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.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Summary of the first workshop in Edinburgh - November 2012

Venue:    Edinburgh World Heritage office at 5 Bakehouse Close

Present:   Riccardo Marini (the City of Edinburgh Council)
              Krzysztof Chuchra (Edinburgh World Heritage)
              Chiara Ronchini (Edinburgh World Heritage)
              Rianne Bennink (Edinburgh World Heritage)
              Wouter van Niel (Edinburgh World Heritage)
              Caroline Lyon (Edinburgh World Heritage)
              Daniela Patti (CEIT Alanova)
              Izabela Rudzka (Warsaw School of Economics)
              Marek Bryx (Warsaw School of Economics)
              Aleksandra Jadach-Sepioło (Warsaw School of Economics)
              Dominika Brodowicz (Warsaw School of Economics)


The workshop was opened by a presentation, titled “Past Present Future”, given by Riccardo Marini. It set up a context for the later discussion, encouraging holistic approach to urbanism and its future. Different can be good!

A series of questions

The next stage was about asking a series of questions relevant for the vision of the SATURN project. It allowed participants to rethink some of the key issues, which led to the development of the project.

What will success of SATURN look like?

SATURN should be an aspirational project, which will improve people’s lives. One of its final products could be a toolkit. The process of the project development and dissemination should bring people together to learn from each other. Indirectly it could set up a precedent for supporting social coherence throughout the lifespan of the project and during its application. This project should encourage professionals dealing with urban regeneration to think creatively about places. It becomes particularly important when there is a need to integrate new development with historic architecture.

What do you do?

Responses to this question build up an intellectual capacity of SATURN reflecting participants’ functions and interests. We connect, initiate, coordinate, plan, navigate, think critically, ask questions, observe, learn, define places, try to be creative and use our hands to make things happen.

Who are you?

A philosophical question explaining who people behind the SATURN are: European; a life researcher; an onion (complex entities); women; researcher; an economist with a passion to good architecture and nice places; socially interfering; energetic; positive; a story teller.

Dreams about SATURN?

The most dominant perception is that SATURN should form a web platform where practitioners, communities, teachers and students can find an easy access to information relevant to their needs. The platform should be interactive, interesting, and original to attract users. It should contain newsletters distributed via social medias, guidance notes and short manuals (3-4 pages) focused on specific subjects such as: how to use GIS in regeneration process, how to manage a regeneration project (communication, management, finance). It has to be clear how the platform will be used and what the users gain from it. The platform should avoid repetition with other similar sources because a lot of information already exists. Its development should be supported by at least 2 year budget.

Problems & broad objectives

It has to be clear what is going to happen with outcomes of the project after its delivery. However, further clarification is needed at the project development stage in order define clear and agreed objectives of the project. The project requires a strong leadership and understanding of the partnership’s capacity and skill base. On the other hand it was emphasised that the process requires a clear channel of communication between partners and this is being addressed in the communication strategy provided by colleagues from the Warsaw School of Economics. One of the main challenges lies in limited funding and lack of it for some of the partners such as colleagues from Prague.   


Communication delays caused by a weeklong exchange of e-mails should be resolved through Skype meetings. The project development and management should be clear and simple. Identification of new objectives has to be supported by levered resources to support them. The project requires a positive leadership to motivate the partnership. The main emphasis has to be made on common goals and challenges. Some aspects of the project should be delegated to the community to introduce practitioners to the process of community engagement through designation of leaders (the issue requires further discussion).

There is a need to clearly define the understanding of what standards are, which then have to be identified, grouped and translated to ensure that they are pragmatic and used. Also, relevant stakeholders should be identified and involved through an agreed process and structure.

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