HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht (HU) initiated a sustainability program in 2010. A compelling vision, collaboration with external partners, interdisciplinary research and interweavement of research and education are important elements in this program. The scope of this paper is sustainability in research and education, and does not include corporate responsibility. The global concept of sustainability has been applied to a regional context by presenting the vision of a Smart Sustainable City.
This city is the translation of the Bruntland definition (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987) to an energy neutral, high quality urban environment, that makes smart use of technology and infrastructure. The mission of HU is to enable students and professionals to participate in the execution of this urban transformation. For this purpose a new form of collaboration is introduced: research developed and conducted in co-creation with partners from enterprises, citizen groups, knowledge institutions and local government. The research is conducted in interdisciplinary teams, in which students are junior researchers. The student research is part of the regular bachelor program. On the basis of a recent pilot study, the outcome of this approach is described in terms of client satisfaction, knowledge development and educational value.