised by incoherent planning processes, leading to wasting natural resources and environmental problems.

DANUBIAN_SMCs project tackles these challenges in a creative, innovative and cross-disciplinary way. Based on knowledge transfer and exchange of experiences between actors and institutions focusing on education based in Central-Western and Lower Danube regions, Danubian SMCs strengthens the transnational dialogue between 7 important universities in the region. The project increases the mobility of academic staff and students, shares knowledge about new and innovative methodologies in teaching, enhances the data basis for further research projects, and involves a number of local stakeholders in tackling the common challenges in SMCs of the Danube region.

Danubian SMCs addresses these aims through the organisation of workshops, intensive teaching blocks and excursions in the participating universities and regions, both for students and teachers. Innovative research and design tools constitute the main content of the projects’ activities, which aim for addressing complex planning problems, identifying common characteristics and improving connections between the different areas of the Danube region.

Research objectives

  • Strengthen the regional dialogue among the partnership universities in the cross-disciplinary education field spatial planning;

  • Increasing mobility of academic staff and students to broaden the innovative research;

  • Contributing with new methodologies and innovative teaching approach to study the actual problematic of Danubian SMCs;

  • Contributing with new perspectives, innovative and customized data and creative body of knowledge about the inclusive development of SMCs;

  • Increasing the involvement of local stakeholders to real issues and problems of the inhabitants of Danubian SMCs.