The “GRUEN: Green Urban Environments” project is an educational challenge to secondary students to build their own their sustainable urban future. Schools in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia interact with partner schools in the European Union to develop their concepts for a green urban environment.

GRUEN: Green Urban Environments is a project for secondary school students in Hong Kong, Southeast Asia and Europe that has internationalisation at its heart. GRUEN is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Jean Monnet Programme of the European Union. Workshop cycles 1 and 2 were organized by the Hong Kong Baptist University in Hong Kong SAR. 

Under GRUEN, students use a specially-designed online Moodle workshop to participate in asynchronous online discussions and share their perspectives, exchange ideas, and develop their concepts for a green urban environment while also familiarizing themselves with key sustainability principles and best practices of the EU under the 7th EAP. 

Working in small cross-cultural groups with like-minded students from schools in Hong Kong, Southeast Asia and Europe, group members collaborate on building their vision for a more sustainable and a healthier living environment which addresses climate change issues, transportation, housing and work conditions as part of the urgent need to combat our negative impact on the environment, among others. Each group is mentored and coordinated by local teachers and the GRUEN team.

At the EU-Asia Schools Conference on Sustainable Cities & Urban Innovation, which is the concluding stage of GRUEN, finalists create group presentations to highlight their innovative visions for a green urban environment. A panel of experts in different areas of sustainability judges all presentations and selects the winners.

The Conference offers a unique opportunity for knowledge exchange between the cross-cultural teams, scholars in the field of sustainability, and the NGO community, while also stimulating further discussion and encouraging the preservation of the world’s natural resources by adopting a greener lifestyle.

The Principal Investigator of GRUEN Cycles 1 and 2 was Dr. Tushar Chaudhuri, External Relations Coordinator for the Faculty of Social Sciences and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Government & International Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University. Administrators were Ivelina Ivanova and Lam Tsz Kwan (Jasie), and the workshop coordinator and technical consultant was Dr. Brant Knutzen.

The 2-minute video below summarizes the results of Cycle 1 and 2 of the GRUEN project.

Hands holding Green World
Image courtesy of Energy Efficiency and the NCC, by Evan Logan