Archive for June, 2012

URBAN HERITAGE AND METHODOLOGIES OF RENEWAL

Rosa Grazia De Paoli

Architect, Phd, Contract Lecturer, DASTEC Department, Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria

Abstract

The renewal of the city started from the examination of urban conditions of comfort/discomfort (safety, mobility, environment, social cohesion); this required the direct involvement of the city’s inhabitants as experts of the urban environment, and therefore able to suggest solutions.

Nowadays in Italy the renewal tools of the city cannot be found in planning laws, but in new tools with participated procedures. These participated procedures have put the public administration and the private entrepreneurial class in agreement. In the ‘90’s, the so-called Complex Programs both in the national and regional domain have been realized. The Complex Programs aim to propose urban improvement through innovative procedures to improve urban life quality. Among the Complex Programs, the District Contracts have been realized in January ‘98 and proposed in 2002 by the Infrastructure Administration. They set the aim of district renewal in places characterized by buildings degradation, urban environment lacking services, scarce social cohesion and marked housing problems as well as the presence of an elevated seismic vulnerability.

This paper underlines a methodology of urban retraining with participated procedures applied in a historical centre of  a town in southern Italy.

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THE ICT IMPACT ON THE ARAB REVOLUTION UNDER THE PRISM OF THE GLOBAL POLITICAL ECONOMY AND THE US-CHINA

Pantelis Sklias

Associate Professor, Dept. of Political Science & International Relations, University of Peloponnese, Corinth, Greece

E-mail: psklias@hotmail.com

Tel.: +30271040040, fax: +30271040050

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to propose an enriched framework of analysis to assess and analyze complex social, political and economic phenomena, such as the developments that took place in the Arab countries. I call this framework of analysis Elaborated Realism and I present its main epistemological elements hereby. In this framework, individual variables such as the role and the impact of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) are considered as being only a part of an overall set of variables, a Feedback Mechanism in which the state national interest is the main catalyst for the formation of state behavior. Such a Feedback Mechanism constitutes the framework out of which the main elements of the global political economy, meaning the network of global political and economic relations are formed. In my opinion, although ICT as well as other social, political and economic variables should be assessed, developments in the Arab countries should be considered under the prism of the global political economy, and more precisely the USA-China economic contest which is the core axis of this frame. ICT can be considered as an accelerating factor but not as the root neither the cause of the events that took place. I claim that such an enriched framework of analysis and approach can also be applied in other similar cases in which national interest is very much influenced by a hierarchical structure of power as it is captured by global political economy structure.

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EUROPEAN ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND THE STRATEGY ‘EUROPE 2020’

Olga Gioti Papadaki

Associate Professor

Department of Economic and Regional Development

Panteion University

opapadak@panteion.gr

Abstract

The evolution of European environmental policy is examined in this paper in conjunction with the objectives of developmental strategy ‘Europe 2020’. The possibility of being mutually supportive with the objectives of environmental policy is a key issue in this paper. It might be argued that the current economic crisis has negative impacts upon the overall achievements of the European Union. In this light, the success of the implemented strategy can be said to be a necessity. The approach in this paper is based on the contention that adopting environmental protection objectives, apart from moral and sustainable reasons, is amongst the most important apparatus for overcoming economic downturn, given that the European Union is able to reduce its dependence on imported energy resources and take advantage of its leadership on environmental technology.

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