European Standards for Vocational Training in Urban Regeneration

Our partnership aims at establishing proper and reliable standards of vocational training in integrated urban regeneration. The principle is to provide a basis for thinking about urban regeneration and therefore the partnership involves academics and practitioners. We would like to achieve through provision of manuals containing examples of best practices in urban regeneration form Europe. The project is funded by the Leonardo da Vinci fund to develop a strong partnership and framework for future collaboration; however we are planning to expand the project through a different stream of funding.

In the first year of the project partners exchange know-how in field of urban regeneration as a interdisciplinary subject of didactic and vocational activity, comprising heritage management, financial aspects of regeneration projects, GIS analysis, sustainability and innovative applied urban conservation methods. The main approach will be continuous dialogue between partner institutions during meetings, mutual visits and through exchange of didactic and training materials.

During the second year of the project the partners will develop manuals for practitioners from each partner country focused on different aspects of urban regeneration, based on the most up to date case studies from each partner. This approach will ensure that partners can present good examples of practice in their countries and provide an opportunity to think how these could work in other places.

The final manuals should form a basis for programmes of vocational training and for formulation of uniform standards for vocational training in the field of urban regeneration. Its particular value is in focus on the World Heritage Site Cities, which are required to maintain highly effective management regimes in order to meet standards set up by the Word Heritage Committee, not only in spatial terms, but also social, concerning outreach schemes. The outcomes of the project will be translated into native languages of each partner.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

SATURN and its potential value

                                                                 Photo by Krzysztof Chuchra

SATURN is the Leonardo da Vinci funded project developed by a partnership of Edinburgh World Heritage, Warsaw School of Economics, CEIT Alanova and IURS (Institut pro udržitený rozvoj sídel o.s.). The project aims to establish a framework for vocational studies in urban regeneration. One of the key questions this project raises is: what range of skills and knowledge professionals should have to enable them to define issues accurately and find the most suitable solutions for urban regeneration?

Urban regeneration as a subject for vocational learning and as an academic research discipline is likely to be one of the most visionary and developing  fields on the horizon over  the next 20 years. Projects dedicated to redevelopment of city centres and brown field sites are becoming a necessity. The issue becomes even more complicated in the old historic cities with a relatively high public involvement. The links between conservation, urban design sense, coordinative and financial skills are crucial elements of any regeneration project or regeneration strategy and are still largely absent in urban heritage management standards. It is important that these problems are addressed to achieve the fastest and most effective outcome.

One of the best ways of learning and teaching is through analysing best practice. Urban regeneration is no exception. However, effective learning is efficient if the process of discovery encourages creative thinking about a problem. European unification and technological development in communication allow an efficient exchange of information between people interested in the subject. SATURN provides a platform for the exchange of views on good practice and standards in vocational teaching. One important aim of the project is to produce a set of manuals focused on examples of good practices in urban regeneration. The overall object is to provide centres of education with an efficient tool, which will bridge the gap between theory and practice. Moreover, in the longer term the established platform should encourage students and professionals to specialise and pursue a carrier in urban regeneration.  

The real value of SATURN comes from its practical dimension and input from practitioners actively involved in processes of urban regeneration. It also involves vocational trainees who are not only one of the key beneficiaries of the project but also participants, which should allow the project to bring the real educational value. Moreover, SATURN will involve communities living in partner cities to ensure even more pragmatic dimension of the project and test some of the ideas through a community engagement process.  

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