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Sustainable and Inclusive Urban Development


As cities face multiple challenges and are hot spots for climate solutions it is essential to acknowledge planning and planning transition by addressing sustainability as an organizational principle for urban change. Contemporary urban challenges demand holistic and multilayered understandings of cities and an approach to problem identification that take seriously the interconnected complexity of urban sustainability challenges and the definition of systemic solutions.

The learning programme introduces a combined wicked problems approach and urban system thinking, coupled with process design, strategic and action planning, as well as political power mappings.
Wicked problems are defined multilayered, complex and interconnected in character whereby single and sectorial solutions are often impossible or produce and reveal new challenges. A wicked problem approach to urban challenges focuses on defining, unfolding and prioritizing the layered issues of a given challenge and it invites for multidisciplinary skillsets and multi-stakeholder involvement.

The programme focuses on collaborative efforts to analyzing and framing wicked problems and prioritizing best possible solutions considering the potential implications and consequences. Wicked problems require a holistic understanding of the urban environment.


Learning by seeing:

The proposed fieldtrips or exposure visits relate to themes across the four blocks and they will exemplify and inform practical exercises in varying forms relating to the learning goal.

Learning by doing/applying (e.g. case or project work):

The learning by doing, based on both problem and research based methods, will focus on the group work utilizing a system approach to analyze, identify and propose strategies and actions for the sustainable transition of a city. The groups will respond to the challenges through daily tasks that will be supported by the lectures and the other planned activities.
Learning by example (Peer learning):

The learning by example is organized in two main activities: peer-to-peer sessions where the participants are called to present and discuss both their daily work challenges and solutions, and the exchange with external lecturers, from leading national and international organizations (e.g. ICLEI, C40, Gehl, World Resource Institute and UN-Habitat). This includes real-life case studies, from the Global North and South, in their presentations; in addition the participants will meet and discuss with peer practitioners during the site visits and the organized activities in BLOXHUB.
Translating learning into action (Action Plan):

The translation of the learning into action will be realized through a two-pronged approach. 1) the application of the knowledge through the group work to respond to the real life challenge of a city of their choice 2) the tutored individual work to identify key challenges and opportunities in relation to their daily work, further supported by the peer-to-peer sessions among participants and the follow-up at the end of the training.
Passing on learning: The individual work on specific challenges and peer-to-peer learning must include a proposed plan for implementation beyond the participants working department.

Target group:

The programme targets urban planning professionals working with issues of urban development and sustainability and multilayered social, political and economic challenges to the urban system.
We invite mid-senior level sustainability and urban planning professionals from private and public organizations operating in cities in DANIDA partner countries. Participants may have previous experience with public-private partnerships, they may have led cross sectoral planning projects. The target group come from a variety of sectors, such as mobility and transportation, urban finance and governance, water management, waste, housing, and infrastructure planning etc. The programme aims for a diverse group of participants in terms of disciplinary training and backgrounds, occupational responsibility and gender. We also welcome two or more participants from the same organization with different responsibilities, e.g. between two planning units. The ideal candidate can implement sustainable planning principles and organizational change in their respective institutions.