Head: Jens Kvorning
The Centre for Urban Planning (CBP)
The Centre for Urban Planning (CBP) has been established with the aim of supporting The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture's (KA) research and teaching in the subject area of urban planning and to attract and train new researchers and teachers. The centre focuses on two subject areas: Urban planning and urban development and planning in the Third World. The CBP's task is to accumulate knowledge and to carry out research with special focus on the latest findings concerning urban transformation and strategic planning in Denmark and abroad; to disseminate this knowledge throughout the school of architecture and amongst planning professionals and to provide a master's programme in strategic planning.
The Centre's research is aimed at describing and theorising the transformation processes and changes that are going on in European urban regions due to the impacts of globalisation, digitisation and deindustrialisation. Within this field, there is particular focus on identifying and analysing the strategies and plan types that have proved relevant and effective in relation to current transformation processes.
In addition, during this plan period, research is carried out on the transformation processes and urban planning in the Third world, aiming especially at developing countries on the African continent. If the necessary resources can be mobilised, this field will be extended to include emerging economies as well - especially China. The main emphasis is on the implementation of clearly defined research projects based on case studies within the four subtopics with the greatest synergy possible between the projects. Based on the knowledge accumulated in these projects, and the background knowledge they are grounded on, we are capable of making generalisations and forming theories about restructuring and strategic planning.
Plan Period 2004-2006
During this first, two-year plan period, the centre's main effort was to launch and consolidate three subtopics - ICT and urban transformation, Events and strategic urban planning and tourism and strategic planning - with one PhD student in each field.
The remaining resources were spent on the planning and marketing of the Masters programme in Strategic Planning, supervising PhD students, conferences and courses, preparing applications for external funding for future projects, and negotiating collaborations with other research institutions. Within the field of Planning in the Third World, two projects in Tanzania as well as one in Brazil and two in Ghana were completed during this period.
Plan Period 2007-2010
Within the field of urban planning and urban development, the centre currently focuses mainly on launching projects within the new subtopic Restructuring and transformation in Nordic metropolitan areas - as inter-Scandinavian research cooperation. These plans require external funding. Regarding the original research subjects, the coming period will see a consolidation of efforts, namely through attempts to obtain external funding to start up clearly defined projects that can help expand the subjects' empirical base.
The Centre's involvement in conferences has proven to be especially productive for the development of research topics, building research networks as well as establishing contacts with the planning profession. Therefore, these efforts will be enhanced and complemented with new forms of conferences.
Finally, the Centre will put special focus on developing additional forms of publication and on establishing debate circles that create mutually binding relations between the researchers and professional environments outside the School of Architecture.
The overall and cross-disciplinary research topics are urban restructuring and transformation, and strategic urban planning. Subtopics are ICT and urban transformation, Events and strategic urban planning, tourism and strategic urban planning and Nordic metropoles' restructuring and planning strategies.
Urban restructuring and transformation
This research topic is intended to comprise more general comparisons, generalisations and theory formations about the nature of globalisation's urban restructuring processes, with particular emphasis on spatial aspects. The aim is to contribute to the development and classification of the available literature on transformation and restructuring, especially by adding empirical data from urban regions in Scandinavia and, thus, hopefully, to be able to add new dimensions and hypotheses to the discussion of the effects of globalisation.
Strategic Urban Planning
All research topics are related to strategic urban planning. However, this main topic is dedicated to generalising experiences and to categorising among different positions. Moreover, it tries to explain and theorise about the different positions' ideological affiliations and the type of thinking about the region, the city and their planning - i.e., a history of ideas as well as a history of ideology and planning.
ICT and urban transformation
There is an extensive range of literature that apply various perspectives to explore how the new information and communication technologies have affected the urban layout, urban economies and development dynamics as well as everyday life in the cities.
Efforts in this field of research are partly designed to explore the already existing research on this topic, partly to conduct independent case studies that may concretise the hypotheses presented by the main theories and to make them accessible and relevant for practical planning. Currently, two cases are examined in this field: Cork in Ireland and Wolfsburg in Germany. Over the last 25 years, Cork has become a very successful city; to a large extent, its economy is based on the IT industry now. Wolfsburg is the home town of Volkswagen's factories. It is the epitome of an industrial city, built with the sole aim of becoming the basis for the production of cars as a ‘Fordist' form of production. Consequently, Wolfsburg is a city in contrast to the logic of globalisation.
Events and strategic urban planning
The use of big events such as world exhibitions, major sporting events and other types of exhibitions or cultural events as catalysts for urban development and reconstruction has been much debated in city planning and urban politics over the last 10 to 15 years.
Barcelona is often used as an example: the deliberate utilisation of hosting the Olympic Games was a turning point for the city, which since has positioned itself as one of the most visited and debated cities in Europe. Meanwhile, however, there have appeared a number of examples of cities where major events have not led to the expected change and vitalisation of the city. The purpose of research in this area is to analyse and compare various examples of the use of events in urban policy and, consequently, to describe the preconditions and relations that seem to ensure a successful exploitation of this strategy in order to formulate recommendations and instructions that are applicable in practical planning.
Tourism and strategic urban planning
Tourism makes a significant contribution to the economy of big cities as well as remote regions. Therefore, much attention is given to the tourist industry's success or problems and to which strategies can ensure success. So far, most research in this field has had a narrow focus on the economic impact of different types of tourism. The main idea underlying the Centre's research efforts in this field is that the city, the landscape, and the cultures existing and bound there constitute the targets of tourism. At the same time, it is evident from recent sociological research that there is a kind of touristification of daily life, in the sense that those living in large urban regions increasingly display tourist behaviour in every day life, which has an impact on the use of urban space. Together, these two observations are the starting point for a broader approach to tourism, where the purpose of research is to identify the ways tourism affects the city.
Nordic metropoles' restructuring and planning strategies
The research aims to increase the knowledge about the specific restructurings which are taking place in the Nordic metropoles and the planning strategies and plan types in use. Research on this topic is relevant for several reasons. A very large proportion of the theorisation on globalisation and urban restructuring is based on empirical data from the U.S. Hence, it is necessary to accumulate more knowledge on how globalisation's processes affect such structured and homogeneous societies as the Scandinavian ones - as a prerequisite for designing relevant urban policies and spatial strategies. But it is also with regard to the development of the international debate and theory formation on urban restructuring and globalisation that there is a need for a Scandinavian contribution to qualify and complete this discussion. On the basis of those conditions that the Centre's researchers have the best knowledge of, it is possible to make a substantial contribution to and become an integral part of an international discourse.
Publication: Research - peer-review › Paper
Publication: Research - peer-review › Book chapter