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Student Space Control

  • The role of the city changed within the knowledge economy. Knowledge has become the most important resource of urban prosperity and universities are considered the hope of city development (Van Winden 2009). Previous research has elaborated various dimensions in which universities interact with their home cities (or regions). They refer to economic impacts (e.g. Behr 2004; Florida 2006; Van Winden 2007; Gabe 2012), differ between forms of the spatial and structural integration of the university into the area (e.g. Larkham 2000; Kunzmann 2004; Gerhard 2012) or focus on social impacts of universities in the urban environment (e.g. Chatterton 1999; Sage et al. 2011; Smith 2004; Smith/Hubbard 2014; Gerhard, Hoelscher & Wilson 2017). All of these rely on a specific concept of space. However, they are lacking the neutral consideration of a fundamental factor of city development in university towns: students as urban agents (Russo/Tatjer 2007). Students constitute a considerable part of the population in university cities. As such, they need to play a key role in the analysis of the urban space. Drawing on a systematic literature review (Machi & McEvoy 2016), it is shown within this presentation that whenever students are subject to urban studies, either their role is conceptualized with a negative connotation (‘Studentification’: most important Smith 2004, 2008) or mainly depicted as leading to urban devaluation. As a counter draft to the prevailing approaches, the concept of ‘Student Urbanity’ (Steinmueller 2015) is introduced as an unbiased approach to the analysis of students as a source of urban processes of change. Using official (urban) statistics as well as observations and maps, the presentation highlights the results of a comparative case study, which exploratively tested this model in the cities of Heidelberg (Germany) and Montpellier (France) (Steinmüller 2015). Starting with the identification of distribution patterns of students’ residences, urban areas with a significantly high share of them are analysed with regard to the following research questions: - Which (social-)structural and spatial characteristics can be observed in these areas? - How do the students shape the urban space and infrastructure within the detected areas? - Which tendencies of revaluation respectively devaluation emerge from this influence? The presentation makes an empirical case for ‘Student Urbanity’ showing the relations between urban space and university with regard to students as agents of the development. It concludes with the discussion of this new student role as potential sources of reurbanisation as well as urban inequalities.

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Author:Bastian Steinmüller
Subtitle (English):Students as underrated agents of urban change in mid-sized university cities
Document Type:Conference Proceeding
Date of Publication (online):2018/05/14
Publishing Institution:Deutsche Universität für Verwaltungswissenschaften
Release Date:2018/05/14
Tag:GfHf-Jahrestagung 2018
Documents ordered by chairs:Lehrstuhl für Hochschul- und Wissenschaftsmanagement (Univ.-Prof. Dr. Michael Hölscher)
Access Rights:Frei zugänglich
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell-Keine Bearbeitung