The kick-off meeting of the Erasmus+ funded project, RailtoLand was held at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid) on 22 November 2019.
RailtoLand is led by the Polytechnic University of Madrid in collaboration with seven European partners from Spain, France, Italy and Portugal, namely: Autonomous University of Madrid (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid – UAM), Centre for Computer Graphics (Centro de Computaçao Grafica – CCG), University of Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée (UPEM), UIC, Italy’s Marche Polytechnic University (Universita Politecnica delle Marche – UNIVPM), Spanish National Railway Network (Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles – RENFE) and Portuguese Railways (Comboios de Portugal – CP).
RailtoLand, the 35-month project, has three main priorities:
i) Social and educational value of European cultural heritage, its contribution to job creation, economic growth and social cohesion through emphasising the fundamental role of the railroad in the construction of Europe, especially after World War II. Its structuring and cohesive function were essential in the consolidation of European identity and raising awareness about the importance of European landscapes as a common heritage of European citizens. Teaching recognition of the values and diversity of European cultural landscapes. Convinced that affective linkage to places is only possible through deep knowledge of them and positive life experience.
ii) Open education and innovative practices in a digital era through designing a series of MOOCs aimed to provide students the knowledge and tools that improve their understanding of the European landscape and its railway heritage. This course allows students to recognize the landscape and heritage as cultural and tourist resources, identifying opportunities for entrepreneurship through information and communication technologies.
iii) Tackling skills gaps and mismatches by closing the gap between the theoretical world that is offered to the student, and the practical experience essential to fix concepts, through learning by doing and design thinking strategies. Also reinforcing communication skills, through the dynamics of collaborative work.
At UIC, the project is managed by the UIC Passenger Department participating with its extensive knowledge and expertise in the railway world and the dissemination of the project.
The meeting started with an overview of the Erasmus+ K203 programme and how RailtoLand fits in its context, given by its coordinator Ana Belen Berrocal Menarguez followed by an overview of the project and the different outputs and work packages.
The project has received funding under the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership, Key Action 2.