An inter- and transdisciplinary approach to the revitalization of former small industrial towns in Armenia with regard to their sustainable transformation potential

The Austrian Partnership Programme in Higher Education and Research for Development (APPEAR) project “ReCity” analyses and supports the development and revitalization of former industrial small cities in Armenia after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the context of sustainable transformation processes.

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The inter- and transdisciplinary consortium consists of scientists from the Department of Sociology at Yerevan State University and the Urban Studies working group within the Department of Geography and Regional Research at the University of Vienna. The team cooperates with the Armenian non-governmental organization Journalist for Urban Development as well as with the postgraduate master’s program “Cooperative Urban and Regional Development” at the Postgraduate Center of the University of Vienna.

The three-year project will analyze multidimensional developments and develop innovative solutions for the sustainable transformation of small industrial cities. Therefore past, present, and future impacts and changes will be examined to identify opportunities to develop novel development practices which can guide the implementation of transformative and sustainability-focused revitalization processes. The inter- and transdisciplinary approach of ReCity aims to strengthen public welfare-oriented activities and support female actors in the field of Armenian urban and regional development in order to craft inclusive and cooperative university curricula.

To develop such empowering curricula, a variety of methods will be used, including literature, media, and document analysis as well as guided interviews with local actors. Additionally, participatory methods will be implemented in workshops and various exchange formats in order to ensure the research process includes and embraces a diversity of perspectives. Such will be complimented with mapping and spatial analyses, which will be used to analyze and visualize urban change processes over time.

To strive for a holistic perspective, ReCity also incorporates topics related to sustainable economic development, poverty reduction, environmental protection, and the involvement of women in local politics. Through this perspective, the project addresses various goals of the APPEAR program and the United Nations 2030 Agenda, with a special focus on the Sustainable Development Goal 11, which stands for sustainable, inclusive, safe, and resilient development in cities and communities.

Project lead: Harutyun Vermishvan, Yerevan State University

Project partners: Kerstin Krellenberg and Yvonne Franz, University of Vienna