UCL News


UCL's Development Planning Unit receives acclaim from international organisations

2 March 2003

UCL's Development Planning Unit (DPU) has produced a series of publications and CD-ROMs that have been well received at a number of international events.

Organisations including the Department for International Development (DFID), the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank have been so impressed by the material that they have requested more copies and commissioned further work from the unit. The Development Planning Unit's publications and CD-ROMs have been very well received

A CD-ROM entitled 'The 21st Century Urban Century' was compiled for the DFID and the European Union on the occasion of the World Habitat Day, held in Brussels in October 2002. It contains an interview with Professor Amartya Sen on the application of his 'five freedoms' to the processes of urbanisation. Professor Sen recently won the Nobel Prize for Economics and his work is acclaimed as producing a wider understanding of the problems that plague society's poorest people.

Further copies were requested for a major World Bank international urban research symposium held in Washington in December 2002. Subsequently, the DFID has commissioned the unit to compile, design and produce 3,000 copies of a new boxed set of CD-ROMs and a website entitled 'Drivers of Urban Change'.

Ms Anna Soave (DPU), who led the production team, said: "While the first CD-ROM was aimed to provide the delegates of World Habitat Day with a copy of the films and 70 articles on urban development collated for the occasion, the intended users of the new set of CD-ROMs and website are the 'drivers of urban change': local urban professionals in the public and private sectors, and civil society organisations worldwide. The content stresses the value and therefore the potential of knowledge sharing in the sector of urban development in order to contribute to processes of national economic growth, social development, cultural diversity and the reduction of poverty."

The new CD-ROM will contain some 500 documents, produced by international organisations, institutions, think-tanks and renowned scholars. It will also include more than 20 specifically chosen short films on urban development produced by the Television Trust for the Environment, targeting education and training institutions around the world.

Ms Soave explained: "These contributions are not only meant to reflect the wide variety of conceptual thinking, in order to generate debate, but also to emphasize common perspectives. A crucial aspect of the CD-ROM's design is to present wide-ranging material in a comprehensive conceptual framework and straightforward graphic layout."

The unit has also produced a publication entitled 'Sustainable Urbanisation: Bridging the Green & Brown Agendas', produced for the DFID and UN-Habitat for the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development. Containing research and analysis of case studies from all over the world conducted by the DPU, the book has also been extremely well received, with the UN requesting further copies.

Professor Patrick Wakely, Director of the DPU, explained: "The book presents a set of interlinked approaches to consolidating and scaling up sustainable urbanisation strategies to all levels. It is intended for decision makers at all levels, community leaders and individuals concerned with and engaged in environmental and developmental issues. We hope that the ideas and case studies presented stimulate further action and debate for a sustainable and urbanised world."
The unit provides teaching, consultancy and practical training, and conducts research to promote sustainable forms of economic, social and environmental development at urban, regional and national levels, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America. It also offers specialised courses internationally and for staff of central government departments, local authorities, NGOs and the private sector.

To find out more about the unit use the link below.

Development Planning Unit