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 discussed, and their application in different economic, institutional, and cultural settings is reviewed. Case studies illustrate proactive strategies to promote development, regenerate functionally obsolete areas, and revitalize marginalized neighborhoods, in situations ranging from mega-cities to provincial centers. These cases highlight changing patterns of public and private roles in planning, financing and managing urban development activities and clarify how physical assets are used as key components of economic, social and financial strategy.The seminar emphasizes the expanding scope of public/private partnerships and discusses the role of NGOs and community-based organizations in the rehabilitation of the built environment and the provision of housing and urban services. Selected \’Best Practices\’ illustrate award-winning initiatives focusing on the structure of the interface between city and community. They also highlight critical roles for urban planners and designers in leading and nurturing development initiatives fostering social inclusion and empowerment.