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Master's degree in collaborative spatial development

Master's degree in collaborative spatial development

The new Master's degree program in Collaborative Spatial Development at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences will start in the fall of 2024. The focus is on a future-oriented planning culture in which students from different disciplines design complex spatial transformations.

Climate change, the energy crisis, increasing urbanization, demographic change, changing mobility behavior, and new digital technologies are shaping the world in which we live. Planning processes in both urban and rural areas have become increasingly complex and can no longer be handled only by spatial planners, architects and landscape architects. Regardless of whether it is immediate climate measures for neighborhoods or strategies to deal with the housing shortage in entire cantons, new forms of cooperation are needed – and specialists who can accompany these processes of change.

“The spatial development of the future needs interdisciplinary and interdisciplinary teams that use different technical languages ​​to work across disciplinary boundaries and act responsibly in spatial and socio-spatial contexts,” says Tapia Michaelis. That's why HSLU is offering a new Master of Arts in Collaborative Spatial Development, of which Michaelis is co-director alongside Amelie Meyer. At its meeting, the Consensus Board of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences agreed to offer the course in September 2024.

Wide field of activity

The new Master's degree program in Collaborative Spatial Development is aimed at people fresh from a bachelor's degree and who have several years of work experience in specialized fields such as spatial planning, urban development, architecture, landscape architecture, environmental, economic and social sciences, computer science or design. Together, students in the Master's program acquire a wide range of skills in dealing with changing requirements and increasingly scarce resources: they learn how to include different groups of stakeholders in development projects and mediate between interest groups.

In the sense of the “(un)learning” necessary for collaborative planning, traditional tools, methods and conditions of the legal framework for spatial development are not only taught as a basis for transformation processes. It is about how the potential of existing spaces and infrastructures can be made visible and how they can be developed further through the interaction of qualitative social science methods, architectural planning tools and artistic intervention procedures.

“We do not look at spatial development as a product, but rather as a learning process. “This aims to create climate-friendly, open and usable spaces for exchange and integration,” explains the program co-director. “In order to plan these spaces, we need a comprehensive understanding of the building culture that starts from the existing building and monitors the political and legal framework as well as economic feasibility. “During our studies, we want to transfer the content and methodological tools and apply them in a practical way,” she explains.

The course structure is based on recurring project progress and offers regular moments of reflection in seminars. Students implement their knowledge in interdisciplinary projects with potential clients, gaining experience in dealing with “disruption and adaptation” and learning how to deal with the unpredictable. There is an option to study full-time or part-time. The development of an individual profile that matches students' interdisciplinary personal orientation is enhanced by a broad, interdepartmental in-depth offering.

From the idea to the course of study

For five years, HSLU experts from various disciplines have been researching spatial development challenges with partners of practice as part of the Interdisciplinary Theme Cluster (ITC) 'Space and Society'. A prerequisite: Our built environment can only be developed if specialists are able to think, plan and work together outside their field of expertise – a skill that must be learned. Practical practice is needed here, which is why the Master's Degree in Collaborative Spatial Development was created.

More information can be found here”

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