The aim of the Research Group for Participation and Urban Development is to promote participation and urban development. Its main field of operation is the Utrecht urban region, where HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht is located. The research group is primarily focused on the social aspects of participation and urban development, namely improving the quality of living together. But it cannot accomplish this on its own. Given the complexity of many social issues in the urban context, the aim is to collaborate in multidisciplinary projects that also involve physical and/or economic aspects of the relevant practices.
To lay the foundations for participation and urban development, the research group conducts practice-oriented research with respect to the development of social, pedagogical and educational issues. In doing so, the interaction of the various relevant fields and professions is highlighted, instead of these fields and professions being considered separately from each other. We call this the social-pedagogical-educational ecosystem. Our focus is explicitly placed on the connections or relationships between the relevant fields, professions and educational programmes. Education at the HU also benefits from this research; this is especially the case within the Institute for Social Work (ISW), the Institute for Ecological Pedagogy (IEP), the Theo Thijssen Institute (ITT/Pabo) and the Archimedes Institute (IA/Teacher Training).
The research group focuses on three lines of research:
- Social impact of sustainable communities
- Social impact of sport and physical activity
- Social impact of art and creativity