Sustainicum Collection

Consus The aim of the project is to establish a regional science-society network for sustainability innovations in Albania and Kosovo in order to strengthen the connection and collaboration of institutions in the field of higher education, research and practice.
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Resource facts

  • 5 to 10 students
  • Up to 3 lecture units
  • English, Shqip

Resource Description

Instruction file

Urban Dendrology - Improving urban green areas 3 - (Short Version - Part 3)(Resource ID: 388)

The teaching resource outline Improving urban green areas - (Short Version - Part 1, 2 and 3) describes the draft of a teaching resource consisting of 3 parts, that has been developed to open up the students’ eyes to the run down urban green areas that are all around them. This teaching resource gives the students hands on experience of working with environmental and nursery staff to learn gardening techniques to help improve these urban areas dramatically. They will also get the opportunity to determine the needs of the local residents, and working together with the stakeholders, they will aim to optimize the urban areas and develop a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly green space. These teaching resources will incorporate but are not limited to the following methods: • Problem Based Learning • Researching • Fieldwork Visit • Focus Group • Discussion • Presentation The teaching set describes three independent teaching resources, which are designed to be completed one after another these include: 1. Problem Based Learning – What improvements can be made to the urban green areas? 2. Fieldwork visit to Urban Green Areas and Focus Group with Local Residents/Stakeholders 3. Fieldwork visit with Environmental Staff Improving urban green areas - (Short Version - Part 1, 2 and 3) is based (and slightly modified) on the Teaching Resource, “Urban Dendrology (Improving urban green areas)”. The original teaching resource was split into several parts to create a more hands approach to teaching Horticulture lectures. These teaching resources can be introduced at any stage in the lectures, and allow the students to link both the theory and practicalities of improving green areas, thus enhancing their overall learning experience, and preparing for their future endeavours as horticulturists.

Part 3 – Fieldwork visit and carrying out improvements with Environmental Staff

The students will visit their chosen urban green area in groups of 5, and work closely with environmental and nursery staff to tidy up these green areas, they will be careful to work closely with the staff to ensure there are no endangered plant or animal species in the area. Once this has been checked they will cut the grass, and begin planting trees and plants. After the basic improvements have been carried out, the students will try to source funding from local politicians who took part in the focus group, for items that the local residents may have requested in the area, for example; benches or walk/cycle track.

 

Main Text:

Urban green areas are all around, for example; where people live, work and play, from small communities in rural areas to large metropolitan cities. This includes trees on public and private land, along streets, in residential areas, parks and commercial developments, and in other locations within a community. They may be planted by design or have grown by accident. Trees are an important part of our community, but tree and plant planting, maintenance and protection require an investment of resources, including time and money. Are the benefits that trees and plants offer to our communities bigger than their costs? The answer is yes. These teaching resources aim to make students aware of the need for improving green spaces, adding new spaces, as well as knowing the benefits of trees and plants in our daily life.

 They will also be encouraged to develop green spaces, because at the minute there is not enough compared to the population in suburban areas. The main aim of the teaching resource is to confront the problems in the urban green areas, determine why they happened, how to deal with them and thus learn the skills and techniques necessary to improve them. The students will work directly with environmental and nursery staff, to help improve the living situation of local residents, and work closely to solve the problems in these urban green spaces, creating a place of tranquillity and relaxation for local residents.

Integration of Social Stakeholders
Stakeholders are involved as active partners in this teaching resource. The local politicians are involved in the focus group discussions with the residents, and students will have the opportunity to speak with them directly to help source funding for the improvement of the urban green areas. The environmental and nursery staff will also be actively involved in training the students how to look after the urban gardens i.e. planting trees and plants.
Strength
•Students get in touch with nature, outside the classroom
•Direct involvement of stakeholders
•Related to the local challenges/needs of the community
•Students are directly involved and are responsible for their own learning
•Allows students to be exposed to new environments in order to increase their depth of understanding
Weakness
•There may not be a lot of urban green areas to visit
• The stakeholders might not dedicate enough time to the students
• It might be difficult to get environmental staff to help out at the urban green areas
Learning Outcomes
•Collaborate with the environmental and nursery staff
•Acquire planting techniques from the environmental and nursery staff
•Source funding from the local stakeholders
•Appreciate the importance protecting the environment and maintaining urban green areas
Relevance for Sustainability
•The fieldwork method encourages lecturers to take a different approach to teaching and encourages students to deepen their understanding of how green areas function, and it also enhances their decision making skills by giving them the opportunity to decide what is done in these urban green areas.

•The techniques used are sustainable as they train the students to take responsibility for the urban green areas, and they will use these skills learned in future developments of green areas.
Related Teaching Resources
No specific previous knowledge / related resources required
Preparation Efforts
Medium
Preparation Efforts Description
Arrangement of help from the environmental and nursery staff
Access
Free
Assessment
Creation of a group project using an online programme to improve and design an urban green area.
Credit/Certification Description
Credit for the submission of a group project using an online programme to improve and design an urban green area.
Sources and Links

Original Teaching Resource - http://sustainicum.at/en/modules/view/285

 

Funded by
This teaching resource, realised within the project ConSus, has been funded with the support of the TEMPUS of the European Union. The contents reflect the views of the authors, and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Contact

Samantha Prior
samantha.prior(at)ul.ie
This teaching resource is allocated to following University:
UL - University of Limerick
Institution:
University of Limerick
Date:

License

Creative Commons
BY-NC-ND

Teaching Tools & Methods

  • Excursion
  • Mini-project
  • Field study