Creating sustainable communities: conceptualising an interactive toolkit for skills enhancement
The UK policy framework for the development of sustainable communities, dating from the late 1990’s, has involved substantial changes in the working practices of urban development practitioners. The achievement of sustainable outcomes requires a range of professions, organisations, groups and individuals to work towards shared goals. Thus an emphasis on multi-agency and participatory working has become an integral component of the development of sustainable communities.\ud Initial slow progress gave rise to a review of shortfalls in institutional capacity, and deficits in the generic skills required to enable effective multi-agency working were revealed. The policy response to these perceived deficits included initiatives to provide targeted information and training resources – at both a national and regional level – to urban development professionals and communities. This paper discusses research conducted at a regional level to develop a set of on-line resources focussed on the enhancement of generic skills. The research has addressed a wide range of conceptual and practical difficulties: the nature of generic skills; the capacity of online learning to address contextual skills; and the difficulties of integrating on-line learning into everyday working practices. The paper reviews this conceptual framework and its contribution to the design of the on-line skills resource.