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.
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
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
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.