Gaia successfully bid with members of Aston University and others to run the Campaign for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) Urban Design Summer school. The schools have taken place in Birmingham (June 2007), Gateshead/ Newcastle (June 2008) and Bristol (2009).
The purpose of these Schools is to promote the creation of a high quality public places. Over four days delegates spend time building the knowledge, the desire and the capacity to procure, design and deliver this objective.
Integration of sustainable design at all stages of the process is a core aspiration. The course focuses on understanding the benefits of making sustainability urban design issues central to decision making and not a mere afterthought, addition or token gesture.
Part of Gaia's role is to communicate contemporary thought and approaches to ecology at an urban scale. Gaia's Urban Ecological approach aims to grasp some of the underlying principles that must accompany the best urban design if we are to be able to design truly sustainable places. Urban ecology recognizes the need to mitigate the pressures on the environment, including the rural hinterland that has to support current unsustainable resource flows in cities.