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F-Project 09: Joint-student workshop in Amman, Jordan

The Department of Urban Design and Land Use Planning (STB) in cooperation with the School of Architecture and Built Environment at the German Jordanian University in Jordan (GJU) have successfully realized the first joint-student workshop of the 3-year DAAD funded project "Intercultural Dialog Towards Reclaiming Public Space within Metropolitan Areas - Comparative Analysis for a Sustainable Development of Public Space"

In November 2015, 12 students of the F-Project F-09 participated in a 6-day joint workshop at the GJU in Amman, Jordan. Students and lecturers from both universities worked on the joint research project "Reclaiming Public Spaces within Metropolitan Areas: Comparative Analysis Between Dortmund and Amman". The project aims to initiate urban regeneration frameworks through reclaiming public space in both cities with a great focus on social and community integration.

The opening ceremony of the workshop included inputs from planning practitioners, lecturers and students from both universities. Students of the F-Project F-09 presented different analyses and conceptions of public spaces and their role in connecting the socially and spatially segregated parts of the city within the German context in general and in the Ruhr Region and Dortmund in particular. The presentations included: the urban development through "IBA Project", "Renaturalization of the Emscher River in Ruhr area" and urban reconstruction projects in Dortmund such as Rheinische St., Kamp St. and Phoenix lake, while the students from the German Jordanian University presented their preliminary analysis of the study area in Amman.

In the following days, The German and Jordanian students worked in groups and conducted different layers of analysis to understand the urban fabric and social setting of the study area which extends between the Eastern and Western spatially and socially segregated parts of Amman. In addition, problems, needs and potentials were identified to develop actual action areas, which would be the locations for design interventions that imply sustainable strategies and urban planning solutions.

With the help of Pin-up sessions the students were able to compare the analysis of the different groups and received feedback from the supervisors and lecturers from GJU and TU Dortmund. The results of the workshop were presented on the final day and contained first conceptual work towards an integrated master plan, which is the expected outcome of the design studio F-09 at the end of the first semester.

The intercultural dialogue was of great benefit in this workshop. Student from both universities developed a mutual understanding of the socio-spatial setting of Amman through intensive collaboration. The Jordanian students revisited their culture from a European point of view whereas the German students developed a deeper understanding of diverse social and cultural dynamics in Amman. In addition, they reflected their perception and adopted some transferable German planning concepts in winning back its natural settings and social cohesion through planning inclusive spaces.

In addition to the fruitful discussions and tangible outputs of the workshop, it included team-building-and social activities like site visits, city tours and exchange of ideas, impressions, feedbacks and intercultural dialogue.