Building Resilient Urban Communities (BReUCom)

A project funded under EU Erasmus+ Program in the field of Capacity Building in Higher Education

Increased frequency of natural hazards and sea level rise are expected impacts of climate change in India. Marginalized urban settlements are often vulnerable to disaster due to their location in hazardous areas and the use of non-durable building materials, already today their inhabitants are therefore strongly affected by climate change. But amidst strives to meet climate targets, the poor’s needs are mostly overlooked.

In this context, there is an urgent need for paradigmatic shift in the education of graduate students in spatial planning and design as well as training of urban professionals from different back-grounds in order to confront upcoming challenges related to climate change impacts on urban informal settlements.

BReUCom therefore will:

 Produce Open Educational Resources by developing 10 comparative case studies & 10 descriptions of new courses for graduate students in existing pro-grams, following MIT’s Open Course Ware model.

 Pilot 5 new courses on urban resilience in existing curricula for graduate students.

 Develop 20 new Professional Development Programs (PDP's) modules on urban resilience for urban professionals from different backgrounds and working experiences, pilot 10 modules including internships with NGOs in India and Europe.

Why perform B_Re_U_Com ?

From the next 100 metro cities in the world about 40 are going to be in India, India is a growing economy with rapid urbanization which is expected to have a total housing shortage from about 18.8 million in 2012 to about 30 million in 2022. About one thirds of the Indian population lives in slums and on an average 48 percent of metro cities lives in informality with poor habitat conditions, living on untenable land with no access to safe water and sanitation, insecurity of tenure and constant threat from eviction. This carries the danger of growing poverty and - subsequently - of social and political unrest.

The proposed many programs and schemes creates huge demand and more importantly responsible architects and urban planning professionals who are trained to deal with ground realities and are sensitized to deal with complex challenges towards development of Inclusive communities.

The BReUCom project conceives and pilots postgraduate short-term Professional Development Programs (PDPs) targeted at real world problems.

Many authorities and local stakeholder lack well trained planning experts capable of sensibly responding to the needs of informal squatters. Sustainable approaches to support different types of urban poor require well trained academic personnel with a sound understanding of social and spatial mechanisms at work in informal settlements.

The integration of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary aspects into architectural training holds high potential for relevant services to the society. However, Indian HEIs are not well equipped to meet these demands, since curricula in architecture and urban planning predominantly focus on technical and design skills. Therefore, Indian Partner institutions have identified the following needs for innovation:

  • Indian HEIs need to strengthen their relations to the wider economic and social environment (public authorities, companies, community organizations and NGOs) to exchange experiences, build awareness, meet societal needs and accomplish their social responsibility
  • Indian HEIs need to incorporate interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary aspects in their curricula for architecture and planning, which is either partly or completely new for them.
  • HEIs lack indigenous educational resources, which reflect the specific Indian context for sustainable housing and inclusive community development.
  • For developing indigenous educational resources, which contain new tools, methodologies and pedagogical approaches, they require specific know how, which will be rendered by European partners.
  • BReUCom hence helps bridge this gap between planning and architecture training to working environments to understand and react sensitively to community needs and partnerships.

Work Packages (WPs)

WP1: Preparation Lead organization: DUK, Austria

WP2: Development Comparative Case Studies Lead organization: SPA Bhopal

WP3: Development Courses and PDPs Lead organization, KRVIA Mumbai

WP4 Development Pilot Implementation & Evaluation Lead organization, SPA Vijayawada

WP5: Quality Plan Entrepreneurial advisory board Lead organization , NIT Hamirpur

WP6: Dissemination & Exploitation PDP academy as platform model Lead organization , SPARC

WP7: Dissemination & Exploitation Project Management Lead organization, DUK

For more information about the BReUCom, visit