The past 28th and 29th of September, the city of Berlin played host to UrbEXplorers, the final multiplier event of the two-year UrbEX4youth Erasmus+ project , which is supported by the European Union. This multidisciplinary conference aimed to discuss and promote urban exploration as a powerful methodology for empowering youth, addressing their vulnerabilities, and encouraging their active participation in communal life. And EduLANDS For Transitions was part of it!
UrbEX4youth Erasmus+ Project, which ran from 2021 to 2023, had ambitious objectives, including engaging local youth through non-formal learning opportunities and appreciating urban spaces. The project also sought to create a creative educational model based on neighborhoods as learning spaces and train youth workers, teachers, and professionals from the social and educational sectors in its use. Furthermore, UrbEX aimed to establish an international network of youth organizations, schools, educational and social institutions, and associations interested in employing urban exploration as an educational strategy.
The UrbEXplorers conference brought together urban explorers from across Europe to exchange experiences, ideas, and tools, offering an insightful platform for discussing the many important facets of urban exploration. The event took place at Refugio, a unique venue located in the heart of Berlin.
Key themes of the conference included the use of urban exploration for educational purposes, community building, urban planning, and the integration of young people. The importance of storytelling as a central element in many of the tools and methodologies was highlighted. Presenters shared that when individuals learn about the background story, the entire experience becomes more engaging and relatable. Urban exploration methodologies were also recognized as a strong mechanism for bridging diverse groups of people, such as students with teachers and community members with municipal officials.
EduLANDS For Transitions made a significant contribution to the conference with a presentation titled "EduLANDS map as collaborative tools for education." During this session, EduLANDS provided insights into its learning community, knowledge transmission, and the creation of bonds among students. The presentation highlighted the connection between schools and the nearby landscape, showcased various projects and tools. Among the methodologies and resources generated in eduLANDS, the creation of landscape maps in schools, of a library of open educational resources (OERs), and that of a digital tool based on a force-directed graph system as an interactive visual tool for browsing, searching and filtering the OERs hosted on the eduLANDS website, are worthy of note. You can watch the whole intervention in our UM TV channel: Mónica González Candela talk.
The creation of this tool includes the use of taxonomic labels with which the OERs are identified, and which correlate educational projects, members of the nearby community and documentary resources.
In order to test the potential of these tags, the taxonomic system used to categorise the resources was defined according to the eco-social and educational goals of eduLANDS. The participants scanned the QR code to fill in the required fields with their personal/institutional information.and demonstrated the live use of the EduLANDS Graph to detect the relationships between eco-social agents of UrbEXplorers through EduLANDS' taxonomies and categories.
UrbEXplorers served as a platform for fruitful discussions and innovative insights, underlining the potential of urban exploration in empowering youth and fostering community engagement. As the UrbEX4YOUTH Erasmus+ Project comes to a close, the knowledge and experiences shared at the conference promise to leave a lasting impact on the field of education and urban exploration.
For more information about the project: