Jean-Michel Roux (membre de BazarUrbain) avec Fanny Vuaillat, tous les deux enseignant-chercheur à l’Institut d’Urbanisme et de Géographie Alpine à Grenoble viennent de recevoir l’Excellence in Teaching Prize d’AESOP (Association of European Schools of Planning) pour les ateliers de Sfax (Tunisie) qu’ils pilotent depuis 7 ans.
The theme of the prize in 2019 : Planners as Leaders of Urban Transition
Master : International Cooperation in Urbanism studios
The module followed a strong pedagogic approach which fostered reflection and leadership skills and an understanding of complexity amongst cohorts of students from two cities, Grenoble (France) and Sfax (Tunisia). It brought together students from institutions in both cities working as teams on planning commissions in each city in collaboration with, professors elected representatives, NGOs and citizens. Students taking the module were able to develop leadership skills through the experience of practice in local territories facing the challenges of urban transition. The urbanism studio allowed students from a variety of backgrounds to gain an appreciation ‘by doing’ of how urban planners might position themselves at the forefront of the urban, social and democratic transitions occurring in developed and emerging countries.
The committee were impressed by the commitment to international cooperation and the opportunity the course gave to students to participate in co-produced urbanism as a means of fostering urban transition towards solidarity and sustainability. We were particularly struck by the powerful and self-reflective testimonies of students who have taken the module who – for example have said it has made them ‘more open, more serene and more combative as planners’; discover ‘the world of professional practice turned toward the future’; develop ‘capacity for project management and the coordination of a pluridisciplinary team’; and, learn ‘how to include the stakeholders in a project’. The employment destination of learners from the module also seemed to confirm the value of the experience in developing skills of entrepreneurial urban leadership (e.g. foundation of NGOs).