Strategic Planning and Local Development

This course examines strategies for urban and regional development within the context of a globalized economy where cities are the engines of growth. Fierce competition, unavoidable interdependence, fast-paced technological change, widening income disparities, and environmental degradation are creating new challenges that urban development strategies must address. Concepts and methods of strategic planning as a framework for participation, decision-making and resource allocation are examined in different economic, institutional and cultural settings. Case studies illustrate strategies to promote development, regenerate functionally obsolete areas, and revitalize marginalized neighborhoods, in situations ranging from megacities to smaller provincial centers. The case studies examine the use of physical assets as key components of economic, social and financial strategy and highlight changing patterns of public and private roles in planning, financing and managing urban development activities. They also illustrate participatory processes in urban planning & governance and the empowerment of poor and marginalized populations. The course emphasizes the expanding scope of public/private partnerships and the role of NGOs and community-based organizations in improving living conditions, managing the built environment, and providing housing and urban services. Selected \”Best Practices\” illustrate award-winning initiatives and new trends reshaping local planning and governance. They also highlight roles for urban planners and designers in leading and nurturing development initiatives fostering social inclusion. Pedagogic Objectives To provide students with an overview of the changing context of urban development strategies in the 1990s in different economic and cultural settings, and the challenges arising from widening disparities.To review concepts and methods of strategic planning as they are applied to address complex urban problems and cope with fast paced change at the city and community level.To explore the expanding scope for public/private/community partnerships in urban development and the role of NGOs & CBOs.To further an understanding of the structure of participatory frameworks and processes in the development of urban strategies and action plans. Requirements Attendance at the two weekly sessions. Reading of selected materials from the course reading list. Some research work. In addition to class discussion there will be two exercises to be presented in class and a final presentation to be made to a panel of invited guests. Basis of Final Grade Class Discussion: 20% Exercises I and II: 40% Final Presentation: 40%