The Wits-TUB Urban Lab programme is built on a partnership agreement between the Habitat Unit at the Technische Universität Berlin (TUB) and the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits). The overall objective of the collaboration is to contribute to the implementation of urban relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda (NUA) on the sub-Saharan African continent. The New Urban Agenda in particular calls for integrated approaches in urban planning and management as a central element of an “Urban Paradigm Shift”. It recognises the need for institutional capacity development as an important “enabling condition”. The Wits-TUB Urban Lab contributes to this endeavour, through the development of a bilateral academic programme that will deliver increased capacities at institutional and individual levels in academia, civil society as well as the private and public sectors.
The programme enables scholars from across the African sub-continent to partake in masters and PhD studies at Wits, and in the course of its four-year duration engages in curriculum development and the introduction of new teaching modules. Furthermore, project activities include multilateral exchanges through workshops and conferences that are centred on a novel approach of co-production in the implementation of urban SDGs.
Overall, the programme is designed to facilitate the international exchange of ideas between research institutions and seeks to strengthen the network of urban academics on the African continent.