Most researchers in the field of urban studies have at some point been confronted with barriers related to interdisciplinarity – interdisciplinary research is seen as a precondition to grasp the complexity of the urban. More recently, transdisciplinary research has become en vogue confronting urban researchers with new challenges. In spite the large body of knowledge on participatory design and process-oriented approaches in urban studies, many urban scholars lack knowledge of or access to relevant tools for conducting inter- and transdisciplinary urban research.


Therefore, the aim of this session is to present a set of tools for successful collaboration applicable in inter- and transdisciplinary urban research. Within the INTREPID network – an EU funded cost action – an online toolbox is being developed, which will be presented along with other available toolboxes. The participants should gain experience with one or more tools presented and gain knowledge on where to obtain further information on applicable tools for overcoming identified barriers in inter- and transdisciplinary urban research.

Outline of the session

1) Short introduction to matrix of identified barriers – focus on three or four barriers that we will deal with in the session.
2) Exercise: Testing the tools applicable for overcoming the selected barriers (4 groups).
– 3) Summarizing – lessons learned
– 4) Outlook: online toolboxes and how to use them
1) Introduction of the matrix of barriers identified – it is infinite – and focus on the categories ‘team building’, ‘communication’ and ‘knowledge production’ (among others).
Guiding question is “How to actually create a common vision or how to facilitate team building or create awareness around a lacking common language?” This is what will be tested in the next 45 minutes through small exercises.
2) Exercises:
– Create a common vision
– Common language
– Knowledge production
– …
Focusing on the topic of “sustainable and just cities” a brief information sheet with the topic, guiding questions (e.g. create a common vision for a research focusing in sustainable and just cities. Create a common language for the key words used around sustainable and just cities (sustainable, just, cities, etc.)) is distributed to each group.
For each of the exercises a description of the available tools is distributed. The group should make a selection of the tool that they would like to apply and then simulate a situation in ca. 25 Minutes.
3) Lessons learned – Reflection of each group on the experienced tools, their applicability, the challenges and the potentials. Each group has 5 minutes to share their reflections with the rest of the group -> a discussion.
4) Outlook: Overview of various toolboxes available online

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