One of the greatest challenges today is how to develop, restructure and design our existing and new cities for increased sustainability. How do we make our cities greener, denser and more socially equal? These challenges demand new knowledge, design skills and processes that engage our city populations in new ways. The architects, landscape architects and urban designers of tomorrow must address these new requirements on designing the urban environment from a holistic, ecological, humane and inclusive perspective.
The financial contribution from the Ax:son Johnson Institute for Sustainable Urban Design (Ax:Sud) at Lund University made it possible to start and operate the Master programme in Sustainable Urban Design, SUDes, at the School of Architecture in 2007. The objective of this studio-based two-year Master programme is to produce creative, skilled urban designers who, after completing the programme, can play an active part in creating inclusive, healthy and attractive cities for the future.
Ax:Sud made it possible to recruit renowned academics and practitioners as visiting professors for the programme, and to invite lecturers from the whole world to participate in symposia and workshops and on the student assessment teams. The visiting professors have provided the foundation for establishing the programme’s global network, and the guests lecturers ensure that the programme maintains the highest international standards.
The Institute has also made it possible for the programme to organise an annual international conference to highlight various aspects of sustainable urban design. This conference is open to both practitioners and students of architecture, landscaping and planning at universities in the Öresund region. Since 2014, the conference has also been live-streamed in order to reach a broader international audience. The overall goal of this event is to serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas, and to share knowledge on issues relating to the design of our cities, and to highlight good practices in sustainable urban design from all parts of the world.
By integrating academic knowledge from the SUDes programme with the approach of practising architects, and combining this with the students’ own experiences and abilities, a new, unique perspective on sustainable urban design has been created. In the ten years since the programme was launched, more than 175 students have obtained this expertise and implemented it in their professional capacities in Sweden and other countries. Since the courses offered by SUDes are also part of the architecture programme at LTH, more than 400 students have participated in SUDes for one or more terms. In consequence, this new, unique approach to sustainable urban design has reached far more students than those who are registered with SUDes.
Since the start ten years ago, the Master programme in sustainable urban design has become a respected contributor to the field. This was made possible by funding through the Ax:son Johnson Institute for Sustainable Urban Design, established for the purpose at Lund University. The future objective of the Master programme is to actively promote the development and dissemination of knowledge in the field of sustainable urban design both nationally and internationally.