Undergraduate Programme

Urban and Regional Development Studio I: Planning and Evaluation of Local and Regional Development Plans

Course goal

Up to the 7th semester the students have completed a series of lessons which allow them to understand the causes of development problems in local and regional level. They also recognize the methodology and the theoretical position of various theories of spatial development in urban and regional level.
The students have already studied the experience of Greek and European Regions, regarding the evolution of critical economic and social aspects, as well as the implementation of development policies. These development policies have been examined in a previous class, viewed under a wider prism which includes their theoretical foundation and critical evaluation. The students have also examined the role of critical parameters of the globalized economy in the implementation and effectiveness of development policies.
In the Development Studio I the students will utilize the knowledge they have acquired from previous lessons in order to elaborate development programs for specific areas. They will deal with real development problems, and they will be asked to provide solutions and to suggest policy interventions which will have to be realistic, to be fiscally consistent, to correspond to the needs of each area properly, to create synergies and to integrate in a concrete development policy for the area.
The experience that the students will acquire, concerns two types of development planning (strategic and operational) at the level of Local and Regional Authorities. Having in mind that not all the development policy means are available in all planning levels, and that the goal of operational plans is different from the one of strategic plans, the choice of which type of development plan to use accrues either from objective data, or from the needs of each area.
Furthermore, in the lesson the basic methodology regarding program and policy evaluation is presented and analyzed. Evaluation procedures constitute a special scientific and professional subject. So the students must be able to implement the relevant evaluation methods in all phases of a programming cycle (ex-ante, on-going, ex-post).
Having in mind that the legal framework imposes the elaboration and implementation of development plans in all Municipalities and Regions of Greece (Laws 3463/2006 and 3852/2010), and that Program Evaluation is also imposed by European Union Directives, the Development Studio I offers to the students the necessary experience for an important segment of their professional options, providing substantial knowledge for the elaboration of:
• Operational Plans for Local and Regional Authorities
• Policy and Program Evaluation Studies

Course subject

The main idea around Development Studios is that the students must obtain applied knowledge and experience using real data through a procedure of studying, analyzing, composing, participating and cooperating which will demonstrate the value of initiative and analytical and composite thinking.
Taking as a fact that there are no ready solutions and “packages” of policies which are suitable for all cases, the students will deal with the dilemma of choosing between alternative development means and policies.  
From a methodological point of view, the Studio will include three phases of a development plan: The first phase of understanding and diagnosing the development needs, the second phase of choosing the development goals and the proper strategy, and finally, the phase of choosing specific development policies and interventions.
Regarding Program Evaluation, the procedure is determined by similar steps, depending on the phase of the programming cycle we have to evaluate. In each phase we give emphasis in specific issues: The adaptation of the Planning program to the development needs and the available resources (ex-ante phase), Implementation procedures and progress (on-going evaluation), Results and Effects (ex-post evaluation).
The Development Studio I splits the students in groups of 6-7 persons. Each of the groups undertakes the obligation to create an operational development plan for a specific geographical unit (usually a Local or a Regional Authority), and also to evaluate an official plan (depending on the stage already reached).
The teaching procedure depends on a combination of lectures, data collection, group discussing, and class discussing of common themes, reporting and assignment delivering, corrections and presentations of the finalized studies in the end of the semester.
During this procedure the groups take in mind all the necessary texts which affect the overall framework of policy planning and implementation. Texts like official European Union Directives and Guidance documents, National Strategic Development Documents, Regional and Sectoral Operational Programs, the National Spatial Planning Plan, Regional and Sectoral Spatial Planning documents, the National Entrepreneurial Incentives Law, the Local Authorities Code, existing guidance documents on operational planning, Evaluation Guidance Documents, etc.

The course consists of lectures and students’ assignments focusing on the use of some specific instruments which are available in development planning and evaluation.
 

Assessment

Each student is assessed in three ways and gets 3 grades which combine to the final grade as following:
- The grade resulting from the two written examinations (intermediate exams) and represents 25% of total grade
- The groups’ grade, resulting from the three deliverables of the course, representing 50% of total grade
- The personal grade that results from the presentations (10%) and the overall presence and participation of each student in the class (15%).
The groups’ grade results from the grade of each deliverable and the final presentation of the assignments.

Bibliography

  • Μιχαηλίδης Γιώργος (2011): Σχεδιασμός και αξιολόγηση, στην ανάπτυξη και στην κρίση: Θέσεις, Μεθοδολογία και Πρακτικές, ISBN: 978-960-288-294-8, Κωδικός Βιβλίου στον Εύδοξο: 12565605 ΕΚΔΟΣΕΙΣ ΕΠΙΣΤΗΜΟΝΙΚΩΝ ΣΥΓΓΡΑΜΜΑΤΩΝ ΕΤΑΙΡΙΑ ΠΕΡΙΟΡΙΣΜΕΝΗΣ ΕΥΘΥΝΗΣ
  • Πετράκος Γ. και Ψυχάρης Γ. (2004), Περιφερειακή Ανάπτυξη στην Ελλάδα, Κριτική (Εύδοξος: 11742)
  • Σαράτσης Γ. (2014) Διδακτικές Σημειώσεις για το Μάθημα STUDIO Ανάπτυξης Ι: Συλλογή Κειμένων για την Αξιολόγηση των Προγραμμάτων, Πανεπιστημιακές Εκδόσεις Θεσσαλίας