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LUDA e-Compendium: Discovery of a Diamond [EN] (22.6.06)

ludalogo.jpgA pleasant surprise for urban practitioners!
 

We have got a seven-part, free accessible, interactive, completely interlinked Handbook.

Go to the LUDA website, and see for yourself. 

You 'll find: 

  • Concise definitions of concepts, notions and tools that we use in different stages of our projects.
  • A treasure of practical suggestions
  • A completely 'holistic' approach
  • Interactive decision making schemes
  • Everything developed out of practice, including:
    • on governance level,
    • on expert level (urbanistic, social engineering, etc.)
    • on project management level
    • on project execution level
    • on the monitoring and self-evaluation level
    • etc., etc.
  • All-internet-based, and smoothly working - for YOU

Who shaped this marvel?

LUDA is the "Large Urban Distressed Areas" Project of the Fifth Framework Programme of the DG "Research" of the European Commission:

LUDA is a research project of key action 4 "City tommorrow and cultural heritage" of EESD with rhe running time from February 2004 to January 2006.

- says the LUDA website. Actually, the project was extended until May 2006, and its final conference was held yesterday, June 22, in Brussels.

Leading researchers are:

  1. The Leibniz Institute of Ecological and Regional Development of Dresden University (Saxony, Germany) under Prof. Bernard Müller,
  2. Napier University (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK), represented by Prof. Sam Allwinkle,
  3. SMASH Société de Mathématiques Appliquées aux Sciences Humaines (Paris, France), and
  4. Università di Firenze (Florence, Italy).

They worked (and continue to work) in close cooperation with a dozen cities (see map), on different levels. The 4th Workgroup of Eurocities (President: Paolo Coggiola, Florence) monitored, sustained and patronizes the project.

444887-372170-thumbnail.jpg
Click to see the full map

As you should know, the Research Framework programmes of the European Commission are independent from the other DGs of the Commission.

There is an obvious advantage in this: Scientific research remains largely free from priorities, hobbies and restrictions that may guide civil servants who are implicated in day-to-day policies and struggles.

But the main disadvantage here, is the fact, that too often obvious potential links to practice do not exist and cannot be made. The academic project applicants have too often their own particular priorities and constraints, which impair the usefulness of their subsidized efforts.

(How this worked out in practice, is related in my post in Huibs UrbLog "Quest for a System".)

Anyhow, the LUDA project and its useful product, the "e-Compendium" is, in my opinion, a refutation of our former distress and lost hopes.

Which does not mean, that this opportunity will be worked out and be sustained, viz. maintained.

The Regio DG, in the person of Sylvie Harburger (senior adviser to Commissioner Danuta Hübner), spoke encouraging words and there is no doubt about the good intentions of her unit. But, as the budget for specific urban policies has virtually disappeared, it is not sure at all, that the DG Regio will be able to do what is needed.

There seems to be no relation to URBACT, either. URBACT, charged with the "capitalisation" of urban redevelopment knowledge, could immensely profit from the work that has been invested here. But will it? And can it? For an "URBACT II" (from 2007 on) is not foreseen in the European budget.

e-urban is, of course, powerless as concerns these problems and dangers.

But we will do, in he coming weeks, what we can:

  • Draw upon the LUDO Handbook elaborations for new posts in our "Urbipedia", and furnish direct links to the pages under scrutiny (Update: first Urbipedia contribution: LUDA Approach, 24.6.06)
  • Discuss the "Diamond" LUDO analysis (assessment) scheme (Hbk 2) and compare it to the Jacquier scheme (Regenera)
  • Develop some key notions, concepts and terms in the (English) LUDO texts in our "Babel Tower" comparative interlingual department.
  • And do, if possible, what our readers may come up with as suggestions... (Go to the "Urban Practitioners' Forum" here, on e-urban)

 

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