Architecture department joins international CARISMED project to boost urban sustainability in Mediterranean cities

Birzeit University is taking part in the "Capitalisation for Re-setting Innovation and Sustainability in MED-Cities” Project (CARISMED), which aims to develop an integrated urban policy to improve the sustainability of old buildings within Mediterranean city centers by promoting synergies between projects launched under the European Neighbourhood Instrument’s cross-border cooperation Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme (ENI CBC Med), such as INNOMED-UP, MAIA-TAQA and SME4SMARTCITIES, as well as UNDERGROUND4VALU and other similar projects. 

The project is funded by the European Union and is part of a series of development and urban projects implemented by Birzeit University’s Department of Architectural Engineering, in cooperation with eight research, academic and professional institutions at the European Union. The two-year project also includes institutions from Greece, Spain, Italy, Jordan and Tunisia. 

The primary objective of this project is to support creativity in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and promote the adoption of circular economy concepts as a means for achieving a better quality of life in urban areas and the inclusion of communities inhabiting city centers in the Mediterranean Basin. 

These objectives will be achieved by following a multi-pronged strategy that includes promoting innovative approaches and circular economy methodologies; organizing targeted pilot workshops at the regional and national levels to increase knowledge and expertise for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); strengthening partnerships with decision makers, governmental and local authorities, NGOs and the private sector; and promoting the use of asynchronous e-learning platforms to disseminate experiences as widely as possible to create innovative and sustainable cities.

Throughout its implementation, the project will adopt several innovative approaches, drawing from the years-long expertise of Birzeit University and the other partners, especially the “Promoting UPcycling in Circular Economy through INNovation and education for creative industries in Mediterranean cities” (INNOMED-UP) Project and the “e-Academy to support Smart Cities Operations in Palestine” (eSCO) Project, both of which are implemented with the help and support of Birzeit University faculty and staff. 

Such integration with other projects will help transfer the know-how knowledge and implementation expertise in the smart grid field from EU experts to Palestinian professors, leading to sustainable cooperation and partnership between academia and the energy sector and culminating with the development of qualitative and key expertise in the fields of engineering, urban planning and design; the arts, crafts and design industries, and educational and training services.