URA Consortium Workshop Berlin #5 (via Zoom)
On 15th of May 2020, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the URA German consortium members gathered together on Zoom. Despite the difficult circumstances, the team used the virtual platform to have fruitful discussions to come to a common understanding of the key goals to be achieved before the end of the project’s Definition Phase, as well as the longer-term shared milestone plan for the subsequent R&D Phase. The session began with an update from each Working Package on their research progress, giving the opportunity for engagement from other disciplinary perspectives and highlighting opportunities for data coordination.
One of the overarching topics for the meeting was the Joint URA Periodical, an annual publication to disseminate the team’s ongoing research activities to wider audiences. After an introduction to the new periodical format, the team reflected together on initial abstracts submitted by each Working Package for the first issue, which will address the theme of ‘interfaces’ within the URA research context. As well as the potential for external contributions, possible formats for the periodical were discussed, including both scientific and flexible formats such as interviews and essays.
The other significant topic addressed was the September 2020 URA conference planned in partnership with IBA Thüringen, aiming to establish exchanges on urban-rural integration from Chinese and German planning contexts. With the potential impact of Covid-19, the team deliberated over three possible conference formats with different levels of digitalization, acknowledging the likelihood of a fully virtual conference, while at the same time seeing great potential in the ability to reach a wider audience through online platforms.