Public-private partnerships for sustainability infrastructure in Athens
This intervention has been translated into a brief governance scenario. Take look at Bringing sustainable infrastructure - carefully engaging in public-private partnerships.
You read this description and want to hear more about this case? Get in touch! Contact Panagiota Kotsila for more information.
- 1 a) Basic characteristics and ambitions of the intervention
- 1.1 1. What is the name and the urban context (e.g. city/district) of the intervention? Please also indicate the geographical scale of the intervention (e.g. neighborhood, district, small/medium/ capital city, metropolitan area ...). [Example: “Brixton Energy in Brixton, London (neighborhood in capital city)”]
- 1.2 2. What sector(s) (alias domain/ policy field) is the intervention primarily implemented in ? [e.g. housing, mobility, energy, water, health, local economy, biodiversity, CC adaptation, etc.]
- 1.3 3. What is the intervention (i.e. situated experiment) aiming to achieve in terms of sustainability and justice? [If possible, please copy from a project website and give a reference]
- 1.4 4. What is the interventions’ timeframe?
- 1.5 5. By what governance mode is the intervention characterized primarily? (see Appendix 1: Three modes of governance)
- 1.6 6. Why do you consider it worthwhile to study and share experiences made in the context of this governance intervention for sustainable and just cities?
- 1.7 7. In which project deliverable(s) or other documents can information be found on this situated (i.e. place specific) governance intervention?
- 2 b) Additional basic characteristics, links to earlier UrbanA work
- 3 c) Actor constellations
- 3.1 10. Who initiated the intervention?
- 3.2 11. Who are the envisioned benefiters of the intervention? (both at a local level and higher, if applicable)
- 3.3 12. Who else is (going to be) involved in the intervention, and what was/is their main role?
- 3.4 13. Which particular interactions among various stakeholders (stakeholder configurations) were crucial in enabling the intervention to emerge successfully? This could include direct or indirect impacts on interventions.
- 3.5 14. To what extent, in what form and at what stages have citizens participated in the shaping of the intervention?
- 3.6 15. How are responsibilities and/or decision-making power distributed among actors?
- 3.7 16. Exclusion:
- 4 d) Enabling conditions for the implementation of the intervention
- 4.1 17. What circumstances or events are reported to have triggered the intervention? (In what ways?)
- 4.2 18. Are particular substantive (multi-level) governmental policies considered to be highly influential in the genesis and shaping of the intervention? (If easily possible, please specify the policy, the policy field and the governance level mainly addressed, and characterize it along Appendix 2: Policy typology)
- 4.3 19. What constitutional responsibilities and rules does the intervention build upon? In other words, what rights, powers, and/or responsibilities, does the country's constitution (in a broad sense) award municipalities, states, utilities, NGOs, citizens etc. and how does this impact the intervention?
- 4.4 20. According to project material/and or interviews, in what ways have particularities of (local) political culture influenced the character and success of the intervention? (i.e. trust in political institutions, citizens’ will to interact with policy makers and vice versa, traditions of cooperation etc.)
- 4.5 21. What are financial arrangements that support the intervention?
- 4.6 22. Have any of the above conditions changed within the intervention’s timeframe, which have (significantly) influenced it in a positive or negative way?
- 5 e) Obstacles to successful intervention implementation
- 6 f) (Institutional) Work done to overcome obstacles
- 6.1 24. What has been done by each central actor group to overcome which particular obstacles in the way of successfully implementing the intervention? (this may include institutional Work - maintaining, disrupting, and creating new rules, applying to both formal laws/regulations and informal norms and expectations.)
- 7 g) Reported outcomes
- 8 h) Learning involved in establishing the intervention
- 8.1 Learning context
- 8.2 26. According to the TRANSIT project’s four mechanisms for empowerment – i. funding; ii. legitimacy; iii. knowledge sharing, learning, and peer support; or iv. visibility and identity – please briefly describe the following, and indicate where the intervention has been developed or supported as part of which formal collaborations, networks or projects:
- 8.3 Learning content
- 8.4 27. Has any acquired knowledge (e.g. technical knowledge, awareness of local political procedures etc.) been reported as particularly helpful to this intervention?
- 8.5 Learning process
- 8.6 28. In what ways has the intervention been adapted to specific circumstances of the targeted urban context based on the learned content reported in question 27?
- 8.7 29. Based on your answers to question 24, how has overcoming obstacles (reportedly) contributed to the learning process?
- 8.8 30. Please list any tools that enabled the learning process (e.g. various Knowledge Brokerage Activities from pg. 24 of FOODLINK’s Deliverable 7.1 - linked in footnote) and the actors involved in using them.
- 9 i) Learning involved in establishing interventions elsewhere (transferability)
- 9.1 31. Suggestions regarding transferability.
- 9.2 32. In what forms has the learning process, including stories of overcoming obstacles, been recorded for, and/or made accessible to city makers also from elsewhere?
- 9.3 33. Have any signs of collaboration, support, or inspiration already been reported between actors involved in this intervention and others that follow its example? (e.g. in “follower cities”?)
- 10 j) Structural learning
- 11 k) Reflections on important governance concepts
- 11.1 35. What other aspects of governance, that were not covered above, are important to highlight, too?
- 11.2 36. From your perspective as a researcher, which word or phrase characterizes this governance intervention most concisely? (Please attach your name to the characterization) In other words, what is the biggest takeaway from this intervention about governance arrangements?
- 12 Appendix 1: Three modes of governance
- 13 Appendix 2: Policy typology
a) Basic characteristics and ambitions of the intervention
1. What is the name and the urban context (e.g. city/district) of the intervention? Please also indicate the geographical scale of the intervention (e.g. neighborhood, district, small/medium/ capital city, metropolitan area ...). [Example: “Brixton Energy in Brixton, London (neighborhood in capital city)”]
The intervention refers to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) and takes place in the city of Athens, Greece. The cultural center is an urban regeneration project established in the framework of a private-public partnership. It hosts two major cultural institutions and includes a park. The overall infrastructure is sustainable and based on nature based solutions.
The intervention has been developed at the scale of a neighborhood in a capital city (Athens).
2. What sector(s) (alias domain/ policy field) is the intervention primarily implemented in ? [e.g. housing, mobility, energy, water, health, local economy, biodiversity, CC adaptation, etc.]
The intervention has been developed for the urban development policy field as well as cultural development.
3. What is the intervention (i.e. situated experiment) aiming to achieve in terms of sustainability and justice? [If possible, please copy from a project website and give a reference]
The project addresses both issues of social justice and sustainability. However, social justice is not directly mentioned but is rather framed as broader access to cultural facilities and environmental amenities. The first refers to the access to the two cultural institutions hosted in the center i.e. the Greek National Library and the Greek Opera. In addition, the SNFCC offers a free set of activities such as yoga classes or music workshops: “the project is committed to a range of educational and cultural activities, which have been provided for free” (Naturvation’s webpage). Environmental amenities refers to the large park, which contributes to the health and the well-being of the local population.
From the perspective of the SNFCC, the intervention addresses social justice by being inclusive. Inclusiveness includes the access to the facilities for mobility-reduced visitors and the activities free-of-charge. The intervention also aims at improving the quality of life of the local community “with clean air, exercise facilities and twice as much green space” (Naturvation_04: 2).
Sustainability achievements refer to the sustainable construction and design of the SNFCC, which is LEED (i.e. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified (an internationally recognized certification). The building has a recycled water system, a green roof, and solar panels. The park is designed in a way that is conservative with water usage and adapted to the local climate (i.e. with Mediterranean plants for instance). The expected impacts include “sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12)” as well as “green space, habitat and biodiversity (SDG 15)" (Naturvation’s webpage). At the scale of the neighborhood, the intervention addresses environmental health issues, as it was built on a formerly degraded area (interview with P.). Scaling up, the intervention is a response major sustainability challenges in Athens, namely high rates of air pollution due to the heat island effect and limited green spaces, as Athens has the lowest per capita green space among the EU cities (Naturvation_05: 2).
4. What is the interventions’ timeframe?
The project started in 2009 and was finalized in 2016.
5. By what governance mode is the intervention characterized primarily? (see Appendix 1: Three modes of governance)
The intervention is characterized by a co-governance of hybrid governance model (mix of responsibilities between government and non-government actors), between private actors (i.e. the SNF) and public actors (i.e. the Greek State).
This intervention is interesting because it shows an example of public-private partnership (PPP) adapted to a very particular context i.e. a period of economical crisis and austerity (which obviously raises concerns about sustainability and social justice). This governance intervention was radically shaped by this context.
7. In which project deliverable(s) or other documents can information be found on this situated (i.e. place specific) governance intervention?
- SNFCC’s case in Naturavtion’s Atlas: https://naturvation.eu/nbs/athens/stavros-niarchos-foundation-cultural-center-snfcc
- Snapshot - Athens: Stavros Niarchos Cultural center. Coded in Zotero (Naturvation_05)
- SNFCC Impact Study (from the SNFCC). Coded in Zotero (Naturvation_04)
- Interview with Panagiota Kotsila (UAB team) on 06/04/20.
8. EU Project-context of the intervention:
- a. Has the intervention been developed or studied in the context of an (EU-funded?) project? (please name the project, its duration and include a link to the project website here).
The intervention has been studied in the framework of a EU-funded project called NATURVATION (2016-20). The project focuses on nature-based solutions (NBS) that are applied and implemented in urban contexts and aims at identifying how NSB governance and innovation can address urban sustainability challenges.
- b. According to WP3’s database of approaches, which approach(es) does the intervention best fit under? Where applicable, please indicate if the intervention is found in a project that has been explicitly mentioned in the database.
The intervention best fits under the Nature-based solutions approach. However, only the overall project (i.e. Naturvation) is mentioned, not the intervention itself.
- c. Have some project deliverables been coded in the context of UrbanA’s WP4?
Some deliverables of Naturvation’s project have been coded in the context of UrbanA’s WP4. However, none of these deliverables refer to SNFCC’s case.
9. Problematization and priority:
- a. How exactly has inequality and exclusion been problematized (by whom) in the context of this intervention?
From the perspective of the SNF, inequality and exclusion has been problematized in terms of:
- Inclusion and accessibility . The SNFCC offers very low entry fees (compared to other cultural attractions) and free-of-charge activities (Naturvation_04: 13). The SNFCC is accessible for people with special needs (disabilities).
- Improving the quality of life for the local community. This includes: improving the appearance and attractiveness of the areas, increasing the access to green amenities, enhancing local businesses, providing health benefits (cleaner air and offering opportunities for exercise), making the neighborhood safer (Naturvation_04: 35-41).
- b. Has the achievement of justice explicitly been named as a major motivation behind the intervention?
From the perspective of the SNF, justice is understood in terms of citizens’ well-being and welfare. In that sense, it is one motivation among others behind the intervention.
- c. Which drivers of injustice does the intervention address? (see Database of drivers of injustice)
c) Actor constellations
10. Who initiated the intervention?
The intervention was initiated by a private actor, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), who came to the Greek State and proposed to build the cultural center. The SNF is a nonprofit foundation held by a very rich family of ship owners in Greece (the foundation does mainly charity works and operates in Greece and internationally). However, this project has a longer history that involves various actors (see Q. 17)
11. Who are the envisioned benefiters of the intervention? (both at a local level and higher, if applicable)
The envisioned benefiters of the intervention are: the public sector institution (e.g. school or hospital); non-government organization/civil society ; private sector/corporate/company; citizens or community groups (based on the list provided in Naturavation webpage).
It seems more generally that the intervention will benefit Athenian visitors, because of the cultural activities offered by the center. To some extent, the intervention also benefits the Greek population. At a time when the country was facing a financial and austerity crisis that deteriorated its international image, the center can be a source of national pride and international recognition (i.e. the cultural center seek to be a “global role model of environmental sustainability and also to contribute to the valorization of Greek culture and heritage).
12. Who else is (going to be) involved in the intervention, and what was/is their main role?
|Actor types||Yes||Actor name and role|
|Civil society organizations|
|Hybrid/ 3rd sector organizations|
|For profit entreprises||X||The Stravos Niarchos company (SNF CC SA)
the Greek National Opera (public)
|Local/regional government||X||Maires of municipalities surrounding the area|
|National government||X||the Greek State (i.e. represented by the ministries of education, of cultural and of the economy)|
|Other initiatives||X||(nonprofit) the Greek National Library (Public)
(nonprofit) the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) (private)
13. Which particular interactions among various stakeholders (stakeholder configurations) were crucial in enabling the intervention to emerge successfully? This could include direct or indirect impacts on interventions.
The intervention could emerge successfully because the SNF came to the state with a project already set-up (i.e. the configuration, the design, and also the PPP), to which the Greek State only had to agree. The State - weakened by the crisis at this time - did not call for tender but was offered a predefined project. In that sense, the intervention emerged because it was one-sided. In addition, the SNF benefited from the support of the National Opera and the National Library that requested the foundation for help to relocate. Thus, the SNF came to the Greek State with a strong proposal and offered a lot of money at a time when the Greek state was sorely lacking it.
14. To what extent, in what form and at what stages have citizens participated in the shaping of the intervention?
The SNFCC is a top-down intervention since “the conceptualization, design, type of uses and technical execution of the whole SNFCC project were top-down” and driven by the SNF (Naturvation’s webpage). There was no kind of participatory process that included citizens in the decisionmaking. From the SNF’s perspective, a sort of participation was conceptualized ex-ante. Visitors or citizens could individually raise some claims by writing an email to the foundation on a dedicated platform. In addition, information days were organized during the construction where people could come and get informed about what was happening there.
A public committee - composed of the maires representatives of the state as well as the ministers of culture, education and finances - was held from the beginning towards the end of the project to discuss what was happening. However, the role of the committee was only consultative, rather than contributing signficantly to the decision-making.
15. How are responsibilities and/or decision-making power distributed among actors?
The SNF was the main decision-maker of the project. It conceptualized the whole approach while the Greek State had only to agree on that project and to sign the law that enforced this Public-Private Partnership (PPP). The SNF was responsible for the whole vision and decision-making of the conceptualisation, design, and technical execution of the cultural center. In addition, the SNF pre-decided a list of companies that were to be contracted to build and further maintain the center after its completion. Then, the cultural center was donated to the Greek State which under the supervision of the Ministry of Finances (Naturvation’s webpage) undertook full responsibility.
The cultural center is composed of three organizations. Two of them are hosted there, the National Library and the National Opera, and the third is a management company called the SNFCC SA that was created by the foundation and donated to the State. It belongs now to the Ministry of Finances, although the executive team (circa 40 employees) works as if it was under private supervision of the SNFCC.
Decision-making power is centralized by the SNF. The State and the two national institutions hosted there lost a significant part of their autonomy because they are bound to the law (i.e. the PPP) that gave great powers to the SNF. They do not have the agency to choose how to manage the place nor to choose the companies they will hire or choose how to spend their money. If the State and the public institution do not comply with these rules, the foundation will legally withdraw the amount of money they donated (under-conditions of compliance with these rules) and the State will have to pay it all back (interview with P.).
It appears that despite the public-private nature of the project (due to the co-ownership between the Greek state and the SNF), the cultural center is rather privately managed, which prevents any kind of “bottom-up or self-managed activities” (Naturvation_05: 4).
- a. Which stakeholders or social groups were excluded (at which stages)?
Exclusion occurred during the conceptualization of the project and after its completion. First, the shaping of the intervention was centralized by the SNF and excluded citizens (there were no participatory process nor public consultation) as well as a set of companies that could have engaged with the project (in the conceptualization phase, the construction, or the maintenance). Since the SNF decided its collaborators in advance, lots of public and private actors (i.e. architecture, construction, maintenance companies) were excluded: “ there has been no active consultation and engagement involving end-users in defining the project and subsequently monitoring service quality” (Naturvation_05: 4).
Second, exclusions occurred after the completion of the center and targets visitors of the center.
- Exclusion in terms of accessibility: because it is not located in the city center of Athens and is not connected to it with a metro line, the center is not so easy to access, especially for people without a vehicle (i.e. students, elderly) (there is a parking lot but not free of charges).
- Class-based/financial exclusion. The Opera had increased the price of its ticket (to cover the cost of the rent due to the foundation). This also raised the question of who is able to pay for going to Opera in Greece at a moment of crisis? The cafés and restaurants of the cultural center have been contracted by the SNF and are a bit pricier than any kind of neighborhood cafés. In addition, a membership card, for which one pays a certain fee, gives members the possibility to have cheaper parking rates, to reserve places for the free activities, and thus to enjoy more activities offered by the center.
- Public/private indirect exclusion. The cultural center and the park are public but are privately managed i.e. private guards are surveilling the park rather than municipal officers. This means that visitors do not know who defines the rules in those premises. This is a form of indirect exclusion (interview with P.)
- b. Is there any indication why this may have happened? With what outcomes? Has anything been done to overcome such exclusions?
Some measures have been taken to involve more citizens. Since 2013, this included the possibility for citizens “to view the construction site and learn about the SNFCC scope, organization and future plan”. However, this is only information and has not to be mistaken with effective public participation. The document underlines that “public participation and citizen engagement for transparency and promotion of the public interest are hard to achieve in privately initiated NBS” (Naturavation_05: 4).
d) Enabling conditions for the implementation of the intervention
17. What circumstances or events are reported to have triggered the intervention? (In what ways?)
The context of the financial crisis, resulting austerity measures, and project development shaped the intervention. First, the project is built on a long history related to the place where it is set-up. The area was formerly a horse racing track, which then hosted the Olympic Games in 2004 and was abandoned afterwards. Local inhabitants asked the municipalities to turn it into a public green space. Before the crisis hit, the State promised that a public park would be created in that area, but after 2008-09 the project failed. At this time, the National Opera and the National Library requested SNF for support for their facilities, even for relocation. Then, the SNF came to the state with a project that would somehow meet both the residents' requests (i.e. to do something with this abandoned place and to provide green amenities) and the request of the two institutions.
In addition, the context of economic crisis, austerity, and environmental challenges (air pollution, degraded area), and with intention to restore the Greek image through cultural valorization (Naturvation’s website), the creation of a sustainable and innovative center hosting two major cultural institutions was positively welcomed by citizens. The project developed under the circumstances in which the Greek State, weakened by the economical crisis and austerity, was not able to pay for any alternative project or even to be proactive to make a call for tenders. The intervention only became possible by the establishment of a public-private partnership (PPP) designed by the SNF.
18. Are particular substantive (multi-level) governmental policies considered to be highly influential in the genesis and shaping of the intervention? (If easily possible, please specify the policy, the policy field and the governance level mainly addressed, and characterize it along Appendix 2: Policy typology)
The establishment of a public-private partnership (PPP) made possible the intervention to emerge. The scheme - as a kind of a loop - is the following: "the state provides the land, the private entity makes the construction and the state manages its functioning” (Naturvation_05: 3). This PPP was formalized in a signed agreement - a law - between the Greek State and the SNFCC foundation, which has been ratified by the Greek parliament (Law 3785-2009) (Naturvation’s webpage). The agreement entails that the state has to fulfill the agreed upon terms and conditions (i.e. especially regarding the selected collaborators) or the donor has the right to withdraw its donation. The two institutions hosted by the SNFCC remained autonomous but endorsed new financial responsibilities and did not have the agency to manage the building facilities.
19. What constitutional responsibilities and rules does the intervention build upon? In other words, what rights, powers, and/or responsibilities, does the country's constitution (in a broad sense) award municipalities, states, utilities, NGOs, citizens etc. and how does this impact the intervention?
The law defining the PPP is a presidential decree that has been ratified by the Greek parliament. Practically, the PPP has been conceptualized by the legal team of the foundation and submitted to the Greek government who accordingly issued a decree.
20. According to project material/and or interviews, in what ways have particularities of (local) political culture influenced the character and success of the intervention? (i.e. trust in political institutions, citizens’ will to interact with policy makers and vice versa, traditions of cooperation etc.)
The intervention occurred at a moment of despair, mistrust, and disillusionment from the citizens towards the Greek State. Local inhabitants had been waiting for a long time for something to be done with this degraded area and the State had not had the capacity to do anything. The donors appeared, proposing to pay for building something for the people. It undertook a providential figure, which matches the philanthropic and well-known image of the Niarchos family and foundation: “Ok so the State is not able to do anything so we need some rich man to come and save us.” (Interview with P.)
“I think it can cut people, and the state as well and the government as well, in a weak moment where it's like, somebody is willing to give us money actually when everybody wants to take money away from us. Because at that moment with the debt, everybody was losing their salaries, their retirements. Then a big donator comes and says: 'ok, I'm going to throw millions of euros to make something for you'" (interview with P.).
21. What are financial arrangements that support the intervention?
The financial agreement is the following; the state provided the land (public property), the SNFCC foundation covered the all the cost for designing and building the center (private funds) and then donated it (under conditions) to the state, which controls its functioning and management by the complex SNFCC SA (publicly run). However, the viability of the project depends on the capacity of the state to cover the high running cost of the structure. The money comes respectively from “the parking lot and the renting of cafés and restaurants, and of other spaces for events” as well as the fees (rent or/and “management fees") paid to the SNFCC SA by the Greek National Library and the Greek National Opera for being hosted by the center (only the the latter is a profit-organization) (Naturvation_05: 3).
22. Have any of the above conditions changed within the intervention’s timeframe, which have (significantly) influenced it in a positive or negative way?
Note: Certain contexts, which provide opportunities to learn from other relevant experiences, may also be a supportive framework condition. Please see section h, questions 26 + 30 on learning context.
e) Obstacles to successful intervention implementation
23. What obstacles to implementing the intervention (both generally, and in this particular context) have been identified, relating to:
- a. Regulatory framework
The potential obstacle could have been the legal framework because this particular PPP is a form of “donation under-condition," which is quite specific and might oppose some juridical principle (regarding State autonomy for instance). However, the legal team of the foundation conceptualized this legal agreement and dealt with any potential obstacles related to its complexity.
- b. Legitimacy
- c. Public awareness
- d. Finances
- e. Others (please name)
f) (Institutional) Work done to overcome obstacles
24. What has been done by each central actor group to overcome which particular obstacles in the way of successfully implementing the intervention? (this may include institutional Work - maintaining, disrupting, and creating new rules, applying to both formal laws/regulations and informal norms and expectations.)
|Name of obstacle||What work was/is being done to overcome this obstacle and by what actor groups?|
|The complexity of the legal agreement (the PPP)||The legal team of the foundation established the agreement and submitted ready-made to the State|
g) Reported outcomes
25. What are reported outcomes of the intervention? This may include economic outcomes, political outcomes, ability to reach sustainability and justice targets, etc.
The positive outcomes are:
- The new facilities for the National Library and the National Opera
- The park that provides green amenities, especially for local residents
- Overall, the cultural center is quite busy and people come to it
However, the project raised concerns about:
- Lost autonomy of the State and the two institutions that are hosted there. They have no agency to choose how to manage the building and have to comply with the terms set-up by the foundation.
- “Cultural appropriation” (interview with P.). The way that the place is promoted and marketed tends to symbolically privatize public properties and institutions. For instance, many Athenians say that they go to the Niarchos Center or Niarchos Library although the National Library is a cultural heritage that belongs to the State and does not belong to the Niarchos family and foundation.
- Gentrification. Just after the project was announced, speculation started in the area and the prices in the neighboring municipalities have arisen to 20% in the last five years, which is one of the highest percentages in Athens. This gentrification is related to culture and green amenities.
- Financial risk for the state. The State is taking financial risk from the moment it undertook the responsibility of running the center after it's completion. The center was extremely expensive to build (sustainable and innovative design and huge area covered) but is also very expensive to maintain because the selected companies contracted by the SNF are mostly above the market prices. At the same time, the State is bound to the agreement signed with the foundation and is responsible for the financial viability of the project. In case of economic fail or bankruptcy, it would be the State debt and taxpayer money that will pay for it.
h) Learning involved in establishing the intervention
Please fill in any information on social learning that has occured in this intervention (conceptualized here as “Learning context, content, and process” in line with the FOODLINKS project). Where possible, please differentiate your response into learning done by specific actor groups.
(i.e. the configuration and social environment enabling the learning process)
26. According to the TRANSIT project’s four mechanisms for empowerment – i. funding; ii. legitimacy; iii. knowledge sharing, learning, and peer support; or iv. visibility and identity – please briefly describe the following, and indicate where the intervention has been developed or supported as part of which formal collaborations, networks or projects:
- a. any previous experiences in the same urban context (e.g. city…) that the intervention is (reportedly) building upon? This could include any relevant experiences in the same or another sector.
- b. any inter-city partnerships, or transfers from experiences elsewhere that have (reportedly) been important in the emergence of this intervention?
27. Has any acquired knowledge (e.g. technical knowledge, awareness of local political procedures etc.) been reported as particularly helpful to this intervention?
- a. from previous experiences in the same urban context
- b. from inter-city partnerships, or transfers from experiences elsewhere
The foundation is an international foundation that has experience in the management of different kinds of PPP. The legal team most likely has some experience in establishing some sorts of PPP.
Concerning the construction of the building, Renzo Piano, the architect hired by the foundation, is one of the top names in sustainable construction. The SNFCC was inspired by other international large-scale certificated LEED Platinum (including the Water+Life Museum, USA; Clinton Presidential Library, USA; Vestas Technology Center, Denmark; Taipei 101, Taiwan; Park Ventures, Thailand) (Naturvation_04: 46). The intervention is then a matter of elite expertise and know-how, though it did happen as a closed process.
Overall, both regarding the PPP procedure and the construction, it seems that the foundation operated on its own with its own resources and knowledge without necessarily involving the municipality: “I don't think there was a lot of back and forth with the local authorities” (Interview with P.).
- c. from other knowledge gathering/research
28. In what ways has the intervention been adapted to specific circumstances of the targeted urban context based on the learned content reported in question 27?
Nothing about governance arrangements.
However, regarding sustainable construction, the infrastructure has been adapted to the local context i.e. a Mediterranean environment. For instance, the park is landscaped with plants specifically adapted to the Mediterranean climate (e.g. do not require a lot of water) (interview with p.).
29. Based on your answers to question 24, how has overcoming obstacles (reportedly) contributed to the learning process?
There was not really a learning process since the potential obstacle (i.e. the legal complexity of the PPP agreement) was overcome internally by the foundation.
Importing knowledge by employing people specifically qualified and recognized in the field (of sustainable construction).
i) Learning involved in establishing interventions elsewhere (transferability)
31. Suggestions regarding transferability.
- a. Have any suggestions been made about a replicability, scaleability or transferability of the intervention? [e.g. in the documentation of the intervention in a project or the press? Links would be perfect]
The potential of the project is to launch a dynamic of innovation in the area and to pledge local actors to consider the PPP.
From the perspective of the SNF, the SNFCC is “a role model of environmental sustainability across 3 dimensions: environmentally friendly design and construction, environmentally friendly operations, biodiversity & local ecosystem enhancement” and achieved a LEED Platinum certification (i.e. a sustainable label (Naturvation_04: 44). However, nothing is mentioned about transferability of the project. What is a “global role model”? Is that only inspirational?
Replicability however is mentioned in relation with the type of PPP: “SNFCC can serve as a model for future cooperation between public & private initiative in similar projects” (Naturvation_04: 65).
- b. Transferability to what kind of contexts has been suggested?
The context is not specified. This could take place in any major city (capable of hosting such big cultural institutions).
- c. Who has made the claims?
The claim of transferring the model of PPP is made by the SNF.
- d. What limits to transferability to broader contexts have been discussed?
The prerequisite of establishing such a project (including the use of innovative techniques) is to find private funds (Naturvation_05: 4). However, the document highlights that “this prerequisite (generous funds from a private actor) is however not easily replicated in other projects”.
In addition, concerns have been raised regarding the risks and the loss of autonomy of the Greek State. It seem this kind of governance arrangement will not occur in a city or country having a robust or healthy financial situation because no public actor will accept the terms offered by the foundation: “I think that the fact that it happened in Greece in a moment of crisis was very key to the way things happen” (Interview with P.).
32. In what forms has the learning process, including stories of overcoming obstacles, been recorded for, and/or made accessible to city makers also from elsewhere?
33. Have any signs of collaboration, support, or inspiration already been reported between actors involved in this intervention and others that follow its example? (e.g. in “follower cities”?)
“Neighbouring municipalities have started to explore ways of capitalizing on the new project (the SNFCC) to attract development funding” (Naturvation_05: 4).
j) Structural learning
34. Has the intervention influenced higher-level governance arrangements such that sustainability and justice are considered (together) in a more durable, structural way? In other words, are there any observations about more structural, long-term changes as a result of the intervention?
- For example: new programs run by local councils, new modes of citizen participation, new mediating bodies
- Is there other evidence that the project has contributed to enhancing sustainable and just governance in cities in a general sense?
k) Reflections on important governance concepts
35. What other aspects of governance, that were not covered above, are important to highlight, too?
36. From your perspective as a researcher, which word or phrase characterizes this governance intervention most concisely? (Please attach your name to the characterization) In other words, what is the biggest takeaway from this intervention about governance arrangements?
For the researcher that studies the project, it is important to highlight that it is a donation under non-negotiable legal terms. It is a very special form of PPP: “it's like a kind of temporary or a donation but a final outcome of state responsibility” (interview with P.).
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Appendix 1: Three modes of governance
(from NATURVATION project)
NATURVATION's NBS-Atlas distinguishes three categories of governance arrangements (dubbed "management set-ups":
- Government-led (Gov)
- Co-governance or hybrid governance (mix of responsibilities between government and non-government actors) (c/h)
- Led by non-government actors (NGO)
Alternatively or additionally, the following four modes of governing (as distinguished also by Bulkeley/Kern 2006 and Zvolska et al. 2019) could be used as a typology: Castan Broto/ Bulkeley 2013:95
- Self-governing, intervening in the management of local authority operations to ‘‘lead by example’’;
- Provision, greening infrastructure and consumer services provided by different authorities;
- Regulations, enforcing new laws, planning regulations, building codes, etc.; and
- Enabling, supporting initiatives led by other actors through information and resource provision and partnerships”
Appendix 2: Policy typology
(from NATURVATION project)
|Regulatory (administrative, command-and-control)||Mandatory fulfillment of certain requirements by targeted actors||Legislations, regulations, laws, directives, etc.|
|Economic (financial, market-based)||Financial (dis)incentives to trigger change by providing (new) favourable (or unfavourable) economic conditions for targeted actors||Positive incentive include subsidies, soft loans, tax allowance and procurments. Negative incentives are taxes, fees and charges.|
|Informative (educational)||They aim at providing information or knowledge to target actors in order to increase awareness and support informed decision-making accomplish or prevent social change||Information and awareness raising campaigns, informative leaflets, advertisements in different media.|
|Voluntary||Commitment and/or actions beyond legal requirements, undertaken by private actors and/or non-governmental organisations.||Voluntary actions and agreements.|
- Background to this question: Our four main criteria for selecting particular governance interventions and develop rich descriptions of them were: A) The intervention has been studied in a specific urban context (e.g. city), B) this context is located in Europe (and, preferably, the study was EU-funded), C) the intervention considers to a large extent sustainability AND justice (at least implicitly), and D) it is well-documented, ideally including assumptions or even critical reflections on enablers and barriers to implementation and on transferability (i.e. ‘de-contextualizability’). Additionally, we aimed at a diverse portfolio of domains (see Q2.) and governance modes (see Q5): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nCPcUd-COIQ1MsBjir20_F1CBbnSu6HqKH9nNLshiVQ/edit?usp=sharing.
- Naturvation website. Last view on 26/06/20: https://naturvation.eu/.
- Actor types according to TRANSIT’s Critical Turning Point Database, http://www.transitsocialinnovation.eu/about-ctps-in-tsi-processes.
- If easily possible mention sources for your association of roles.
- Deliverable 7.1 Synthesis Report on results from Monitoring and Evaluation (p.14) : http://www.foodlinkscommunity.net/fileadmin/documents_organicresearch/foodlinks/publications/karner-etal-d-7-1.pdf .
- http://www.foodlinkscommunity.net/fileadmin/documents_organicresearch/foodlinks/publications/karner-etal-d-7-1.pdf .
- Feel free to include learning that has been made available through EU project documentation, intervention initiatives, or other channels. In addition to the forms in which the learning process has been shared with others, please indicate whether the learning process that’s being shared has been recorded in a self-critical/reflexive way.