Project description


Key aspects of the project description

a) Background
Due to earlier (2004) accession of Hungary to EU, integrated settlement development (ISD) approach is applied and expands in the Hungarian border zone, experiences of its local implementation are available. As Croatia has joined EU in 2013, its border zone local municipalities have to apply ISD approach when planning their EU-financed settlement and urban development actions. Mentioned aspects underline that new generation of architects, urban planners, civil engineers have to be literate with ISD knowledge and practice in the border zone. Similarly, practicing professionals need to receive actual updates on the topic.

Despite the above, the relevant university knowledge centre at University of Pécs, in the Hungarian border region do not focus on the issue properly, whilst it has to provide answers to the actual needs of the ISD profession. Croatian border zone university competences at University of North should also support these actions and establish proper knowledge centre capacities for the purpose. When doing this, concerned universities should integrate practical experiences into the process. On the ground ISD implementation experiences are available at Baranya County Government (BMÖ), obtained in the 2007-2013 EU programming period on Hungarian side of the border. In Croatia such experience is not yet available, but related local knowledge and experience is given in integrated rural development and complex urban projects at University North, Department for Civil Engineering. Considering all the above, it is necessary to jointly develop and deliver a pilot ISD course and by doing so make steps in strenthening relevant border zone university knowledge centres.

Finished projects, starting point:
ISD Uni project has no connection with previous CBC education projects. Therefore the Pécs and North Universities, with BMÖ decided to launch ISD Uni project at the preparatory meeting held in Koprivnica, on 6 April 2016.

b) Problem, challenge to be addressed
Problem description and justification of the project:
Despite the EU sets ISD as guiding principle in settlement/urban developments, there is no higher education course in ISD in the cross border area. This lack of knowledge, competence and skills makes difficult to build on spatial, sectoral and temporal aspects of key areas of urban policy in a co-ordinated way. It is also against the ample attention to be paid to deprived neighbourhoods within the context of the settlement as a whole (social cohesion and integration in cities and urban areas, social housing policies). Whilst the practicing profession has relevant and expanding experiences and knowlegde based on a place-based particularities of the border region, the right ISD implementation endeavours are not supported by the knowledge centres of border zone higher education organisations.

Conlusions of already elaborated surveys:
Regarding the fact that current supply of higher education courses in the border zone and in architecture, urban planning and related civil engineering do not cover the issue of ISD, conclusions of already elaborated surveys cannot be quoted here. The novelty of the project is also reflected in a fact that no formerly endorsed education, human resource development CBC projects dealt with or addressed ISD knowledge and competences in the programme area.

c) Target groups
Direct target groups:
1) university students: they need competences, knowledge to cope with ISD tasks in their future carrier,
2) practicing architects, urban and territorial planners, civil engineers of the border zone settlements: they need insight into successful ISD practices to broaden their vision and competences, based on actual ISD research,
3) involved staff and internal experts (mainly lecturers) of the project beneficiaries: the up-to-date ISD curricula piloted in the project will replicable, to provide for sustainability. Relevant professional project partner staff (internal experts) can also apply that when working on their own ISD projects.

Indirect target groups:
1) staff and decision makers of local municipalities: they will be better literate and more prepared for place-based ISD operations in their settlement and in the the border zone;
2) further higher educational organisations of the cross-border zone: they could broaden their educational supply.

d) Objectives of the project
Overall objective:
1. jointly developing and delivering an ISD pilot course for increasing the educational offer of concerned local higher education institutions and strengthening their competences/knowledge centres.

Specific objectives:
1. conducting ISD focused research and elaborating ISD academic studies at the two universities with integrating on the ground ISD relevant and related experiences of the border zone;
2. elaborating, piloting ISD curricula for enlarging professional knowledge base of the border area, analysing its future replicabilities;
3. promoting ISD by dissemination and publicity activities in the border zone.

e) Expected outputs, results; durability of results
Project level:
1 kick-off, 1 final conference with 1-1 press conferences (all bilingual), trilingual A3 posters, 1 trilingual promotion material, 3 updated trilingual webpages, 1 HU and 1 HR press releases with 3-3 paid media appearances, 2 study visits presenting urban development with ISD application at Pécs and Varazdin (EN), 1 trilingual book of ISD academic studies, 2 bilingual cross-border workshops for ISD profession, 1 trilingual ISD curriculum, 1 jointly developed ISD pilot course in EN and implemented 2 times, 1 trilingual ISD Uni sustainability report.
Programme level:
1 training course developed and delivered, formal and informal, 24 participants in joint education and training schemes.
Project level:
- increase in the number of experts of ISD (university students, practicing professionals) by 36,
- increase in the number of newly established higher educational cooperations (Pécs and North Universities) by1.
Programme level:
2 educational institutions in the border region offer courses jointly or with region-neighbouring country specific content.
f) Benefits of the project
Added value of the project:

Direct 1): university students: competitive ISD knowledge and competence obtained and to be capitalised in their future carrier (via ISD pilot course),
Direct 2): practicing architects, urban and territorial planners, civil engineers of the border zone settlements: access to up to date, ISD profession-based good practices and solutions (via ISD workshops),
Direct 3): involved staff and internal experts (mainly lecturers) of the project beneficiaries: ISD curriculum and course broaden their professional knowledge, competences of cross-border built environment.

Indirect 1): staff and decision makers of local municipalities: indirect access to ISD knowledge result in better understanding of the programme area and supports their local settlement/urban developments,
Indirect 2): further higher educational organisations of the cross-border zone: elaborated and further replicable higher education course will be freely available for them.

Serving the benefit of the public:
Development of settlements in the Hungarian-Croatian border area characterized by peripherality and being mainly of rural nature always bears an opportunity of development. The co-ordinated, multi-factor oriented integrated settlement development can contribute to development of concerned public and private actors living in the villages-town-cities which are the locations of ISD actions and operations. Therefore the success of ISD based, EU co-funded projects means better living conditions-economic figures-employment opportunities and creates more sustianable and integrated border region.
g) Methodological approach
Beneficiaries through study visits make inventory of relevant Hungarian ISD and related Croatian practices, collect information for ISD analysis and planning in six thematic areas:
- ISD methology and Good Practices,
- setllement investment,
- built areas,
- transport,
- green areas,
- sustainable architecture and vision.
Based on gained local, border zone experiences beneficiaries internal and external staff elaborates academic ISD studies on the above six thematic areas. This contributes to enlarging specific border zone knowledge and adds to creation of higher education ISD knowledge centres.
Studies with Good Practices are presented to ISD profession on workshops to collect their feedbacks and expand their ISD vision. This methodology part serves better understaning of ISD from side of academics and of profession, also reflects its relevance in the cross-border zone (workshops open to students, supporting stakeholders as well).
Beneficiaries, considering feedbacks, elaborate ISD curriculum based on academic studies and on the ground experiences, according to higher educations standards, leaving curriculum open to be taught in further universities as well.
ISD course is piloted at two universities, with participation of HU and HR students on one course.
Closing stage is ISD sustainability (professional, organisational and financial) report on lessons learnt, directions of future replicability of ISD course in border zone.

Proposed approach is evidence-based and academic, inclusive, open to local border zone solutions. Its outputs are easiliy replicable.

Organisational structure:
Beneficiaries organise 4 project management meetings (1/trimester, in HU and HR locations) to facilitate project implementation in technical and content related terms. They keep regular touch via phone and e-mails. Project decisions are made unanimously. Activities are jointly developed-implemented-financed-staffed.

h) Innovative character
Added value and innovative elements:
- addressing EU's integrated settlement development principle in a peripheral border region helps better utilisation of EU financial and local resources,
- Hungarian mainly EU co-finenced ISD practices are introduced in Croatia, whilst Croatian related integrated (but not ISD) development practices enrich Hungarian ISD profession,
- the duality the education methodolgy starts from available practices, couples those with up-to-date scientific background and addresses the acting profession (in workshops) and the future architects still in education (in pilot course),
- ISD Uni is the very first CBC project of the two universities.

New solutions for enhanced efficiency:
- by merging ISD good-practice based, cross-border zone experiences with refreshed, scientific research approach enables architect/urban planner/civil engineer education to be more focused on local, cross-border built environment issues,
- the project also makes cooperation of CBC education organisations more intensive by offering a new, innovative field (ISD) for their common work.

i) Sustainability and capitalization of project results
Following ISD pilot course the ISD sustainability report will be elaborated which defines the different options for future replicability of the course. Project contains a pilot education course for 24 persons, but the course should be continued with discovering the niche needs of specific/more targeted groups of architects, urban planners, civil engineers. The curriculum and the course programme will be updated each time it will be launched again. By doing so enriches further higher education organisations/higher education knowledge centres in the border zone.

The course available for the participants within this project is free of charge. After the closure of the project the ISD course could be repeated, not only in higher education, but in post-graduate education, targeting other regions of Hungary and Croatia and expanding the pool of potential participants, too.

By the end of the project all beneficiaries will have a competence in ISD course and course implementation. Due to their stable organisational background, they could repeat the course in the future.

j) Multiplier effect
The project outcomes could be repeated in ISD courses based on ISD Uni project (see sustainability!) in further higher education organisations. The gained knowledge will be used to propose and develop new ISD investments in the border area settlements. This serves the practical extension of the project outcomes.

As a future effect of the project, the number of ISD literate architects, urban planners, civil engineers increases. As a consequence of this, co-ordinated, complex settlement development practices with EU co-financing help better operation of concerned settlements and improve living conditions. This poses new challenge to universities: the higher education organisations/thier relevant knowledge centres should constantly be compatible with the place-based needs and expertise, their ISD courses should be tailored accordingly.
The development of the ISD curricula and ISD course agenda needs to be tailored to the cross-border settlement specialities, changes taking place in the geographical area where the course is repeated. This means a constant need for development.

k) Risk management (possible internal/external constraints and solutions foreseen)
General risk factors:
Financial risk of how all the activities will be financed is minimized through planned beneficiary budgets.Organizational risks are minimized through participation of dedicated and experienced staff in project and joint monitoring.

Specific risks:
During the project:
- Good Practice owners will be reluctant to promote their ISD relevant or related actions. They should be targeted by communication on what further benefits the up-to-dated ISD solutions may bring them in the future. (Probability: medium, impact: medium);
- practicing professionals do not share their expereinces to enrich the dialogue of the academic and professional circles. They should be similarly addressed as Good Practice owners (Probability: medium, impact: high);
- delay in the elaboration of academic studies and curriculum. This will be managed by beneficiary project managers (Prob.: medium, imp.: high);
- low level of interest towards the course by university students.

It is handled by active information and promotion on the course;
(Prob.: medium, impact: high);
- course participants miss lectures. After a definite limit course management does not give them course certificates. (Prob.: low, imp.: medium).

After the project:
- radical change in ISD needs undermines the interest towards ISD courses. The focus and the content of the ISD course should be adjusted to new conditions as much extent it is possible. (Prob: low, imp: medium);
- ISD course will not be attractive to participants in case tution fee is introduced. The fee should be reduced allowing sound course implementation, or other funding sources should be sought to cover the costs of the course (Prob: medium, imp: high);
- beneficiaries will not launch further courses. The project has to „evolve” the commitment of beneficiary staff to carry on ISD course and push it towards their in-house decision makers (Prob: low, imp: high).

l) Cross-border impact
Between the educational organisations in the border area one new cooperation will be prepared and piloted, in the field of ISD. Further measurable impact that one up to date ISD curriculum will be available, which takes into consideration the needs of the common border area in terms of cross-border built environment.

Further social impact that the direct target group members get to know each other, their ISD related skills, competences and interests. By this the culture of cooperation spreads in the border regions, relevant higher education knowledge centres get stronger.

The local economy of the concerned settlements will benefit from a new ISD knowledge available for the operation of the private and public sector in the border area.

The project also has positive impact on environment as it does consider local climatic issues when providing for intra-settlement development of green areas and contributes to the sustainable use of public places as well.

Consistency and synergy

a) Consistency of the project with EU horizontal principles on equal opportunities and non-discrimination
ISD Uni project provides equal opportunities to women, explores the multiethnic built heritage of the border area and synergies arising from the different architectural and urban planning traditions, civil engineer practices will be capitalized at academic studies, development of curriculum and the implementation of the course.

Tools applied in the project:
- barrier free solutions to ISD learning is facilitated by the freely accessible e-edition of the studies and the curriculum being made available on beneficiaries webpages (ISD Uni subpages),
- when selecting participants of project activities, being women, roma and having disadvantaged background means an advantage,
- at the level of indicators, 2 beneficiaries have women project managers,
- in terms of direct and indirect target groups non-discrimination is applied, enabling participation irrespective of ethnic colour, ethnic origin, religion and belief,
- at every beneficiary salary levels of men are not higher than the salary levels of women due to anti-discrimination by gender.

All beneficiaries pay attention on the above aspects when delivering their project activities.

b) Consistency of the project with EU horizontal principles on sustainable development
ISD Uni project considers carrying capacity of natural systems with social and econonomic challenges faced by programme area in terms of built environment of settlements and their linkages with the surrounding programme area. Project promotes arhitectural-urban planning solutions of higher resource efficiency and sustainability. By the nature of ISD, settlement investments with considerable negative environmental and climate effects are not proposed for implementation. Project provides advises for green public procurement in an indirect way. Comparing lyfe cycle costs of invetsments in ISD planning is a pre-requisite.

ISD supports climate protection operations in settlements by green area developments, application of climate-friendly architectural and civil engineering solutions, and, where appropriate, delivering supporting impact anaylises.

As ISD Uni is CBC higher education project, beneficiaries when choosing Good Practices, elaborating academic studies and delivering ISD course, pay attention on factors of sustainbale development. In accordance with this, the project promotes nature friendly internet and IT based communication that will be supported by e-mails and the websites to be upgraded. The majority of beneficiaries are paying attention to the selective collection of wastes and materials. During ISD Uni project preparation and implementation beneficiaries take steps towards a greener programme by prefering recycled paper, double-sided black and white printing, avoiding use of unreasonable amount plastic, including catering (missing the use of plastic cups and tableware).

As in case of equal opportunities and gender mainstreaming, all beneficiaries pay attention to the above principles of sustinable development aspects when delivering their project activities.

c) Synergies with macro-regional strategies, other policies, programmes and projects
EU 2020 Strategy: project directly contributes to the protection of environment and resource efficiency (thematic objective 6) in urban areas, to the increase in employment (thematic objective 8) in the border area. Indirectly to climate protection and sustainable energy management (thematic objective 4) and to social inclusion and fight againts poverty (thematic objective 9). In horizontal terms, it enhances settlemets as engines of local growth by integrated developments.

Macro-regional strategies: the EU Strategy for the Danube Region has 11 priority areas from those several (energy, tourism, mobility, environment) indirecly addresses location-specific ISD issues. ISD is rather considered as a tool to implement EUSDR actions than a development prioriry.

In HU the Human Resource Operational Programme (OP) deals with non-tangible investmenst in education and skills. Territory and Settlement Development OP adresses ISD for enhacing competitiveness of settlements.

The mentioned are the issues ISD Uni also targets.

In HR the OP for Efficient Human Resources targets higher education to provide for a match between the skills of the workforce and the needs of the labour market. The issue is given a regional perspective in the OP for Regional Competitiveness, where higher education is mentioned as a competitiveness factor of the local economy. Also, under priority axis OP for Regional Competitiiveness enhancement of attractiveness of the regions through integrated urban/settlement developments are targeted.

Regarding the national OPs, ISD Uni project is in line with the main relevant HU and HR mainstream programmes.

In the border area similar ISD focusing project have not taken place yet. There were other initiatives amongst higher educational institutions but they had a different focus (staff exchange programmes, summer universities, special niche focused building energetics projects, etc.).

Component specific aspects, information

1. Joint educational / research program
In accordance with the methdology, joint educational program is the ISD pilot course which has six thematic areas:
- ISD methology and Good Practices,
- setllement investment,
- built areas,
- transport,
- green areas,
- sustainable architecture and vision.

ISD pilot course itself is preceeded by ISD academic studies (which is regarded a reseach activity), outputs of that are commented by practicing professionals on broder zone workshops and followed by curriculum development with all project beneficiaries involved. This preparation phase follows principle of dual higher education courses, as border zone specific, experience based and academic knowledge melts together in all concerned them. areas. Main output of the joint educational program is ISD pilot course is also dual: there is place for academic (universities) and practice (regional development agency) parts, also Good Practice (agency, Univ. North) focused study visit form blocks of that. Six thematic blocks of pilot course are identical with those mentioned above.

ISD pilot courses are in 4th trimester (months: 14-15), organised in Pécs and Varasdin as a boarding courses in six days length each. Promotion inside concerned universities and choosing of participants preceeds the course. Detailed ISD pilot course agenda is:
0. day: arrival
1. day: opening, course on ISD methodology, settlement investment (8*45 min. lectures),
2. day: course on built areas, transport (8*45 min. lectures),
3. day: study visit (3-3 HU/HR good practices - all day),
4. day: course on green areas, sustainable architecture and vision (8*45 min. lectures),
5. day: examination, closing (4*45 min. lectures) and departure.
Students receive EN and native language printed currriculum, and a certificate.

ISD pilot course resources are not specific: classrooms of universities, externally organised study visit, lecturers from both sides and from all beneficiaries, with realisticly planned budget figures. This makes further replication easier.

2. a) Joint / exchange program
b) Educational services
Time frame and circle of participants:
University of Pécs and North University organise 1-1 ISD pilot course on their locations, boarding courses lasting 6 days in months 14 and 15. The two universities will choose from their enrolled architecture/urban planner/civil engineer students based on their written application sent to the project managers of the two universities. Course participants will be chosen by the internal experts of beneficiaries via e-mail exchanges.
On the courses all together 24 (12 [6HU-6HR] in Pécs, 12 [6HR-6HU] in Varasdin) students participate. The 6 Hungarian students attending Croatian course are different from those 6 of the Hungarian course, and the other way round. Being representative of HU/HR national minority or being female student will be given a preference when applying for the course.
Educational services:
ISD pilot course does not require refurbishment of educational premises or upgrading those with technical equipment. The two universities provide the classrooms, organise the related catering, accomodation and meals of the students. The 13 internal experts of beneficiaries include and assist the 5 lecturers (2 from Pécs University, 2 from University North, 1 from BMÖ) partly on the locations of the courses, too. Jointly elaborated project outputs of former project activities are in service of successful course implementation. These are: trilingual version of the curriculum for students and for lecturers, trilingual academic studies book for the lecturers as background materials, in printed and in e-document format.
3. Joint outputs
Partnership will develop:

a) joint training materials: it is the trilingual ISD curriculum. The curriculum is 125 pages long, printed in 25-25-25 HU, HR, EN copies and is available in e-document format on beneficiaries ISD Uni subpages on their own websites. ISD curriculum is based on academic studies and on the ground experiences, edited according to higher educations standards, leaving the curriculum open to be taught in further interested universities as well. Main chapters of ISD curriculum are:
- ISD methology and Good Practices,
- setllement investment,
- built areas,
- transport,
- green areas,
- sustainable architecture and vision.
ISD curriculum is written by internal experts of all beneficiaries (5 of University of Pécs internal staff, 2 internals of University North and 2 internals of BMÖ)

b) open access publications: it is the trilingual ISD academic study book. The book is 250 pages long, printed in 75EN, 50HU, 25HR copies. The publication will have ISBN number and is regarded as international publication for the authors involved.
Internal experts and external ones of beneficiaries elaborate the study book (3 internal experts of University of Pécs, 4 internal and 4 ext. experts of University North and 2 BMÖ internal experts). Main chapters of ISD academic study book are identical with those of ISD curriculum. E-academic study book is available in e-document format on beneficiaries ISD Uni subpages on their own websites, freely of all resctrictions.

c) ISD Uni project does not target creating a new or renewed subject on ISD. In case ISD pilot course will be successful, and sustainability report in professional terms recommends that, in a future cooperation project that objective can be addressed.

4. Partnership and sustainability of cooperation
Composition of the partnership:

- Lead Beneficiary: University of Pécs, initiates-leads project, coordinates project activities of all beneficiaries. Its
Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology provides internal arhitect and urban planner experts, whilst technical staff comes from Rector's Office. University of Pécs has CBC experiences from different former projects, competent in conducting academic studies, involving professionals-stakeholders, preparing curriculum, delivering courses and assessing those. University of Pécs is motivated to prepare-pilot ISD course and replicate that in the future;

- Beneficiary 1: University North. Being a young and ambitious university with headquarters in Koprivnica and branch office in Varasdin, its Civil Engineering Department provides internal architect and civil engineer experts, technical staff for project management and information-publicity. It channels into every project activity its ISD related local expereinces as regards intergrated rural development and relevant urban area developments. Takes part in all project activities, provides for the academic balance of the proposal, whilst its on ground experiences are balanced by BMÖ Its motivation is to further expand its ISD related competences and use ISD Uni as a pilot towards further HR universities.
- Beneficiary 2: BMÖ's urban architect and regional developer internal experts provides for ISD Good Practices and balance Univ. North in the proposal. Its urban architect and regional developer internal experts provides for ISD Good Practices and balance Univ. North in the proposal. By taking part in all activities, BMÖ develops its ISD competences and motivated to further ISD CBC cooperation with universities and border zone settlements.
Supporting stakeholders: 1 HU, 1 HR national level organisations enhancing integrated urban and spatial development nature of the project.

5. a) Connection to the labour market
b) Marginalised people and national minorities
Connection to the labour market:
Integrated settlement development is a priority of the 2014-2020 programming period, and for that purpose properly educated arhitects, urban planners and civil engineers are needed. ISD Uni project, by stengthening univeristy ISD knowledge centres and expending the portfolio of border zone higher education institutions, increases the supply side of the labour market of such professionals. As the EU funded integrated developments of settlements, bigger towns and cities in the current programing period need to build on such knowledge, this professional labour force is employed in the border zone with better chances and will not leave to other opportunities to HU/HR capital cities or abroad. Therefore the extension and the retention of the border zone labour force are also indirectly addressed by the project.
Marginalised people and national minorities:
ISD Uni project takes steps for the integration of marginsalised groups of the society. To address and support their integration, when delivering university information campaigns for inviting students to ISD pilot course, student unions of the two universities and the Support Service of University of Pécs for benefit of disagvantaged/disabled will also look for candidates from these marginalised groups.
The participation of national minorities and female students will be given a priority when selecting the students for the ISD Uni course at the two universities.