PLUS: Research Findings

The project has led to lessons for future policies relating to local democracy and urban development. 

1. Key Research Findings

1.1 Theoretical Framework

1.2 Criteria for Measurement

1.3 National Case Studies

 You can download below short executive summaries outlining key findings or choose the longer national reports that detail the work carried out on the ground and give further information on all aspects of each case study, city and country analysed in the project:

1.4 Final Report

This final report outlines the project, partners, methodology and programme of work, and national case studies. It offers a comparative analysis of the complementarity of urban leadership and community involvement found in various cases, focussing on leadership, community involvement, contexts and institutional capacity as well as drawing conclusions on the implications for policy and practice.

2. Practitioners' Conferences

Efforts have been made to engage the municipalities in the project - and the 18 cities are Assistant contractors. Local authorities associations, national level decision-makers and international networks were also involved in the various stages of the research. In the end, all partners in this project were committed to producing useful outputs for practice.

Two conferences in 2002 and 2004 were specifically dedicated to providing opportunities for practitioners to make useful contribution to both the conceptual and empirical stages of the project.

1. 2002 Heidelberg Conference

The first conference took place in Heidelberg on 19 October 2002.  Mrs Beate Weber (Lady Mayor of Heidelberg) was our host during the conference, while the first mayor, Professor Dr. Raban von der Malsburg held a reception for participants on 18 October at Heidelberg Town Hall.

- Presentation by Beate Weber, Lady Mayor of Heidelberg

- Collection of Papers

In addition to the above, an academic workshop  too place in Darmstadt on 17 and 18 October 2002 at Darmstadt University of Technology, to reflect on the analytical framework of the research project.

2. 2004 Bristol Conference

The second practitioner conference took place in Bristol on 7th and 8th May 2004 at the University of the West of England. You can download here:

3. Key Publications

In addition to our scientific report outlining the findings, conclusions and implications for research and practice, two books have been written to expose and disseminate PLUS findings and are published by Routledge. See more details in Books section.

The first book Democratic choices for cities: participation, leadership and urban sustainability reflects both on the different debates around the concept of urban governance and outline key elements of our vision for the future of local democracy. It will address key concepts and will explore the analytical choices to be made by the research team.

The second book, Leadership and participation: lessons from sustainable cities offers an analysis and synthesis of empirical findings. 

3.2 In addition to purely academic papers and articles (see Conference Papers section), a number of publications have been delivered. They include a guide on benchmarking institutional performance and a distance learning pack and an internet database. See Distance Learning Guide for more information.