• Wednesday 19 Oct 2016
  • Changing Capacity Building: Decentralising Urban Learning for Today’s Cities

    Networking Events
    Venue: R21
    Lead Organization:
    • Institute For Housing And Urban Development Studies (IHS) Erasmus University.
    Partner Organization:
    • NASA Goddard Institute For Space Studies University College Of London University Of Twente ( ITC) Slum Dwellers International UN-Habitat Capacity Building Unit Participatory Urban Agriculture Project (AGRUPAR) Ecuador Ministry Of Agriculture.

    During Habitat II in Istanbul, IHS worked with UN-Habitat, DPU and Lund Universities to research the experience at that time and organize a series of major events. The result was a strong increase in the recognition of the importance of capacity building and a recommended approach encapsulated in the publication “Capacity Building for Better Cities”. We consider that it is timely to revisit the subject in terms of what we have learned and what is the most effective way to move forward. From the position of a training and education institution, we see two major trends; 1) An increase in the access to learning and information via internet and 2.) We recognize a shift in the way learning takes place in cities themselves. The bulk of capacity building funds have historically been invested in centralized learning from expert institutions for selected individuals within national or local governments. Access to knowledge has also been widened with Internet. Learning and knowledge transfer increasingly happens in a diffused way where international and national universities establish partnerships with civil society organizations and businesses for educational or research purposes. The event rotates around a central question that is: How can international and national urban capacity building institutions work so as to help local organizations make better use of their participants’ new knowledge and skills and to help participants learn better from local situations and stakeholders? Sub questions are: - What have been the main lessons in trying to apply the capacity building recommendations developed for Habitat II? - Have innovations of access to centralized knowledge, such as distance learning been effective? - What is the evidence that the concept of decentralized urban learning is relevant, and how can the effectiveness of decentralized learning be best evaluated?
    - How can Governments and International and National capacity
    building institutions change policies and practices to realize the
    potential of decentralized learning?
    - What is and should be the nature (principles, good and bad
    practices) of the interaction between international, national
    universities and local actors in producing and transferring knowledge
    about urban planning and development?