In August, 2007-The Global Urban Summit, was held at the Rockefeller
Foundation's study and conference center in Bellagio, Italy, convened
leaders from the private and public sectors to explore opportunities to
foster healthy and sustainable cities.

In preparation for the summit, the Center for Sustainable Urban Development,
in collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation, identified leading
research scholars involved in the areas of summit focus areas to prepare
expert background papers and summaries that helped to inform and frame the
summit discussions for each of the four themed summit weeks: financing
shelter, water and sanitation; building for climate change resilience;
improving urban population health systems; and reorienting planning and
design pedagogy and practice for the 21st century.


One of the background papers was an interesting article by Elliot Sclar
covering the planning pedagogy and differences between the global north and
global south. The summit was oriented to discover the varied needs of global
north (or the developed world) and global south (or the developing world-
with its varied problems of trying to address the profession of planning and
design to the urban poor)


Few of the querries addressed in the summit are enlisted. One could further
search for various other background papers- they are an interesting read!

* *

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*Are urban planning and design professionals relevant to the needs of the
urban poor?*

   - Are changes needed in planning and design methodologies and
   technologies—as distinct from models of practice—to more effectively
   incorporate the perspectives, needs, and values of those poor and vulnerable
   communities affected by planning and design decisions?

·§   To what extent does the traditional model of a professional-client
relationship help or hinder the alleviation of problems of global

·§   Can participation of the urban poor in the traditional model of the
professional-client relationship, in which the professional is paid by a
third party (i.e. donor, international agency, national or local
government), ever be more than a perfunctory consultation?

·§   How can alternative models of professional practice be developed that
more effectively address the needs of the urban poor?

·§   How can career ladders that take these concerns into account work more
effectively? How are teachers of planning and design addressing the problems
of adaptation to climate change, financing water, sanitation and shelter,
and urban population health in their training of the next generation of

·§   How can academics and practitioners incorporate concerns for social
justice and equity into planning and design pedagogy?

o§   Can technical competence be divorced from social concerns?

·§   What specific skills are required of design and planning professionals,
regardless of whether they are trained in the Global North or the Global
South, to better address the challenges of cities in the developing world,
such as those addressed in this Summit's previous weeks?

·§   What actions are needed to institutionalize such skills in the pedagogy
and practice of design and planning training institutions?

Nidhi Batra
Architect & Urban Designer