EUnivercities network – MICT embraces and explores University – City collaborations

(27-06-2022) “Small enough to act, big enough to matter”

Many medium-sized cities throughout Europe are characterized by a strong presence of a university, often in the city center, occupying iconic buildings. However, the entanglement between universities and cities does not come naturally. While universities produce vast amounts of ground-breaking knowledge, these are often poorly aligned with the complex urban challenges in which the universities are physically and socially embedded. Hence, the EUnivercities network tries to explore and shape such collaborations throughout Europe.

With our research on and in urban innovation ecosystems MICT tries to establish experimental environments in which transdisciplinary strategic collaborations, participatory action research and cross-institutional activities can address wicked urban challenges. Hence, we were proud to be featured as one the international best practices at the 2022 EUnivercities conference in Exeter, UK.

The featured project, Collections of Ghent, entails a collaboration between several city departments 5 different cultural heritage institutions, several university departments, 2 NGOs, 3 technology partners and 1 SME. The goal: develop next-generation interfaces for cultural participation. To reach forgotten citizen populations. To support the development of neighborhood identities and increase social cohesion. We do this through an experimental approach in which prototyping and learning is the core of the project. Breaking silos, embracing new modes of knowledge generation and complex problem solving.

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Collections of Ghent

Contact: Bastiaan Baccarne