In spite of policy and best intentions, there is little confidence that today's developments will form thriving and vital sustainable communities. The problem is not a lack of policy, will or knowledge, but a lack of coordination. There seems to be a lack of the right knowledge in the right places to inform development. Both the urban supply network and the research base are fragmented along disciplinary and organisational lines, and this stands in the way of developing sustainable communities.
We recognise that knowledge is transferred by people, working together to solve problems. This programme will fund cooperation to help make sure it happens. It will create a network of professionals and practitioners at every major link in the supply chain and integrate these people - innovation fellows - with leading edge academics - the business fellows. They will work together to identify and work on live development projects. Here they will bring evidence-based and participative processes and new knowledge to develop sustainable communities. By working together to solve shared problems on projects not only will academic disciplinary divisions be bridged, but so too will organisational fragmentation in the urban supply network. Ultimately successful networks and projects will build belief that sustainable communities are possible. UrbanBuzz has funded 16 projects to carry forward this agenda under its first two bidding rounds. The third, and final, bidding round took place in the autumn of 2007 and was undertaken on a targeted basis in order that specific areas of the programme, for example community engagement, could be given addtional momentum. Once contracting is completed for these projcts we will have funded twenty eight UrbanBuzz projects. 2008 will see a significant ramping-up of delivery by the programme ahead of the closing conference at the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 2nd December 2008.
UrbanBuzz is a University College London (UCL)-led programme whose prime partner is the University of East London.