All posts by Caroline

Gentrification in Hamburg : training teacher to ESD

In the course of global change, urban development transforms the buildings, livability and atmosphere within districts and for their residents. The city of Hamburg in Northern Germany is exemplary to notice and learn about continuous urban transformation of districts noticeable at a local scale. Taking a walk through the districts around the city center is particularly characteristic to learn about urban transformation, however in order to make the visible forms and trends of districts in Hamburg accessible to a wide range of German students, a virtual field trip “Gentrification in Hamburg” was created with ArcGIS Story Maps. This virtual field trip aims at educating about the theoretical background of gentrification and its complex impacts based on two exemplary districts of Hamburg called Sternschanze and St. Pauli. Different elements within the virtual field trips enable students to learn about the stages of gentrification within the respective districts and test their knowledge through interactive tasks. An interactive map with a route through the districts including concrete pinned pictures of locations provide students the possibility to have a more profound spatial orientation and connect their priorly acquired knowledge with spatial representation. Finally, the virtual field trip provides students the possibility to engage in a role discussion and take on the perspective of different stakeholders (e.g., political activist, long-term tenant, real estate investor, etc.) affected by gentrification in the districts. Following this problem-based approach to learning about gentrification within the districts, enables students to reflect on advantages and disadvantages of urban transformation in Hamburg and supports students to take on a critical stance. There are many more tasks and elements to explore in this virtual field trip on “Gentrification in Hamburg”, feel free to explore them yourself at your own pace, based on your own interests.

Image 1 Virtual field trip of Hamburg (authors : Jonna Lipsow, Lynn Witter, Miriam Elfgen & Inka Siemens)

Degree: Pre-service Geography teachers in their master’s degree

Learning objectives:

  1. Describe characteristics of real and virtual field trips
  2. Generate spatial data
  3. Form a narrative (e.g., problem-based approach)
  4. Create a virtual field trip with ArcGIS Story Maps to implement in primary and secondary geography education
  5. Evaluate Virtual Field Trips

Short description of the experiment:

In the course of the master’s seminar students learned about the theoretical importance of real and virtual field trips as well as quality criteria characterizing them. In addition, a presentation of different tools and applications to create virtual field trips was theoretically acquired. In a second step, students were instructed to plan real field trips in small groups of three to five. The predefined route served as basis to generate spatial data. This generated data was used to create virtual field trips mainly with ArcGIS Story Maps. A problem-based approach or experiential learning was at the center of the created virtual field trips. Students also learned how to embed interactive tasks and to increase students’ activity. Finally, students evaluated virtual field trips of other groups based on the existing criteria. Above that, the course of the seminar war evaluated based on relevance for their future teaching profession as well as educational innovation.

Image 2 Using virtual field trim in teacher training

Water points in our city. Discover the presence of the water element in the urban fabric of Athens, through a Virtual Field Trip.

The metropolitan area of Athens is an extensive and densely populated area that brings together most of the country’s inhabitants and the main economic and administrative activities. The capital’s urban landscape has been defined for decades by a building pattern dominated by buildings and hard surfaces (mainly asphalt). Open and green spaces and even more so water surfaces (excluding the sea) cover a very small percentage of the city.

Yet water points in our city exist!

There are places we can visit and discover the water element either visible or hidden. These places with symbolic, historical, mythological or even physical presence influence and give context to the urban environment and the relationship of citizens with it. Streams and their estuaries, natural wetlands (they exist even within the city center!), lakes and other natural or artificial elements with a constant or seasonal flow of water exist, often even within the city’s densely populated neighborhoods.

Image 1. The National Garden. Sketch created for the Atlas of Mediterranean Liquidity. Source: commonspace

As part of the call for the Atlas of Mediterranean Liquidity, commonspace in collaboration with the Goethe Institute participated in a collective research around the identification of water points in Athens with symbolic, natural, cultural, environmental or historical value for everyday life in the city. In the context of the project, sketches were created, an extensive research on the biodiversity, history and collective memory was carried out by experts. Finally, all the points were placed on an interactive map open to the public. In addition, walks with interested members of the public around water routes in the city were organized as part of the project.

This Virtual Fieldtrip is based on the Mediterranean Liquidity Atlas and provides an educational aspect including a brief historical overview of the water element in the city and guidelines for researchers that want to detect and map water spots in other cities. It encourages students, educators or everyone interested in studying the relationship between urban environment and water element to walk around, sketch and map scenes of water in their daily life. The VFT gives guidelines on how to search and map the water spots in a neighborhood/district/city.

The Storymap is developed in the following parts:

  1. Water in Athens: A brief historical review
  2. Categories of the liquid element in the Athenian urban context
  3. Map tours regarding the different typologies of water in the city:
  • Places in the city with artificial water features
  • Places in the city with natural water features
  • Places in the city with historical water features
  1. Concluding thoughts and online form that can be used by students or researchers for water scenes and spots mapping.

Check the Virtual Field Trip here:

Image 2. Well of the Hadrian Aqueduct in El Alamein Street, Halandri. Source: commonspace

Image 3. The fountain of Chaseki, at the Agricultural University. Source: commonspace


V-Global Glossary

Choosing the right words to describe our teaching is not always easy. Blended learning? E-learning? What’s the difference? The V-Global glossary is a useful tool for identifying practices and issues related to blended learning and global change.

Discover a virtual field trip about the noise in Metsovo (Greece)

NTUA students create a virtual Field trip about the noise in the village of Metsovo. Please discover it here.

Description of  virtual fieldtrip: The problem of noise in the traditional settlement of Metsovo. This virtual field trip is based on a participatory learning methods enable students to acquire the skills and values that allow them to enhance awareness and play a role in Global Change. These methods are based on a holistic learning approach that helps in understanding real problems, co-creating, and developing transferable competences (technical, creativity, teamwork, critical thinking, etc.) among students. Each of the methods can be used to focus on various subjects related to Global Change issues

  1. Objective: investigate the hyper-tourism impact
  2. Understanding the problem
  3. Collect primary noise data
  4. Propose scenarios

Learning objectives : the process implies not only engaging students’ interest in lessons to encourage group discussions and critical reflections but also enhancing their involvement in more practical activities, such as connecting academic achievement with everyday life issues. It aims not only to comprehend the impact of individual actions on the community but also to foster a deeper understanding of such effects.

Short description of the experiment :

The team’s task is to design, build, and assess itineraries that aim to familiarize students with various representations, fostering a deeper understanding of diverse concepts. As part of the project, we need to develop instruments to assess communication performance, ensuring that students can effectively convey their ideas and understanding. The next step involves running scenarios that provide conceptual frameworks, helping students grasp and apply key concepts in practical situations.

The skills required:

  1. a) Improve problem-solving , decision-making and communication skills .
  2. b) increase interpersonal interactions.
  3. c) positively change student’s
  4. d) Increase motivation and participation in the learning process.


Image 1 Map of the noises in Metsova





Creating Virtual field trip with V-Global in ArcGis

The  goal of this event is to explore ways to use virtual journeys to raise awareness among university professors regarding global change and sustainability education. Digital storytelling maps (DSM) are employed as one of the most powerful tools to create virtual journeys.

The workshop was organised in a theoretical and practical way with a participatory field trip in the city with Geotechnologies. At the theoretical part, it has been explained the project results one (PR1. State of the art on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)) and two (PR2. Design a didactic and pedagogical approach to use virtual field trips in a ESD perspective).

Additionally, it has been done an invitation to the participants to join the MOOC as both PR have a module each about them available on a MOOC, which are now being translated to several languages on the edX UNED Abierta platform (make a search inside: looking for the image of the Athens acrópolis).

Geotechnologies and participatory field trips for sustainability education enhanced the workshop to explore, through direct observation on a stroll through the city of Albacete, the imprints that global change leaves on the urban landscape. Inside a previous story map was created an interactive city map : using coworking and collecting points in a Survey123 questionnaire.

During the workshop, other initiatives of the project were explained (The University City of Madrid as a sustainability laboratory in a virtual fieldwork) and other considerations and perspectives on the use of ICT in educational field trips.

Attendees unanimously stated that the event venue and the presented content have contributed to a greater understanding of the V-Global project. 80% affirm that the content helped to improve their teaching perspective regarding sustainability education, although 20% are unsure. It was noted that the session was agile and educational, with speakers demonstrating mastery of the tools showcased. Attendees found it interesting for potential application in secondary education. They would have liked to see more examples. There is a request to minimize the use of acronyms and instead repeat full names.

 Multiplier event in UNED, November 2023 ( Credits : Maria Luisa De Lazaro Torres, 2024)

VGlobal Workshop: Education for global change in Higher Education

The V-Global project was introduced via an online platform to approximately thirty educators in higher education on October 23rd. The workshop commenced with an introductory session outlining the approaches taken in higher education curricula and teaching methodologies concerning environmental and sustainability issues. You can find a comprehensive overview of the outcomes from V-Global (Project resuilt 1) here.

The workshop offered a valuable platform for deliberating on these findings. Participants critically identified multifaceted challenges inherent in the integration of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) within higher education, encompassing several pivotal concerns:

  1. Insufficient teacher training, where ESD remains absent in certain educational programs.
  2. Time constraints that hinder the exploration beyond fundamental aspects.
  3. Fragmented training modules that lack coherence.
  4. Limited space for fostering interdisciplinary connections.
  5. Difficulty in establishing a unified approach and definition to generate substantial momentum.
  6. Numerous organizational hurdles.

Additionally, participants delineated key pillars for bolstering the advancement of sustainable development teaching and education at the university level:

  1. Forging partnerships with civil society entities to initiate collaborative projects.
  2. Engaging students in tangible, experiential projects diverging from traditional lecture formats.
  3. Orchestrating collaboration between departments and Faculty Resource Units (UFRs) to institute overarching initiatives such as community gardens and network integration among involved stakeholders and disciplines.
  4. Providing support for universities aspiring to cultivate their distinct educational programs.
  5. Creating participatory tools to enhance interactive learning experiences.
  6. Mitigating the propagation of eco-anxiety by fostering a positive approach.
  7. Adopting a student-centric perspective by commencing from concrete environments within their study areas.
  8. Advocating for a cross-disciplinary pedagogical approach that is both iterative and progressive.

Photo de Chris Montgomery sur Unsplash

Teaching Global change at university

V-Global is an innovative initiative aimed at introducing university teacher to the dynamic world of virtual field trips as a powerful pedagogical tool for addressing critical topics like sustainability and Global Change. At a time of climate change, teaching environmental and sustainability issues in higher education is a major challenge. How are these subjects addressed in higher education curricula? How can ESD be developed at university? These questions will be the focus of this forthcoming seminar event, which will present the analysis carried out on this subject as part of the Erasmus Plus V-Global project.

To learn more about this, please sign up by registering for our first multiplier event on Monday 23th October 9:00AM to 11:00AM (ECT).

Develop your teaching skills for environmental issues by registering for the MOOC Virtual Field Trip and Global Change: A Blended Learning Approach. The MOOC will open on 18 October 2024. Link to register for this course .

General Objectives:

  • Promoting Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) at the university level by guiding university educators in adopting digital and innovative teaching practices, such as virtual field trips.
  • Ensuring the provision of high-quality higher education, striving for excellence, and contributing to the development of a knowledge society by integrating teaching methods that address the challenge of enhancing students’ digital skills
  • Cultivating collaborative blended teaching concept within the framework of ESD.

Hamburg Field Trip

The next V-Global field trip tooks place in the urban center of Northern Germany, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. On the 15th of June, participants had the opportunity to collect geodata based on the overarching topic of the project global change. Four routes are representative for the different faces of the city.

The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg is located 145 km upstream of the North Sea at the River Elbe and two of its tributaries the River Alster and the River Bille. Following Berlin, Hamburg is the most populated city with approximately 1.8 million inhabitants. At the river basin of the Elbe, the city is densely populated. 20% of Hamburg’s population live in the marsh area at mean sea level, which is why they are highly affected by sea-level rise. Therefore, flood resilience and implemented protection measures are of utmost importance (Kruse, 2017).

Hamburg’s economy depends on its maritime location as it is also Europe’s third largest containers port and ranks 18 on a global scale. This is why the city of Hamburg is often called gateway to the world.


Source: Picture taken by Jonas Tebbe for Unsplash ( under the Unsplash License

The harbor and city are well connected through the German railway network and a public transportation system of buses, underground trains and fairies. Mobility is crucial for the development of the city. In 2017, a “Sustainable Urban Mobility” fund was launched by the German government to promote measures to improve air quality. This fund serves to support municipalities in the longer-term design of sustainable and locally emission-free mobility. Parts of the project are the digitization of municipal transport systems and electrification of transport, in particular of public transportations such as buses in local public transport and urban commercial transport as well as cabs, rental cars and car-sharing vehicles. In addition, the upgrade of diesel buses in public transport will be promoted.

Overall, parks, nature reserves, environmental and urban sustainability projects make Hamburg one of the greenest cities in Germany. According to the annual global livability report, which includes health, culture and environment, education, infrastructure, and stability, Hamburg is Germany’s most livable city.

The routes to explore different faces of the city with regards to global change will therefore focus on in how far sustainable green urban development projects are in place and have been implemented in the city.


Source: Picture taken by Julia Solonina for Unsplash ( under the Unsplash License

  1. HafenCity ­– Europe’s largest inner-city urban development project as a model for the new sustainable European city on the waterfront.
  2. Wilhelmsburg – formerly known as run down district of the city has been sustainably developing especially through urban building projects connected to renewable energy.
  3. Steilshoop / City Nord – implementation of innovation urban development in order to either increase the attractiveness of large-scale housing estates or create an economic service center.
  4. Schanze – Visible gentrification processes in the most vibrant district of Hamburg.




Based on these routes, V-Global team is creating virtual field trip with participatory tools. We used Padlet to structure our work.



Fait avec Padlet



Behörde für Verkehr und Mobilitätswende. (no year). Hamburg – City of Mobility. Accessed from: [15.10.22].

Behörde für Verkehr und Mobilitätswende. (no year). Aktuelles zur Magistralenentwicklung Ein Masterplan für Hamburgs Magistralen. Accessed from: [15.10.22].

Kruse, N. (2017). Klimawandel und sturmfluten: ein vergleich der mentalen modelle und risikobewertungen zwischen experten und bürgern der stadt Hamburg. Geographische Gesellschaft.

Port of Hamburg. (2022). Port of Hamburg – Gateway to the world. Accessed from: [15.10.22].

How to create a participatory workshop using Miro. Steps and tips

In the context of the Athens fieldtrip, we organized a collective mapping workshop to collect data and co-create stories. After walking around the city center, the working team implemented a collaborative mapping workshop with the help of the Miro tool.

Would you like to facilitate a collective mapping activity through Miro? Here you have some steps and tips you to follow.

Image 1. Where to search for templates. Source:

All the templates presented below can be found in the Miro templates or are very easy to create them yourself.

A. Define the goal and co-design the field trip

First of all, define the goals and the specific field you are going to study. Recruit all people interested in participating.

Then, discuss with them:

  • Why are you doing this? What is the collective goal of the field trip? (e.g., a virtual field trip, a public space study for future intervention, or a public space narration)
  • Where is the field trip taking place? What is the study area (e.g., a suburb, the city center, a specific neighborhood, a route, a public space, or a plot)? What is the scale (e.g., local level, neighborhood level, etc.)?
  • Who are the participants? What is their level of expertise and their interests? What is their connection to the field and area of study?
  • What data will you collect, and in which format?

You can run this step using Miro templates for brainstorming (idea trees, tables, or voting sessions).

Image 2. Brainstorming ideas. Source: created by commonspace in


B. Data and experience collection 

It is essential to be well-prepared. Organize the field trip, study the area from google maps, and explore secondary data. Design the routes and the points of interest to visit, get some water and snacks, charge your smartphone and camera and start walking! Don’t forget to discuss and agree with the participants about the form of data you will collect and how you want to save and store all the information (e.g., images, videos, notes, recordings).


Image 3. Walking around the city during the Athens fieldtrip. Source: Photos taken by commonspace

C. Co-design stories and co-reflect on the narrative

Meet with the participants online or physically. You can work individually or in groups according to the number of participants.

C.1 Create an inclusive and cozy atmosphere with an icebreaker game!

You can find many icebreaker activities in Miro templates or you can design your own. A straightforward introductory game invites the participants to write their names and field of work, along with a short sentence or an emoji that reflects their mood.

An example of an icebreaker game in Miro:

Image 4. Ideas for icebreaker games. Source: Games created by commonspace, Emotions Wheel Icebreaker by Anya Dvornikova, Monster Workshop by Nina Torr,

C.2 Discuss the data and pin them on a map or a plan

This is the most important step of the collective process. Define how the participants will upload and pin their data on the map. For example:

  • Ask the participants to choose three favorite photographs, sketches, or notes gathered during the field trip,
  • Pin those selected items on a map,
  • Write a sticky note explaining why they are important/interesting.

Another way of working is to note on a map the positives/negatives/ideas you noticed during your walk.

Image 5. Collective mapping ideas. Source: Created by commonspace in

C.3 Chose data to include in the story

You can run a voting session in Miro. Invite the participants to decide what their favorite input data are. This step helps the group organize their thoughts and allows them to conclude ideas.

C.4 Create a collective narration

Let the participants discuss what they have collected, build consensus on the narration, or identify their perspective on public space. For example, their narration could be “The daily life in the city center” or “Global change and the city”.

Image 6. Ideas of collective narration. Source: Exercise during the Athens fieldtrip. Created by commonspace,

C.5 Present your work to the whole team

Allocate a few minutes at the end of the workshop for each team to present their story in a plenary session. Exchange ideas about the city, the public space, and the narratives. Empower reflection and promote discussion.



International Virtual field trip seminar

As part of the V-Global project, students from the University of Hamburg, Université Paris Cité and Oranim College are participating in an international seminar to produce virtual field trip.  These students are or will be teachers. They discovered their respective cultures, educational systems and issues related to global change. They also discovered Israel, Germany and France through virtual field trip.

Beyond the content, they discussed the interest and limits of each of these. These group discussions helped identify different pedagogical and technical approaches to virtual field trips. The next step is for the students to develop their own virtual field trip.