The cross-sectional project regularly examines the sub-projects. It advances the interdisciplinary theory building, promotes the exchange of practical experience and addresses questions of transferability. An international and interdisciplinary advisory board of experts comments on the content and methods of every sub-project of the CITIES BUILDING CULTURE Research Network. Together with the sub-project teams, the advisory board works as a multiplier in practice and the international scientific communities.
The cross-sectional project is headed by Prof. Christa Reicher (urban design and European urbanism, RWTH Aachen University), Dr. Liliana Iuga and Caner Telli M.Sc. (both RWTH Aachen University) and supported by the networks’ sub-project teams.
The cross-sectional project critically examines the sub-projects on a regular basis. This paves the way for interdisciplinary theory building, promotes the sharing of practical experience, and addresses aspects of transferability. The quality and scope of the project is enhanced by continuous assessment of the findings as well as the involvement of an Advisory Board made up of international and interdisciplinary experts to advise on the content and methods of the project modules. Alongside the partners of the Research Network, the Advisory Board will act as a network hub and multiplier brokering links with other practitioners and international specialists.
The cross-sectional project comprises four work packages. Work package 1 aims to identify and describe in more detail the key concepts and working methods that connect or have so far kept separate the research areas of heritage studies, urban conservation and post-Soviet regional studies. It includes an in-depth evaluation of international literature paying particular attention to overlaps, gaps and conflicts. These findings are discussed by the entire Research Network at its first meeting with the Advisory Board.
The aim of work package 2 is to conceptually develop the intersections and gaps offering particular potential benefit for research and practice in regional studies and preservationist urban development. The knowledge-based deepening of these aspects will be based on the ongoing discussion with the sub-projects at the meetings of the Research Network as well as by participation in the regional conferences. Furthermore, three workshops will be held in Aachen with external and international experts from research and practice.
Work package 3 serves to summarise, focus and communicate in a variety of ways the theoretical, conceptual and methodological core findings of the Research Network for post-Soviet regional studies and the principles of preservationist urban development. The main elements are the preparation of the English-language special issue headed jointly with GWZO, the development of the English-language handbook headed jointly with SKE (Cultural Heritage and Planning, RWTH Aachen University) as well as the publication of the Russian-language practical guide headed by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. In addition, goals and measures are drafted for the medium- and long-term development of the Research Network.
Work package 4 comprises the constant conceptual work by the Research Network. This includes coordinated preparation, implementation and follow-up of events for the whole Research Network in liaison with the Research Network’s sub-projects. Specifically, these are the meetings between the Research Network and the Advisory Board in Chelyabinsk, the meeting of the Research Network in Leipzig at GWZO, the meeting of the Research Network held together with the first International Doctoral School in Yekaterinburg, the meeting between the Research Network and the Advisory Board at RWTH Aachen University, the meeting of the Research Network held together with the second International Doctoral School in Irkutsk, and the final conference of the Research Network in Moscow.