PBL for Sustainability and Sustainable Cities

The purpose of this Special Issue is twofold. It aims to collect the best contributions presented at the final Conference of the Citylab LA project, while remaining open to the entire PBL research community, inviting articles that deal with teaching and research within a PBL environment related to sustainability and/or sustainable cities.

Themes for the special issue:

a)   PBL for sustainability and PBL for sustainable cities
b)   PBL research and experiences related to sustainability and/or sustainable cities e.g. within the areas of e.g. Architecture and Urban Planning Schools, Geography, Sociology, Engineering, Political Science, etc.
c)   Innovative teaching methods and tools for teaching PBL and sustainability e.g. Architecture, Urban Design and Urban Planning and other related areas working with issues of sustainability and/or sustainable cities
d)   Incorporating governance approaches into the teaching of PBL and Sustainability and/or Sustainable Cities.
e)   Papers examining the theoretical, pedagogical and practical aspects of PBL and sustainability and/or sustainable cities, e.g. integration of sustainability in the curriculum.

Background to the call

The Project “Citylab ‐ Engaging Students with Sustainable Cities in Latin‐America”, co-funded by the Erasmus + Programme of the European Union (www.citylab-la.eu), is aimed at enhancing the quality of HEI’s in Latin America through problem based-learning. Problem-based learning is assumed as an innovative approach for introducing real-world problems into educational programmes with huge possibilities to transform the quality of teaching and learning. The main effort is to increase active, integrated and constructive learning methods, assuming a student centred approach, emphasizing on learning to learn and learning by doing, and breaking with traditional teaching methods such as ex-cathedra lectures.
In order to introduce and spread PBL, the partners (12 Latin American and 5 European) have worked on specific problems through multidisciplinary approaches, with the support of campus teams represented by pools of teaching staff, administrative staff and policy makers from the different faculties that are selected  reflecting an interdisciplinary orientation.

The partners have worked on typical urban problems, such as urban planning, conservation, energy and climate change, poverty and crime, employment, etc. which are in general complex, and wicked problems that can only be properly addressed through multi-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary working methods. Moreover, the selection of urban problems, and the transdisciplinary approach which works directly with urban actors, have provided the opportunity to structurally strengthen the relation between universities and cities and to make education more socially relevant.

At the end of the project, the Citylab LA project consortium has organized a final conference “PBL for Sustainable Cities” in Bogota, Colombia. This conference had several aims: to disseminate insights and stimulate academic discussion on problem based teaching methods, to present the work of the students in the PBL modules, to present the results of a students competition after the selection operated by an interdisciplinary jury involving academics and professionals.  Then, the conference aimed to involve not only the partners of the Citylab LA project, but also a broad range of teachers in Europe and Latin America to share ideas and experiences on problem based learning.

This academic conference has been characterised by a wide range of inspiring lectures, discussions and networking opportunities with experts in the field of Problem Based Learning, researchers and key actors in Sustainable Cities.  It has been an important opportunity to share Problem Based Learning research and experiences related to the sustainable development of cities with international colleagues who are actively involved in innovative teaching methods and sustainable cities.

The Special Issue Editorial Team invites all the partners of the Citylab Project and all the experts of the wider PBL research community to share their research and experiences related to PBL and sustainability and/or sustainable cities Authors are invited and encouraged to submit their paper regardless of whether they have participated in the project and conference.


Editorial group:
●   Tom Coppens, Associate Professor, Antwerpen University, tom.coppens@uantwerpen.be
●   Elena Fregonara, Associate Professor, Politecnico di Torino, elena.fregonara@polito.it
●   Andres Felipe Valderrama Pineda, Assistant Professor, Aalborg University, afvp@plan.aau.dk
●   Jette Egelund Holgaard, Associate professor, Aalborg University, jeh@plan.aau.dk


Time schedule
Sept. 14, 2018: Call for articles
Jan. 15, 2019: Deadline full articles
Jan. 30, 2019: Feedback to authors
June 15, 2019: Reviews sent to authors
September 1, 2019: Deadline for revised articles 
June 2, 2020: Publication

Submission and Review Process

Prospective authors intending to submit a paper for the special issue are asked to supply a manuscript between 4,000 and 7,000 words in length, with an abstract of 200 words outlining the content and aims of the proposed paper. The editorial team will review the proposals and identify the papers that are suitable for submission for the special issue.

Full manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with the journal's author guidelines and submitted via the journal’s manuscripts system by January, 15, 2018. Authors will receive feedback on their submission by January 30, 2018.

Manuscripts for the special issue must be between 4,000 and 7,000 words in length (Please note that the word count is all-inclusive of the title, author details, approx. 150-200 words abstract, keywords and reference list). Authors are encouraged to make extensive use of visuals.

Manuscripts must be original and may not have been previously published, nor may they be under consideration for publication elsewhere at the time of submission to JPBLHE and throughout the duration of the review process. Each full manuscript will be subjected to double-blind peer review.

For full details of the editorial criteria and comprehensive instructions on how to submit a paper, please consult the journal's author guidelines and read more about the focus and scope of the journal. For further information please visit the journal’s web page: https://journals.aau.dk/index.php/pbl/index.

Queries and requests for further information may be directed to the editors-in-charge of this special issue of JPBLHE.

Abstracts or papers not selected for the special issue could be considered for a regular issue of JPBLHE. And JPBLHE remains open to ongoing submission of papers.

About the Journal of Problem-Based Learning in Higher Education (JPBLHE)
ISSN: 2246-0918
First published in 2013
JPBLHE has been launched to provide an opportunity for scholars to publish:
●  High-quality research articles that contribute to the current and future development of problem-based learning in higher education.
●  Review articles examining the development of problem-based learning in higher education.
●  Articles examining the intellectual, pedagogical and practical use-value of PBL or which extend, critique or challenge past and current theoretical and empirical knowledge claims within PBL in higher education.
● Articles examining theoretical, pedagogical and practical aspects of how networked technologies or ICTs can be used to support or develop problem-based learning.
● Articles on PBL research relating to the concepts of problem-based learning in any other wider social and cultural contexts.


Editorial board
●  Prof. Anette Kolmos (UNESCO Chair in Problem-Based Learning), Aalborg University, Denmark
●  Prof. Anthony Williams, Newcastle University, Australia
●  Prof. Erik De Graaf, Delft University, Netherlands & Aalborg University, Denmark
●  Prof. Erik Laursen, Aalborg University, Denmark
●  Prof. Lars Bo Henriksen, Aalborg University, Denmark
●  Prof. Madeleine Abrandt Dahlgren, Linköping University, Sweden
●  Prof. Paola Valero, Stockholm University, Sweden
●  Prof. Yves Mauffette, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Canada
●  Associate Professor Khairiyah Mohd. Yusof, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia
●  Prof. Thomas Ryberg, Aalborg University, Denmark
●  Associate Professor Diana Stentoft, Aalborg University, Denmark
●  Associate Professor Jette Egelund Holgaard, Aalborg University, Denmark.