An international project, the Sustainability Alliance of Urban Networks in Asian Cities (SAUNAC), was recently launched at a conference in Hanoi, Vietnam. The project is a collaborative venture between institutions of higher education (including the HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht), companies, and government bodies from various countries. SAUNAC’s aim is to accelerate the design, development and implementation of solutions for the sustainability issues currently affecting Asian cities.
The plan involves promoting cooperation between Vietnamese and European institutions of higher education, as well as with the other institutions involved. One aspect involves the development of a teaching module, parts of which will be made public. This will ensure that SAUNAC has a major impact in the region. Educational innovation plays a key part in the project. There will be exchanges of expertise in innovative teaching methods, involving topics such as blended learning, flipped classroom, and new IT tools.
SAUNAC is an ERASMUS+ capacity-building project. It builds on the achievements of ESSENCE, a CARPE (Consortium on Applied Research and Professional Education) project. Vietnam was chosen because the Turku University of Applied Science (a CARPE partner) has regularly carried out projects there in the past, and has found that cooperation always goes very smoothly. In addition, Vietnam has an urgent need to accelerate urban sustainability.
Cities currently house forty-five percent of the country’s population, and that percentage is growing rapidly. This is having an adverse impact on people’s quality of life. One of the tasks that the Vietnamese government has set itself in this regard is to cut exhaust gases and switch to renewable energy sources. SAUNAC is assisting various Vietnamese partner institutions in this effort.
Might you be interested in this project? If so, please contact Martijn Rietbergen.