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Polyak

Levente

Polyak

Validated Lead Expert
Generic Skills
B.1. Understanding of integrated and sustainable urban development: 
I am an urban planner and researcher, with a background in architecture and sociology. I have been working in the context of urban planning and policy since 2002, starting with a research on the energetic dimension of the revitalization of prefabricated housing estates in the Budapest region. Between 2004 and 2007, I worked on studies for the Regional Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Between 2007 and 2009, I studied and worked for the New York and Paris municipalities. In 2009-2012, I have been teaching courses at the Environmental Communication program of the Budapest University of Technology (becoming member of the university’s Environmental Psychology Research Laboratory), and at the Moholy-Nagy University’s Design Theory and Management program. As board member of the KÉK - Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre (www.kek.org.hu) since 2006, and of the Wonderland Platform for European Architecture since 2011, I have been initiating and organizing a series of conferences, exhibitions, festivals as well as professional workshops, research projects and development programs, focusing on urban regeneration. In 2012, I launched the Lakatlan Budapest program, examining policies and methods of temporary use and revitalization of abandoned urban properties. In 2013-2015, I participated at the Urbact Pilot program “Temporary Use as a Tool for Urban Regeneration.” See more details at http://polyaklevente.net and http://eutropian.org
B1. Assessment: 
1. At least 2 years of experience with urban development.
B.2. Understanding of exchange and learning processes at transnational level: 
As a planner and researcher, I have been participating at transnational exchange and learning activities for over a decade. In 2004-06 I was participant of the HERMES Research Project on Heritage and Territorial Development, organized by the Bauhaus University in Weimar. In 2007-08, in the frame of a one-year internship, I worked at the New York Department of City Planning’s Manhattan Office, focusing on land use analyses, environmental impact reviews and policy implementation surveys. In 2009, during another internship at the Paris municipality’s Délégation à la Politique de la Ville et de l’Intégration, I worked on the social regeneration of an area at the Northern periphery of Paris. Between 2010 and 2013, I was researching the potentials of crowd-sourced data in urban planning at the Paris-based Orange Labs SENSELab in 2010, at the Columbia University’s Spatial Information Design Lab in 2011 and real estate policies and new forms of mobility at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture Paris-Malaquais in 2013. I am member of various professional and research networks and I have participated at shaping Urbact, Interreg and Horizon2020 projects. These experiences help me understand the challenges and perspectives of urban regeneration in different aspects and international contexts, and cooperate with stakeholders from a diversity of disciplines and socio-economic contexts. See more details at http://polyaklevente.net and http://eutropian.org
B2. Assessment: 
1. At least 1 transnational activity example provided.
B.3. Proficiency in English: 
I speak fluent English, French and Hungarian, and have a good knowledge of Italian and German. Besides my work experience at the New York City Department of City Planning’s Manhattan Office, I was also Research Fellow at the Columbia University as well as visiting lecturer at the Vienna University of Technology’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space. I have a record of lectures and workshops held and courses taught in English, in various European and North-American cities (http://polyaklevente.net/?page_id=94). I also publish regularly articles in English (http://polyaklevente.net/?page_id=64).
B3. Assessment: 
1. Applicant states a C2 proficiency.
Expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities:
C.3.1. Ability to communicate complex concepts to non-English speakers: 
In situations where not all stakeholders speak English, using visual or performative elements, photography, video and drawings or walking can help crossing the language barrier. 1. In the “Markets for Every District” conference in Budapest, organized in 2011, we had to create a bridge between local market vendors, professionals and international experts. Besides translation, we used video, photography and walks to empower citizens in their argumentation to save a food market. 2. Likewise, in TUTUR, in many situations we engaged both local stakeholders of the Local Support Group and international experts and municipal officers in interaction and communication with each other: at the Mercato al Centro workshops we introduced potential plans and scenarios to the local community in the form of exhibitions. 3. In the Adaptable City workshop series, as well as in the Project Space workshop we organized in Kiev, we created situations in which - through translation and presentations - local stakeholders could also insert their perspectives in the discussion and the planning and design process.
C3.1 Assessment: 
1. At least 1 valid example provided of defining a good communication approach for non-English speakers. Exact role of the applicant is not always clear though.
C.3.2. Ability to draw out, support the verbalization and documentation of knowledge and practice from participants: 
I often use events to create a collaborative environment in which the shared experience helps participants structure their conclusions and conceive reproducible and transferable models for intervening in urban environments. 1. In the framework of the Project Space workshop organized in Kiev, we invited participants to analyse Kiev’s Telichka neighborhood and to elaborate a regeneration plan for the area. The working groups addressed the territorial challenges at three different scales and the workshop’s results - analyses, scenarios and interventions - reflect this diversity of possible outputs. http://issuu.com/eutropian.org/docs/report_kiev_wl 2. In the Vacant Central Europe cooperation project, we invited participants to project some models of reusing vacant buildings onto their own urban context, elaborating local versions of an overall policy scheme and test them through small-scale interventions. The result is a combination of analyses, case studies and toolkits that inspire new initiatives to unfold and proceed. http://issuu.com/leventepolyak/docs/vacant_central_europe 3. In the second edition of the Funding Urbanism workshop series organized in Berlin, international participants visited many innovative initiatives where new economic models enabled a cooperative form of ownership and real estate development. Participants analyzed these cases and structured their findings through diagrams. http://issuu.com/leventepolyak/docs/wonderlab_berlin_-_funding_urbanism
C3.2 Assessment: 
1. At least 1 valid example provided.
C.3.3. Ability to capture learning for participants to take away: 
Proper documentation is a key element of a successful project. To highlight the complexity of the issues addressed, it is important to give a voice to a variety of participants, and to integrate a diversity of perspectives in the project’s discourse and reflection. 1. In the Anatomy of a Street project, looking at the transformation of commercial main streets in various European cities, we combined essays with maps and artist interventions in the project’s final publication. http://issuu.com/leventepolyak/docs/anatomy_of_a_street_whole_book 2. In the Rethinking Felberstrasse workshop organized with the City of Vienna, we collected many of the impressions, notes, and drawings that emerged in the discussions. The collection was organized into a booklet, published by the Vienna Municipality and available both online and at the municipality’s Planungswerkstatt. 3. In 2012, commissioned by the French Institute of Budapest to make a research on its building’s construction history, I collected documents, analyzed planning regulations and processes and interviewed a number of protagonists in both countries, thus compiling an exhibition and a corresponding catalogue that explores various aspects of the desgin, planning and construction process.http://issuu.com/leventepolyak/docs/fo-utca-17
C3.3 Assessment: 
1. At least 1 valid example provided (most concrete are example 2 and 3)
C.3.4. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate good practices and policy messages: 
It is important to make reports both a deep reflection on a set of practices or policies and an attractive, interesting read. In the past years, I intended in a variety of projects to share project findings in the form of reports, that connects different experiences, identifies tendencies and – in some cases - articulates policy recommendations. 1. The Budapest-based Adaptable city workshop series were accompanied by an exhibition and a publication that were conceived to support the process, by identifying problems and possibilities and by introducing best practices in various parts of Europe. http://issuu.com/leventepolyak/docs/adapt__v_v__ros 2. The Activate&Involve booklet, co-edited with Daniela Patti, presents best practices of bottom-up urban initiatives with samples from various Project Space workshops we organized. The booklet connects these initiatives and thus identifies new tendencies in placemaking and community-based urban development. http://issuu.com/leventepolyak/docs/wonderland_activate_involve 3. To share the experience of the Urbact Pilot Project TUTUR, we used several formats to transmit the findings to a larger audience. Some of the considerations of the project are collected in a scientific publication (see http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/CB3yEgQU4BIV2YEicc5E/full). The final report of TUTUR was also made available online at http://tutur.eu/?p=624#more-624
C3.4 Assessment: 
1. At least 1 valid example provided of incorporating good practices and policy messages.
Summary Expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities: 
My experience of working with a number of European municipalities helped me understand the challenges and perspectives of urban regeneration in a diversity of contexts. With a background in both planning and social sciences, my ambition is to create substantial links between the different professional fields addressing urban development issues and to enhance cooperation between stakeholders from a diversity of disciplines and socio-economic contexts. Having participated at transnational projects, I dispose of sound methodologies for designing cooperation, organizing research, moderating exchange, delivering content and disseminating results. An important focus in my work is to link bottom-up initiatives with top-down processes and to help creating a shared language and engage protagonists in a dialogue. I often use events to create a collaborative environment in which the shared experience helps participants structure their conclusions and conceive reproducible and transferable models for intervening in urban environments. These events are designed to create moments to exchange and focus, to give visibility to certain problems and to help stakeholders connect with each other. Currently I am working on projects related to urban regeneration, local economic development, citizen participation and local governance. See more details at http://polyaklevente.net and http://eutropian.org
Assessment: 
The applicant has proven that he is able to meet the requirements mentioned above. He present a vast amount of examples that underscore these capabilities. The specific examples are not mentioned in the CV, but the applicant provides clear URLs for almost all of his examples in order to increase transparency.
Thematic expertise:
Theme / Policy: 
Integrated Urban Renewal
D.1. Deep knowledge on the selected theme and related policy challenges, including up to date practice, research, etc.: 
My studies in urban planning and the following work experiences at the municipalities of New York, Paris and Budapest gave me a variety of insights in contemporary issues, dilemmas and concepts of integrated urban renewal, in participatory planning processes, resource-based regeneration models and sustainable development methods in particular. In my projects, I aim at integrating viewpoints of a variety of disciplines and connect policies, planning processes, physical interventions and bottom-up initiatives with the involvement of a variety of stakeholders. The Urbact policy transfer project “Temporary Use as a Tool for Urban Regeneration” did, for instance, connect the themes of sustainability, social inclusion with job creation and short food chain distribution, and linked together policy recommendations with physical interventions. My research fellowships in Paris and New York, as well as my teaching activities in Vienna and Budapest all helped me deepen my understanding of these processes. Combining my professional activities with research, I continue publishing critical analyses as well as policy articles and recommendations in various academic and professional journals. I participate at academic research and professional networks focusing on cooperative urban development, temporary use, public space and participation. See more details at http://polyaklevente.net and http://eutropian.org
D1 Assessment: 
1. At least 2 years of relevant experience.
D.2. Ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process of in projects in which you have been involved: 
Concerning the projects I developed in the past years around the theme of the temporary use of vacant properties (TUTUR in Rome-Bremen-Alba iulia, Vacant City and the Adaptable City workshop series in Budapest), I published a number position papers, which I used as an entrance point in many situations. Position papers included an essay published in the European 13 Theme contributions (http://europan-europe.eu/media/default/0001/09/e13_themecontr_38_lpolyak_pdf.pdf) that was republished several times in different circumstances and countries. The research project Vacant Central Europe that was designed to support policy reform concerning public real estate management practices was also accompanied with a series of texts, highlighting the problems and possibilities of vacant properties in Central European cities. These texts attempted to engage local stakeholders in a region-wise campaign for more sustainable, adaptable and participatory real estate development policies. In the project, I invited participants to project some models of reusing vacant buildings onto their own urban context, elaborating local versions of an overall policy scheme and test them through small-scale interventions. The result was a combination of analyses, case studies and toolkits that inspire new initiatives to unfold and proceed. http://issuu.com/leventepolyak/docs/vacant_central_europe
D2 Assessment: 
1. Provided at least 2 valid examples of stimulating or enabling a process of exchange.
D.3. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange & learning activities, put forward good practice: 
In the various roles I worked in the past years, the task of sharing good practices and elaborating methods to transfer them and adapt them to local situations has always been central. 1. When supporting the Budapest Municipality in their 2030 Urban Development Strategy, I co-authored a compilation of best practices in integrated urban development. The report, looking at experiments in co-housing, iterative public space planning and temporary use, was used to inspire decision-making and engage them in promoting more progressive policies. http://polyaklevente.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Nemz_varosfejl_jo_gyakorlatok-sm.pdf 2. To share the experience of the Urbact Pilot Project TUTUR, we used several formats to transmit the findings to various audiences of city practitioners. The reports used within TUTUR were juxtaposing and comparing the participating cities with other good practices, both municipality-driven reforms and bottom-up initiatives. The project’s conclusions were collected in the form of recommendations: some of the considerations of the project were collected in a scientific publication (see http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/CB3yEgQU4BIV2YEicc5E/full), and the concise final report was presented at various occasions and was published online: http://tutur.eu/?p=624#more-624
D3 Assessment: 
1. At least 2 relevant examples provided that examplify ablity to produce reports based on previous exchange and learning activities.
D.4. Understanding of how to maximize the use of project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design, awarenes: 
Transnational projects often have unexpected afterlives. In order to maximise the impact project results can exercise on decision-makers and inspire reforms at various levels, the project outputs have to be able to communicate to a variety of stakeholders. 1. Being one of the organizers of the Project Space workshop organized in Kiev, it was very important for me to have an impact not only on the participants’ thinking, but also to influence the broader discussions about the area. Unexpectedly, the physical interventions creating a temporary link between the Telichka area and the river were very instrumental in changing the approach of decision-makers to the riverfront and thus created a permanent access to the river for citizens. http://issuu.com/eutropian.org/docs/report_kiev_wl 2. The Mercato al Centro workshop series, organized as part of the TUTUR project, by combining recommendations and physical interventions, managed to demonstrate the unused potentials of a food market complex, thus launching a change of attitudes towards the market, for instance, by helping vendors decide to adapt their opening hours to demand. http://issuu.com/eutropian.org/docs/mercato_al_centro_report
D4 Assessment: 
1. At least 1 valid example of maximizing the use of project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design or awareness.
Summary Thematic expertise: 
My work experience at the municipalities of New York, Paris and Budapest gave me a variety of insights in contemporary issues, dilemmas and concepts of integrated urban renewal, in participatory planning processes, resource-based regeneration models and sustainable development methods in particular. In my projects, I aim at integrating viewpoints of a variety of disciplines and connect policies, planning processes, physical interventions and bottom-up initiatives with the involvement of a variety of stakeholders. In the Urbact policy transfer project “Temporary Use as a Tool for Urban Regeneration” we did, for instance, connect the themes of sustainability, social inclusion with job creation and short food chain distribution, and linked together policy recommendations with physical interventions. Combining my professional activities with research, I continue publishing critical analyses as well as policy articles and recommendations in various academic and professional journals. In addition, I participate at academic research and professional networks focusing on cooperative urban development, temporary use, public space and participation. See more details at http://polyaklevente.net and http://eutropian.org
Assessment: 
1. THe applicant scores 4 out of 4 and therefore meets the criteria. No inconsistencies with CV.
Theme / Policy: 
Local Economic Development
D.1. Deep knowledge on the selected theme and related policy challenges, including up to date practice, research, etc.: 
During my studies in urban planning and sociology, I put a significant effort into studying the opportunities of the neighborhood scale. By researching the transforming local economy of various Budapest districts, I had an insight into the dynamics of rapid commercialisation, experienced by many European cities in the past decade. Working at the New York City Department of City Planning, I got acquainted with many planning tools, including zoning, BIDs, incentives, etc. used to strengthen certain elements in the economic profile of a neighborhood. In the Vacant City program, launched with the Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre, I explored notions of temporary use with a strong focus on local economic potentials and capacities: I conducted research into “neighborhoods as incubators.” In the past years, I organized Project Space workshops in several cities with the ambition of defining models for a circular economy at the local level. In 2014, I co-organized a research and workshop series on new economic models of cooperative urban development.
D1 Assessment: 
1. At least 2 years of relevant experience.
D.2. Ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process of in projects in which you have been involved: 
In the past years, I began to explore new tendencies in local economic development: with the series Funding Urbanism, I looked at new economic models of cooperative urban development, where new types of ownership formats correspond to new ways of job creation and commercial activities. 1. To create a continuity of different phases of the Funding Urbanism series, we used video and audio interviews, as well as diagrams to transfer models and experiences from one initiative to another, thus creating awareness between local stakeholders, professional groups, policymakers and social innovation protagonists. In the Berlin workshop of Funding Urbanism, participants visited many innovative initiatives where new economic models enabled a cooperative form of ownership and real estate development, and engaged in turning their experiences into transferable and reproducible models. http://issuu.com/leventepolyak/docs/wonderlab_berlin_-_funding_urbanism 2. The Vacant City program organized by the Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre was accompanied by the exhibition and publication “Adaptable City”, conceived to support the process, by identifying problems and possibilities and by introducing best practices from various parts of Europe. http://issuu.com/leventepolyak/docs/adapt__v_v__ros
D2 Assessment: 
1. Provided at least 2 valid examples of stimulating or enabling a process of exchange.
D.3. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange & learning activities, put forward good practice: 
In the frame of the Vacant City program in Budapest, I organized a number of workshops under the name “Adaptable City” with the objective of projecting good international practices into local situations. The resulting reports, mostly in Hungarian, offer principles and an action plan to municipal officers. 1. The workshop aiming at organizing activities into a circular economy model around Budapest’s Klauzal ter, resulted in a report that has been embraced by local politicians and municipal officers as well as community initiatives and businesses. http://polyaklevente.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/KLAUZALIA_KEK_javaslat.pdf 2. The workshop looking at the potentials of commerce-led renewal of a derelict street in Central Budapest, and disseminated through its written summary, inspired a district-led regeneration initiative, focusing on aggregating energies and creating alliances in order to revitalise the economic energies of the street’s neighborhood. http://polyaklevente.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Nepszinhaz-beszamolo.pdf 3. For the first and last events of the Funding Urbanism series, organized in Rotterdam and Paris, I created video-reports about good practices, in order to engage the audience to share, compare and link experiences.
D3 Assessment: 
1. At least 2 relevant examples provided that examplify ablity to produce reports based on previous exchange and learning activities.
D.4. Understanding of how to maximize the use of project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design, awarenes: 
When an urban development process concerns a variety of stakeholders, its outputs also need to talk to many different actors and interest groups. This requires formats which correspond to the expectations of decision-makers, municipal officers as well as to those of professional actors and community groups. 1. In order to make the arguments of the Budapest-based Vacant City project more comprehensible also to the general audience, the program was accompanied by an exhibition and a publication that were conceived to support the process, by identifying problems and possibilities and by introducing best practices in various parts of Europe. With its fine design and clear structure, the publication addressed many stakeholders in the same time. http://issuu.com/leventepolyak/docs/adapt__v_v__ros 2. Similarly, the TUTUR project’s principles were emphasized and its impact increased through various outputs like physical interventions around the market of the Viale Adriatico in Rome’s 3rd district (http://issuu.com/eutropian.org/docs/mercato_al_centro_report), the video reports created about the project (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFczi1tCfGQ) or the scientific analyses of the project’s limitations and achievements (http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/trp/research/pattipolyak) - the different formats of these outputs assured a better outreach and visibility among local stakeholders, decision-makers and international networks.
D4 Assessment: 
1. At least 1 valid example of maximizing the use of project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design or awareness.
Summary Thematic expertise: 
By researching the transforming local economy of various Budapest districts, I had an insight into the dynamics of rapid commercialisation, experienced by many European cities in the past decade. Working at the New York City Department of City Planning, I got acquainted with many planning tools, including zoning, Business Improvement Districts, incentives, etc. used to strengthen certain elements in the economic profile of a neighborhood. In the Vacant City program, launched with the Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre, I explored notions of temporary use with a strong focus on local economic potentials and capacities: I conducted research into “neighborhoods as incubators.” In the past years, I organized Project Space workshops in several cities with the ambition of defining models for a circular economy at the local level. In 2011, I co-curated a symposium with international experts to empower local market vendors. In the past years, I began to explore new tendencies in local economic development: with the Funding Urbanism series, I looked at new economic models of cooperative urban development, where new types of ownership formats correspond to new ways of job creation and commercial activities. I currently work on projects to strengthen retail and local commerce in various European cities. See more details at http://polyaklevente.net and http://eutropian.org
Assessment: 
1. THe applicant scores 4 out of 4 and therefore meets the criteria. No inconsistencies with CV.
Theme / Policy: 
Local Governance
D.1. Deep knowledge on the selected theme and related policy challenges, including up to date practice, research, etc.: 
My studies in urban sociology, and my research into formats of participation gave all my activities as specific dimension, a focus on participatory planning processes. In my projects, I aim at integrating viewpoints of a variety of disciplines and stakeholders: public administrations, professional actors as well as local community members. In both of my university research in Budapest and in Paris, I looked at how decision-making happens in urban planning, what are the well-functioning and the unsuccessful channels to integrate a diversity of voices in decisions. This influenced the way I approach urban development projects: with a strong emphasis on new governance models. My past years’ activities, focusing on community-led development, cooperative economic models, local commerce and the temporary use of vacant properties, all correspond to new governance models: they all look for ways for a better use of local resources, energies, ideas and capacities, and for sharing responsibilities. In both my research and professional work, I aim at bringing together actors and practices that address questions of governance in an innovative way: linking the otherwise often separated policy, planning, social, architectural and cultural scenes.
D1 Assessment: 
1. At least 2 years of relevant experience.
D.2. Ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process of in projects in which you have been involved: 
When shaping the Temporary Use as a Tool for Urban Regeneration, my research into policies and good practices of temporary use was very instrumental both in the design and the monitoring of the project. 1. For instance, inserting participatory mapping in the project as an experiment to include crowd-sourced information in urban planning processes was influenced by my research on crowd-mapping vacant properties in different urban contexts. Mapping vacancy is an interesting prototype to mobilize citizen knowledge in order to provide data to support decisions and monitoring processes. http://polyaklevente.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/POLYAK_Mapping-Vacancy-The-impossible-inventory-of-abandoned-urban-properties.pdf 2. Still in the TUTUR project, the experiences of TUTUR in Rome, Bremen and Alba Iulia, and the Vacant City project in TUTUR’s observer city, Budapest, nourished our reflection about the limitations and potentials of temporary use: we organized these findings into scientific articles, in order to better inform both the activities within the TUTUR project and its final policy recommendations. http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/CB3yEgQU4BIV2YEicc5E/full
D2 Assessment: 
1. Provided at least 2 valid examples of stimulating or enabling a process of exchange.
D.3. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange & learning activities, put forward good practice: 
In many of the projects I contribute to, the transfer of good practices has a central importance: project partners, while learning about good practices, also reflect on each others’ methodologies, comparing them, thinking them further and using them as points of departure when elaborating their conclusions and policy plans. In the frame of the Project Space workshop series co-organized with Daniela Patti, we experimented with new models of participation and new, innovative urban planning and design processes, including a variety of stakeholders, and international teams. Based on this experience, we published the booklet titled “Activate&Involve” in which we presented presents best practices of bottom-up urban initiatives with samples from different Project Space workshops we organized and various members of the Wonderland Platform for European Architecture. Besides connecting these initiatives and identifying new tendencies in placemaking and community-based urban development, the booklets managed to speak to a variety of audiences, thus linking the otherwise often separate worlds of architecture, planning, policy and neighborhood initiatives. http://issuu.com/leventepolyak/docs/wonderland_activate_involve
D3 Assessment: 
0. Provided less than two examples that demonstrate the ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange and learning activities, put forward good practice and policy messages targeting city practitioners and urban policy-makers (for participants as well as for an external audience)
D.4. Understanding of how to maximize the use of project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design, awarenes: 
Besides compiling project reports, I usually put a lot of emphasis on diversifying the ways in which findings are presented: using videos, audio interviews, exhibitions, workshops, events, physical interventions, conference papers, magazine articles all contribute to a better visibility of the project results and increase their impact and the inspiration they exercise on both stakeholders and the general audience. 1. In the Temporary Use as a Tool for Urban Regeneration project, for instance, besides the research papers, videos and reports, we also presented the process in various professional medium like the Urban Design Journal, giving visibility to the theme of vacant properties for a professional discipline whose members might not be acquainted with the discourses that contributed to the TUTUR project. http://www.udg.org.uk/publications/urban-design-journal-issue/urban-design-issue-130-spring-2014 2. Similarly, in the Rethinking Felberstrasse workshop organized by the Wonderland Platform for European Architecture and the City of Vienna, we collected many of the impressions, notes, and drawings that emerged in the discussions. The collection was organized into a booklet, published by the Vienna Municipality and available both online and at the municipality’s Planungswerkstatt, thus giving an additional visibility to the ideas generated and influencing thinking about the Westbahnhof area. http://issuu.com/leventepolyak/docs/wonderland_rethinking_felberstrasse
D4 Assessment: 
1. At least 1 valid example of maximizing the use of project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design or awareness.
Summary Thematic expertise: 
In the past years, many experiments challenged the standards of local governance. Crowd-sourced data, participatory planning processes, cooperative development models, parallel welfare infrastructures and the commons are all new concepts and formats that emerge in various points of Europe and begin interacting with traditional ways of governing the city. In my activities, I look for ways to create more substantial links between these experiments and local authorities, by connecting the viewpoints of a variety of disciplines and stakeholders: public administrations, professional actors as well as local community members. My past years’ activities, focusing on community-led development, cooperative ownership models, local commerce and the temporary use of vacant properties, all correspond to new governance models: they all look for ways for a better use of local resources, energies, ideas and capacities, and for sharing responsibilities. In both my research and professional work, I aim at bringing together actors and practices that address questions of governance in an innovative way: linking the otherwise often separated policy, planning, social, architectural and cultural scenes. See more details at http://polyaklevente.net and http://eutropian.org
Assessment: 
1. THe applicant scores 3 out of 4 and therefore meets the criteria. No inconsistencies with CV.
Expertise support to local authorities and other stakeholders in designing & delivering integrated and participatory policies
E.1. Knowledge on participatory methods and tools for co-production and implementation of local polices : 
One of the key missions of my activities is to connect local authorities with various stakeholder groups. I began to concentrate on this challenge when I recognized the structural problem of the gap that separates municipalities from private and community stakeholders in many European cities. I found that major components of a potential cooperation were trust and a shared language. To enable municipalities, private companies, NGOs and community groups to work together, I set myself to experiment with potential frameworks of exchange. 1. With the Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre, I have been cooperating with various municipalities, organizing participatory workshops, community meetings, extracting ideas for redesigning public spaces, reorganizing food markets, reusing vacant buildings and unused brownfields as well as to revitalize local commerce and economic development in central Budapest neighborhoods. 2. In the Adaptable City workshop series I have been organizing in Budapest since 2012, the aim is to bring together different stakeholders, engage them in activities of thinking together along a shared objective, thus recognizing each others’ viewpoints, capacities and requests. 3. In the Project Space series, I co-organized workshops where local stakeholders, together with international architecture and planning teams, created plans and strategies for neighborhoods in Budapest, Vienna and Kiev.
E.1 Assessment: 
1. At least 1 activity on participatory methods and tools for co-production and implementation of local policies.
E.2. Knowledge on integrated approach for the design, delivering, monitoring and evaluation of urban strategies/policies: 
In every project, regular feedback of the proceedings is one of the conditions of both directing the project in the right decision and of evaluation. Good monitoring requires adequate indicators and well-defined objectives. 1. In TUTUR as well as in the Adaptable City workshop series, I helped elaborate strategies and policy recommendations for the reuse of vacant properties, thus linking objectives of sustainable urban regeneration, social inclusion, local economic development and cultural integration. As part of these programs, we also elaborated monitoring tools that combined mapping platforms with a variety of indicators to measure the achievements of the process and with feedbacks of the stakeholders participating in the processes. As a result of the project, I published with Daniela Patti a policy analysis based on mostly European practices. 2. In the course of the Vacant City program in Budapest, I contributed to the elaboration of very detailed system of indicators, helping the monitoring of the project’s proceedings. 3. In establishing cooperation between various cities aiming at strengthening their local commerce, I got acquainted with local economic monitoring tools that I began to use in analyzing the problems and possibilities in other cities as well.
E.2 Assessment: 
1. At least 1 example of designing and applying monitoring tools for integrated and sustainable urban policies.
E.3. Awareness of the main policy and funding schemes for sustainable urban development at EU and national level: 
Besides reading research and policy papers, studies and thematic blogs, I also travel intensively to keep myself updated about the current issues, debates and experiments in urban planning and policy and to deepen my knowledge of the policy challenges and solutions of the visited cities. I am a frequent visitor of events of policy networks like Urbact, the EUKN, JPI Urban Europe, and I actively participated in various policy, research, innovation and cultural cooperation networks. Due to my interdisciplinary background, I have at the same time access to 1. research cooperations between universities and research centres, through conferences, congresses, workshops, 2. professional cooperations between local development agencies, planning and architectural firms through workshops (like those of the Wonderland Platform for European Architecture) and best practice exchange networks (like the Re:Kreators network), 3. cultural cooperations between NGOs like the Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre’s exchange projects in Central Europe, 4. policy transfer and co-production activities between municipalities, regional and national bodies and international organizations, like Urbact projects. This diversity allows me to be aware of the potential roles, needs and expectations of various stakeholders in urban transformation processes, from the community, local administrative and professional levels to regional, national and international scales.
E.3 Assessment: 
1. Sufficient knowledge of main policy and funding schemes.
E.4. Ability to understand specific local situations and adapt tools and content to different local realities: 
In the core of my activities lies the challenge to link stakeholders at various levels with each other: to create connections between the international, national and local levels. This requires a good understanding of local contexts, and experience in adapting good practices to local circumstances. My exposure to the current debates and methods in various disciplines and professional fields, and my insights into the work and challenges of various municipalities in Europe help me in identifying the similarities and differences in the policy elements to be used in different locations. My knowledge of various languages allows me to create substantial connections with local stakeholders, helping processes be rooted in local situations and communities, while learning from transnational exchange and international methods. The principle of adaptation has been at the center of projects like 1. TUTUR where the good practice of temporary use was transferred from Bremen to Rome and Alba Iulia, or in the 2. Adaptable City series where mainly Dutch practices and experiences were projected onto Budapest situations, or in the 3. Project Space and Funding Urbanism series where international expertise was mobilized to help reflection on local situations or the local experience of Berlin was mobilized to inspire solutions for other European cities.
E.4 Assessment: 
1. At least 1 valid example of being able to adapt tools in a transnational setting.
Summary Expertise: 
Based on my experience in working with municipalities, in research, planning and transnational policy transfer cooperations, I aspire to connect local authorities with each other and various stakeholder groups, thus creating mutually beneficial learning experiences. One of the structural problems of governing cities today is the gap that separates municipalities from private and community stakeholders in many European cities. I found that major components of a potential cooperation were trust and a shared language. To enable municipalities, private companies, NGOs and community groups to work together, we need to link stakeholders at various levels with each other: to create connections between the international, national and local levels. This demands a good understanding of local contexts, and experience in adapting good practices to local circumstances. In the same time, an integrated approach in designing urban strategies and policies requires the combination of social, economic, cultural and political aspects with environmental perspectives. My exposure to the current debates and methods in various disciplines and professional fields, and my insights into the work and challenges of various municipalities in Europe help me in identifying the similarities and differences in the policy elements to be used in different locations. See more details at http://polyaklevente.net and http://eutropian.org
Assessment: 
Applicant meets the criteria. No inconsistencies with CV

Informations

Residence location:
Hungary
Languages:
Hungarian - Mother tongue
Foreign Languages level: 
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Email:
levente.polyak@eutropian.org
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Area of expertise