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Assignment Questions

Factors Contributing to Urban Development

? Infrastructure for success

In recent years cities have come to be understood as vital engines of economic growth, and as engaged in a competitive struggle to attract increasingly mobile investment. Research has sought to identify the qualities that make cities successful competitors, and numerous league tables have been produced that rank the attributes of different cities. One of the key challenges for built environment professions is to understand these qualities and to seek to ensure / assess whether the infrastructure required to make cities successful is in place. However, questions of what makes a successful city and what makes cities successful are also subject to considerable controversy and raise fundamental issues about the purpose of urban development.

This years theme invites students to explore the different types of infrastructure that underpin the success of cities (for example social, physical, environmental), the ways in which this can be delivered and the types of development cities should prioritise.

Key questions students may consider include:

? What makes cities successful?
? How do we measure success?
? What are the most appropriate goals for professional practice and governmental intervention?
? How can we define infrastructure or urban infrastructure
? What kind of infrastructure is required to make a city successful?
? How can infrastructure investment influence the success of cities?
? How can this infrastructure be put in place? What strategic options are available?
? How do cities and governments ensure they get the strategy right?
? How can major developments with multiple impacts be planned within short time frames?
? How can projects be financed and procured in the face of volatile property and finance markets?
? What is the right balance of free market activity and planning intervention?
? Are the joint skills available to formulate and manage innovative partnership and other delivery models?
? What elements of infrastructure can be distinguished (for instance physical (housing, transport, services etc), social (cultural and educational etc) and administrative (governance etc)?
? How far is infrastructure durable (eg beyond the Olympics)?
? How far is infrastructure sustainable?

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