Professor Louise Hayward of Glasgow University recently spoke at a seminar on assessment at St George’s School in Edinburgh.
At least some of her conclusions should reassure the profession.
Nonetheless, the challenge of urban governance is immense, and must address the complex and interconnected reality of urban systems to secure a proper balance between the socio-economic and environmental dynamics of urban areas.
The key to effective governance of cities is the generation of the necessary intelligence to inform decision-making by politicians, to guide urban policy making and implementation, and to inform and engage all citizens in the delivery of sustainable urban development.
Middleware sits "in the middle" between application software that may be working on different operating systems.
It is similar to the middle layer of a three-tier single system architecture, except that it is stretched across multiple systems or applications.
Middleware often enables interoperability between applications that run on different operating systems, by supplying services so the application can exchange data in a standards-based way.
Urbanization is a fundamental force of change, and in Europe has underpinned the flourishing of civilization for millennia.
However, the 21st-century is also witnessing the impact of other societal challenges, including climate change, and the need to secure the efficient utilisation of finite resources.
Middleware supports and simplifies complex distributed applications.
It includes web servers, application servers, messaging and similar tools that support application development and delivery.