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Luda project

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Description of the project

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>>Problems to solve
>>Objectives and approach
>>Expected impacts

> Problems to solve
Most European cities have large urban areas suffering environmental, economical and social distress that results in a high level of political pressure to make rapid improvements to the quality of life. Especially in a take-off phase of urban rehabilitation, this often leads to an uneconomic use of resources, which narrows options for development. It contradicts the need of far-sighted strategic planning and development addressing three main challenges of these areas: their large dimension, the complexity of problems and the uncertainty of their future development. LUDA seeks to meet this challenge by providing tools and methods for a more strategic approach towards urban rehabilitation, and by supporting cities in initiating and managing such an approach in its early stages.

> Objectives and approach
The goal of the project is to contribute to improvement of quality of life in large urban distressed areas by providing a systematic strategic planning and development approach with special consideration of the take-off phase of rehabilitation processes. The main question is, how can an integrated strategic process of sustainable rehabilitation and development be initiated and better managed during its initial stages, given large urban distressed areas present complex problems, offer vague development prospects and are often accompanied by public pressure for rapid improvements?

Furthermore, the project provides a platform for broader discussion with other cities, research institutions and civic organisations. Mutual exchange and networking between cities and research partners is oriented towards establishing learning processes.

For the purpose of the LUDA project, "large urban distressed areas" were defined as comprising a considerable part of a city, suffering from multiple deprivation such as: degraded housing; inadequate or sub-standard facilities; rundown or derelict industrial estates, environmental risks and problems; unattractive and disconnected urban structures; high unemployment and week social cohesion, which is detrimental to the sustainable development of the city as a whole.

The project consists of nine work packages which follow a logical progression and which consider both: the demands of interdisciplinary research and the practical requirements of municipalities. A comprehensive literature review and the collection of documented experiences with rehabilitation approaches, a Europe-wide analysis of tools for initiating and managing rehabilitation programs as well as the consideration of the experience of Reference Cities provide a sound scientific information base for practical action. Major issues are systematically described in a respective compendium.

In practical terms, the LUDA project seeks to identify the issues driving the rehabilitation process, which may require assessment or evaluation, in addition to issues that represent common problems across the Partner Cities. These issues will then constitute the basis for effective cross - analysis in terms of the six case study cities. Based on the outcomes of the six partner city case studies, and with regard to the experiences of the 12 Reference Cities in dealing with distressed urban areas, methods for initiating and strengthening a range of LUDA rehabilitation and development processes are being scrutinised and tested, including consideration of different conditions.

> Expected impacts
From a scientific perspective LUDA serves to enhance the knowledge about the phenomenon of large urban distressed areas. Of particular importance are analytical tools for setting boundaries and defining priority action areas, co-operation and participation in distressed areas, and the applicability of methods to cope the challenges of such areas.
From a practical perspective LUDA will provide decision-making aids and consultation about available tools, methods and success factors, facilitate a learning process, organize city-networking, formulate policy recommendations and support the implementation of key projects that will lead to an improved quality of life in large urban distressed areas.


LUDA is a research project of Key Action 4 "City of Tomorrow & Cultural Heritage" of the programme "Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development" within the Fifth Framework Programme of the European Commission.
ENV Programme europe 5TH
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