Urban Studies

Co-sponsored by The Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative of the Open Society Institute, Budapest

Course date

7 July - 18 July, 2008
Application deadline
15 February, 2008
Course Director(s): 

Katalin Pallai

Independent Consultant, Budapest, Hungary
Course Faculty: 

Gyorgy Alfoldi

REV 8 - Regeneration Agency of the 8th district, Budapest, Hungary/Technical University of Budapest, Faculty of Architecture, Hungary

John Driscoll

Harvard University, Center for Urban Development Studies, Cambridge, United States of America

Liviu Ianasi

School of Urban Planning, "Ion Mincu" University of Architecture and Planning, Bucharest, Romania

Pal Baross

ING Real Estate Development Hungary, Budapest
Course Manager: 

Masha Djordjevic

OSI / LGI - Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative, Budapest, Hungary

The course will review the theoretical underpinnings of current urban policy, planning and management practices and provide course participants with a broad range of international case studies and practices that reflect the current state of the discipline. The course's geographical relevance will be broader than Central and Eastern Europe and will help young faculty and practitioners to better understand challenges faced by public policymakers and managers, NGOs and the private sector in rapidly changing urban environments. The dual focus on theory and practice will be particularly useful for participants developing their research agendas.

Course participants will have an opportunity to better understand how traditional governance structures are being challenged as local governments must take on new responsibilities, and consequently must also generate resources and depend on an array of new partnerships with other government agencies, diverse communities within and outside their jurisdictional boundaries, the private sector and civil society. International cases presented during the course will illustrate how traditional hierarchical forms of "government" are giving way to "governance" that is built on a horizontal web of external relations of government. This approach requires a more sophisticated and strategic interplay among market forces, traditional bureaucracies and participatory processes. Given this context, urban programs and their formulation and implementation have become much more complex.

The course will offer a conceptual framework for discussing, distinguishing and evaluating planning methods and practices at the local government level, and help to promote more analytical and critical thinking about the application of various methods and their outcomes. This opportunity will be particularly important to young faculty and advanced doctoral students who are in the early stages of their academic and research careers.