ESSENCE – The Netherlands
Higher Education project – The Netherlands, Spain and Finland, 2014-17
Erasmus+ – The Netherlands, Spain and Finland, 2014 - 2017
‘Sustainable Europe is not something that is just going to happen. It’s a goal that we have an obligation to follow. It requires finding creative solutions to problems and a strong will to implement them.’
Providing ‘creative solutions’ is exactly what students of an innovative, interdisciplinary course - run through Erasmus+ project ESSENCE - are taught to do.
ESSENCE is an international, cross-sectorial project designed by 5 higher education institutions, to promote and support the development of sustainable cities. The project provides current and future professionals with practical skills and the best available knowledge necessary to design the transformation of modern European cities
In a cooperation with 3 municipalities: Turku in Finland, Alcoy in Spain and Utrecht in the Netherlands, students find viable solutions for real-life issues such as reducing CO2 emissions, improving transportation, social inclusion or the circular economy.
Around 600 people participated in project ESSENCE: students, university teachers, researchers, experts, professionals from municipalities, SMEs and decision makers.
Project director from the University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht, Professor Ivo Opstelten admits that there are often challenges to tackling these tasks but with ‘common will and determination’ the project thrives.
As more people are living in cities, this project is increasingly important for Europe. To encourage sustainability, parts of the programme are open for use in other regions.