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External Evaluation

External Evaluation Report for the Leonardo Phase I of ESUA, prepared by Dr. Charles C. Bohl, Associate Professor and Director, Knight Program in Community Building, School of Architecture University of Miami. Dr. Bohl is a recognised international leader of innovation in interdisciplinary education for urban designers.

Excerpt from the Evaluation Report:

The European School of Urbanism and Architecture (ESUA) represents an ambitious educational curriculum that has been developed and tested at a critical point in time for the European Union (the EU). EU member nations are grappling with massive global challenges related to climate change, energy and natural resource depletion, the restructuring of local and global economies, and demographic and immigration trends that are dramatically impacting the delicate and longstanding interconnections between the European built environment, natural and agricultural landscapes, cultural heritage and concomitant ways of life....

The ESUA curriculum has, in many cases, implemented ideas for transforming undergraduate and graduate architecture education that have been proposed by reformers for more than a dozen years but never realized. The ability of the ESUA initiative to work outside of the halls of academe and professional organizations has been an asset, allowing the ESUA team to craft a new curriculum without being constrained by entrenched bureaucracies and design ideologies. It is not an ideologically based curriculum, but one that seeks to restore the centrality of local context, culture, heritage and civic purpose in the education and practice of architecture and urban design. To this end, the project-based learning model was the ideal choice and will continue to serve the initiative well....

The scope and pace of the ESUA project has been impressive: the completion of a research phase, the development of five test modules and conduct of five workshops in four different nations involving dozens of academics, practitioners and students in the course of two years is extraordinary. The ESUA team has proven itself extremely capable of moving rapidly from concept to reality.

The focus is clearly stated as integrated urban and architectural study underpinned by a rich multidisciplinary curriculum and propelled by project-based learning. The pilot program was not simply about organizing and carrying out effective workshops, however, and the ESUA pilot set out to create a model curriculum that reintegrates architecture and urban design education and investigates the development of a "recognized European qualification" in architecture and urbanism. In response to that challenge the ESUA partners have also delivered a robust proposal that involves a detailed curriculum and educational initiatives for:
  • Continuing and professional education;
  • The enhancement of existing academic programs;
  • New degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels
This modular curriculum provides a strong foundation for design education programs, but also provides the basis for potential courses to teach livable community design in urban policymaking, engineering, real estate, governance, housing and other fields integral to the shaping of the built environment.

This evaluation identifies both strengths and weaknesses of the initiative. In some cases the program appears perhaps overly ambitious, particularly in the details of the implementation, however in other aspects the initiative can go further.

Please find below the full evaluation report.
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External Evaluation Report of Leonardo Phase I  383k v. 7 Nov 14, 2009, 6:23 PM Claus Zapffe