ESSENCE stands for European Solutions for Sustainable Existing and New City Environments. University of Applied Sciences Utrecht cooperated with four other European institutions for higher education from the CARPE network (Valencia, Turku, Manchester, Hamburg) and three regional governments (Utrecht, Alcoi- Valencia, Turku) as part of an Erasmus KA2 project: Strategic Partnerships.
During the course of the project (2014-2017), knowledge and experiences were shared through (among other things) meetings and publications and the website of the project. One of the most important outcomes of the project is the development of the international minor Smart Sustainable Cities, which is now offered annually by the HU. The project also received a follow-up in the SAUNAC project, which focuses on the realization of Asian Smart Sustainable Cities.
The project focused on innovative, international education with focus on blended learning, using creative tools in the lessons, interdisciplinarity and entrepreneurship. This has led to actual impact in the region, and beyond.
In concrete terms, an international Smart Sustainable Cities course with partly open course ware was developed within the project. This is in line with the ambitions of the Center of Expertise Smart Sustainable Cities. Several teacher training sessions took place, short workshops, events and attractive forms of teaching, such as an international student competition.
The coordination of the project was in the hands of the New Energy in the City lectorate, associated with the Center of Expertise Smart Sustainable Cities.