„Sustainability for Architectural Heritage “ - New perspectives for the urban historic preservation

  Schema Copyright: © Marie Dewey

The SAH cooperation project forms a network between Germany, Italy, Greece, Russia, Armenia and Iran to contribute internationally and interdisciplinarily to updating and improving the educational standard of urban heritage conservation.


Cultural heritage, from individual monuments to cultural landscapes, is a potential for sustainable development. Much of the war-damaged cultural heritage was not preserved in the 1960s and 70s due to the prevailing modern development and lack of knowledge in the fields of restoration and conservation. Nowadays, with climate change as the greatest challenge at present, there continues to be an increasing need for experts with interdisciplinary skills in the field of urban heritage conservation.

The international cooperation project SAH (Sustainability of architectural heritage) is the first project in the framework of the Capacity Building Erasmus+ programme to engage different universities in the field of architectural and urban heritage.

Together with a total of twelve universities, RWTH Aachen University will comprehensively develop, discuss, and evaluate the topic from various perspectives. Through the involvement of the chairs of Cultural Heritage Protection, Urban Design, Landscape Architecture and the Department for Historic Building Conservation and Research, RWTH itself forms an interdisciplinary team. Together with the European universities in Italy and Greece (UNIVAQ - Università degli Studi dell'Aquila, NTUA - National Technical University Athens), the Russian universities (MGSU - Federal State Institution of Higher Education Moscow State University of Civil Engineering, KSUAE - Kazan State University of Architecture and Engineering, NArFU - Northern Arctic Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov, SSTU - Samara State Technical University), the Armenian universities (NUACA - National University of Architecture and Construction of Armenia, GSU - Goris State University, CAA - Chamber of Architects of the Republic of Armenia), and the Iranian universities (UT - University of Tehran, TIAU - Tabriz Islamic Art University), the cooperation will then be established, which will enable an international exchange to contribute to safeguarding the cultural heritage.

The project aims to improve together the quality of curricula in the field of sustainability for architectural and urban heritage by aligning the different curricula and using new technical-innovative tools and interdisciplinary approaches. New interdisciplinary models for Bachelor's and Master's programmes in terms of practice-oriented education will establish a new generation of architects and conservators with a good scientific basis.

By improving and updating the quality of curricula, the knowledge gained about new methods will open up more opportunities for students and also aims to challenge critical thinking and thus constructively meet the challenges of the increasingly global world.

The faculty of architecture is looking forward to constructively shaping the process and thus further thinking about teaching in the field of cultural heritage and urban heritage preservation not only cooperatively but also globally.