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Stakeholders in the local service centre: who should be involved in the planning process? Insights from Poland, Czech Republic and Denmark

Abstract

Local service centres play a vital role in shaping the quality of life in urban neighbourhoods. They offer access to essential everyday services (shops, education, healthcare, personal services) and to public spaces. If they are properly planned and managed, they can bring particular added values to a local community, such as social integration and territorial identification. The history of urban planning has produced several patterns of local service centres (ancient agora, mediaeval market square, neighbourhood unit, modern agora) but today a question arises: how can a local service centre be successfully planned and organised in post-modern political practice? How can its potential be realised and the ever-changing needs, expectations and preferences of local communities be met? Who should be involved in those processes? To answer those questions in this paper we refer to citizen participation and public communication concepts, where selecting the appropriate stakeholders emerges as a necessary starting point for effective urban governance. We present the results of in-depth interviews with local actors (local authorities, municipality officials, town planners, non-governmental organisations, local leaders) in Poland (Wrocław, Siechnice, Ostrów Wielkopolski, Warszawa and Zabierzów), Czech Republic (Prague) and Denmark (Copenhagen). Depending on the specific local context, various stakeholders are perceived as essential to the decision-making process. The power relations and problems encountered in implementing public policy in particular locations have been summarised in three sections: relationships between stakeholders, leadership, and good practices. The paper concludes with a list of typical actors who should be involved in planning, building and managing a local service centre in an urbanised neigh-bourhood.

Open access
Urban resident perceptions of the impacts of tourism development in Zimbabwe

Abstract

This study examines the perceptions of urban residents towards the socio-economic and environmental consequences of tourism development in Zimbabwe. Perceptions were tested using empirical data that were gathered from a sample of 384 adult members, representing urban households in Bulawayo. The results from a semi-structured survey revealed that such sociodemographic variables as gender, education, length of stay and income are relatively predictable of their attitude towards tourism. Further, although the urban residents tended to perceive tourism impacts positively, they reacted more strongly to the environmental impacts involved than to the economic and sociocultural impacts. The urban geographic context of this study makes this finding significant, as it indicates that urban residents have an environmental consciousness with regard to tourism. The study has implications for tourism development planners and destination managers, in terms of enhanced engagement with the urban residents regarding tourism development, irrespective of the likelihood of residents supporting future development.

Open access
Encrusted and Patterned 3D Manufactured Hybrid Materials for Architectural Application

Abstract

Article focuses on the workflows for generating new hybrid material explorations for architectural application through development of new strategies of applying parametricism as one of the main driving forces in the design that exercises novelty through 3D modeling and visual programming languages. The obtained results have been applied in series of material design experimental sample projects that challenge the standard geometries and enhance the field of applicative materials for architectural application.

Open access
Legibility of Urban Spaces in Kaunas New Town: Research, Strategy, Suggestions

Abstract

Legibility is urban quality, defining ability to find a way in urban or architectural structure, as well as understanding the identity or function of a certain space. Legible environment could help to comprehend not only the space in which person is in a given situation, but also the whole city. It helps to identify oneself as part of a group or certain community. The article is oriented to better understanding of people’s needs in environment, by analyzing the case study of Kaunas New Town. The project is based on observation, analysis of literature and results of research by space syntax methodology. The results show coherence between design rules, based on people’s needs, and visibility graph model, which shows the potential of public and private spaces.

Open access
Making Unaffordable to Affordable: Looking into Affordable Housing Issues and Its Remedies

Abstract

Affordable Housing is a critical issue in many developing countries that impacts their potential for sustainability and socio-economic development. Lack of affordable housing, slower growth of housing stock, and aging housing conflates numerous other problems in Pakistan, including overcrowding, poor indoor air quality, prevalence of preventable diseases, and development of slums and katchi abadies, etc. These challenges lessen living standards in many areas. Unaffordable housing forces low income families in urban areas to live in dilapidated areas. An increase in the construction of affordable housing is needed to mitigate housing affordability challenges in Pakistan. Setting aside land quotas for low-income families in housing development schemes is not sufficient because the households still lack the means to construct housing. This paper attempts to identify the causes of unaffordable housing and solutions for its provision.

Open access
Blumil – Smart Electric Wheelchair that Overcomes Obstacles
Open access