DFG: Local Educational Landscapes and Urban Development. Interfaces and Interlacings

2014 – 2017

funding: DFG (German Research Foundation)

researchers: Prof. Dr. Angela Uttke & Anna Juliane Heinrich

cooperating partners: Prof. Dr. Thomas Coelen, Siegen Centre for Research on Socialisation, Biographies, and Life Courses at the University of Siegen

In the broad socio-political discussion on the topic of education within the last decade, it becomes apparent that space and the urban context are important dimensions of education and that education is gaining importance for urban development. The coordination between the two subject areas education and urban development therefore requires consideration and investigation. This becomes particularly evident in concepts for so-called local educational landscapes (Ger. Bildungslandschaften). The young field of research on educational landscapes is currently lacking a discussion of urban planning considerations in education, empirical research as well as research from the spatial and planning sciences. This research gap is the starting point of this project. The project’s aim is to systematically and empirically examine the interfaces and interlacings between education and urban development at different scales.

The research project is divided into two modules: the first project module embraces empirical research on the relationship between education and urban development at different scale levels (federal, state, city, district, neighbourhood). The first phase of investigation within this project module is an exploration of cross-sectoral themes and discussion threads of educational policy and urban development policy on federal, state and local level. The second phase of investigation within the first project module reconstructs the relation between local educational landscapes and the social and built environment of the city, districts and neighbourhoods. The aim is to analyse examples of local educational landscapes with a particular focus on the social and built environment and the resulting objectives in view of urban design and planning. The second project module includes an integrated interpretation of the research results and the development of hypotheses which describe the findings on the interfaces and interlacings between education and urban development. The hypotheses can form the basis for further research.

The expected outcome of the research project is a new, integrated and interdisciplinary reflection on education and urban development. The project is based on research and discussion on local educational landscapes which was dominated by the educational sciences so far and examines the urban and spatial dimension of education. Within the debate on local educational landscapes a positive connection between education and urban development is frequently stated without being verified by scientific research. The project will fill this research gap and reconstruct and contextualize the relationship between the two fields.