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SRM781 - Urban Change And The Role Of The Change Agent

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Question

Managing Change and Innovation

The first assignment involves you becoming familiar with the different types of urban change experienced in cities and how urban change is managed by the government (especially local and state levels). Part A of the assignment requires you to discuss the principles of urban change and its management. In the second part of the assignment, you are asked to investigate an example of urban change (occurring or planned), preferably in the area in which you live. 

You are to address the following points in your essay.

Part A

What are the various roles of a ‘change agent’ or ‘place manager’ in delivering successful outcomes for a place? Briefly discuss the characteristics and skills a change agent should possess, and consider the organisational structures and relationships that can influence their effectiveness.

You should address this point in the context of the various determinants of urban change, whether they be generated by evolving market pressures, policy changes or the environment.

Part B

Identify a current or recent example of urban change (preferably in the area you reside or are familiar with) that has prompted – or been prompted by – a physical or policy change and discuss this.

What was the change that occurred? How was the change managed?

Briefly outline which organisations, and/or government departments are involved and how the management program is being undertaken. You may want to investigate the local government’s organisational structure in order to learn more about how urban change is managed.

Solution

Introduction

Urbanisation is a modern world concept; however, it started long back with the development and changes in human lifestyle. Urbanisation is a process wherein villages grow and expand to form cities, indulge in modern activities such as trade and experience the increase in population. Therefore, it is not wrong to say that urbanisation is an inevitable process that is bound to take place to meet the needs of growing society. Numerous economic, political, physical and cultural pressures lead to the creation of urban spaces. Hence, policy making and place manager are an integral and indispensable need to successfully continue with the urbanisation process (Frey, B. S., & Stutzer, A., 2000).

Urban Change

Urban change takes place due to several factors that have a functional relationship with each other. The role of place manager or change agent is very integral to the process of urbanisation since its main task is to make the place better. The place manager basically manages all the opportunities, issues, and challenges that take place in urban spaces each day. During various operations, the role of the place manager becomes more important because it ensures the normal working of the urban society. Moreover, it is very important for the place manager to have deep knowledge of all the factors, processes and constituents of urban change so that reasonable solutions can be derived during urban change and planning. Further, the place manager acts as an agent of change, which is why it is his responsibility to have the vision that can accommodate urban change and ensure success towards urban development activities. The place manager needs to have all the comprehensive resources, effective relationships with people and sustainable management structures to manage urban change. Usually, the role of the place manager is played by the government in partnership with the private sector (Mant, J., 2008).

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The increasing population in urban areas along with the economic development result in a positive change in urban areas and its design as it leads to better accessibility to services, social and economic opportunities with an enhanced lifestyle. With the increase in migration, societies also tend to become multi- cultural that seeks to create a balance between different cultural groups to maintain harmony, avoid segregation and communalism. In spite of several advantages that the process of urbanisation carries, there are many negative outcomes as well. And the worst results of urbanisation are urban pollution, changing environment and threat to public health.  Many studies have pointed out the fact the urbanisation is posing a threat to the natural environment and the natural balance is changing. Other challenges also occur with urbanisation such as, the kind of accommodations that people live in and interaction that takes place in society with people and governments. Therefore, the functional and spatial elements of urbanisation are continuously changing (Chatelard, G., 2002).

Other than these factors of urban change there are objective developments that result in urban changes. This role is played by information technology, the modern transportation system, changing communication, the role of social media and high- speed digital resources. All these factors have changed the process of interaction in urban societies (Ding, G., 2008).

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