Need for the project

KLABS formula is research-oriented; project development methodology relied on the definition of realistic problem in considered Western Balkan urban and rural built areas which today are faced with challenges in terms of sustainable development and adaptation to climate change.

Sustainability achievement is recognized as fundamental condition for the progress of society at all levels. However, the development process and its main credo by which the needs of present generation must be met in a way which will not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, today is compounded by manifestation of consequences of past unsustainable actions of society - the climate change. Increased pressure on the environment thus doesn't origin just from population, their activities or technology, but as well from the nature. New facts on climate change, and its past occurred and future possible catastrophic negative implications in social environments - the disasters, call upon the need to develop adaptive capacity. Therefore, two interrelated concepts of sustainability and adaptation to climate change, i.e. the resilience, need to by studied concurrently.

With the harmonisation of national legislation with European framework, sustainable development becomes significant issue in Western Balkan. After the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, the university study programmes related to sustainability in Western Balkan are still rare and focused on narrow, energy aspect; specialized university study programmes which would include comprehensive education on sustainability and resilience of built environments do not exist.

While the graduate level university education on resilience of built environments is not provided, the topics on sustainability within the existing programmes educating engineers and architects are sporadically present and that in the form of courses detached from the curriculum backbone, which consequently negatively reflects on knowledge integration and its practical application in professional work and real life situations. Additionally, many past generations of students didn't get any university education in these two highly important fields. The lack of knowledge leaves permanent damage and contributes to the increment of environmental, but as well social and economic risks. Obsolete education represents the aggravating factor for inclusion in European dimensions of education and labour.

Environmental protection in engineering branches, architecture and construction refers to the design, development, analysis and implementation of wide range of appropriate technical-technological solutions, measures and practices. Research results are one of the main pillars of the design of education. Problem complexity requires interdisciplinary approach. Education aims to prepare for coping with, managing and shaping of “conditions characterized by change, uncertainty, risk and complexity” (Sterling, 2012).