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History of the centre

There is a long and rich tradition and history in the research of spatial development in Bratislava, represented before all by the Faculty of Architecture STU and the URBION Institute. URBION, already in the times of the former CSSR, belonged to the outstanding research units in the field of urbanism and town and country planning which can be proved by missions of its professionals in the countries of Europe, Africa and Central America. Many of its staff collaborated with the FA STU, thus strengthening its research potential.

After 1989, the URBION Institute was closed and the dominant position in research in the field of spatial planning stayed with the FA STU that continued in all relations and content of the research. Branch of urban studies was strengthened and focused on three main topics: regional planning, land-use planning and landscape planning. On one hand it broadened the scope of research and education, but on the other hand it pointed out the need of integration of research capacities, not only at the university but in broader academic and international context.
The first step to integration was development of intense international cooperation with the partner universities and other research institutes in the EU countries and renewal and development of cooperation with the accession countries. Cooperation with the ARL Hannover, IOeR Dresden, IUG Grenoble, University of Newcastle, TU Wien, CVUT Prague, UUR Brno, TU Budapest, TU Sofia and others in the field of research and education led to belief to centre especially on the problems of interdisciplinary research of spatial development in the context of European integration as well as in the context of information society advancement and later on also to more institutionalised forms of this international and interdisciplinary cooperation.

In 1993 the first interdisciplinary unit, focused on implementation of environmental aspects into spatial planning and environmental impact assessment, was established at the FA STU. This working unit, integrating the staff of four departments, became a core for the SPECTRA-PERSEUS Centre (Central European Research and Training Centre in Spatial Planning) that was in 1999 formed as already interdisciplinary research and training unit of the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, thus making use of research potential of the departments of the FA STU and other faculties of the STU, with the support of the partner institutions, ministries and NGOs and international organisations of AESOP and MOAG. International cooperation and participation in 7 international projects enabled a wider spectrum of research and further strengthening of international cooperation (see the list of international projects). The Centre has gradually developed its profile as an internationally recognised centre and an independent academic unit with the potential to elaborate expertises and assessments for the bodies of national, regional and local government in the Slovak Republic.

Development of the SPECTRA-PERSEUS Centre was in 1999-2001 supported by the EC IB-JEP 13424-98 grant in the frame of TEMPUS-PHARE programme. This grant enabled publishing of the research results of the staff members as well as strengthening of international participation of the academics in its activities and management. International cooperation of the Centre continued and the staff of the Centre became members of research networks, members of scientific boards, members of advisory bodies.

International reputation of te SPECTRA-PERSEUS Centre attracted interest in cooperation with the Centre which can be proved by invitation of the staff members to give lectures as well as to participate in the proposals of new research projects (8) and also by foreign academic visits (38) and the visits of young researchers and PhD students ( 21) and students (101).