Database of governance arrangements

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Across Europe there is an inspiring array of experimentation with local governance arrangements for just and sustainable cities.

What is governance? It can be broadly understood as all formal and informal political processes (involving state and non-state actors) that lead to collective action.

So far, we have selected eleven real-word experiments (mostly within EU-funded projects) and developed rich descriptions which detail their governance variables and processes. We have also created a brief governance scenario per case studied. These scenarios share general insights in a narrative style, and we hope that they pique your interest and provide inspiration about what could be possible in your city!

On this page, you will find these rich descriptions and scenarios, sorted into different categories according to topics you may be interested in: governance ambitions, governance modes, and sectors.

Would you like to get involved? We've asked some questions in the following sections, and you can share your suggestions with us via email to Philipp Spaeth. If you haven't already, please feel free to join the UrbanA Community of Practice.


DISCLAIMER: This page is currently under review! While the rich descriptions and governance scenarios remain the same, we are shifting our approach away from governance ambitions towards what we call governance arrangements. More detail to follow shortly.


Governance arrangements, sorted according to their contribution to governance ambitions

The broad topic of urban governance arrangements for sustainability and justice can be disaggregated into more specific ambitions. When clicking on one of the ambitions A) - D) below, you will find the scenarios and detailed descriptions of governance experiments related to them.

A) Policy Integration

B) Bridging Institutional Logics

C) Engaging Inhabitants

D) Alternative Metrics

We have discussed how these ambitions are tentatively realized in promising experiments at a Community Conversation on June 23rd, 2020. Documentation of the event is available on the UrbanA blog.

Which further ambitions do you consider crucial on the way towards governance for sustainability AND justice in cities?

Can you think of any specific examples of these ambitions in practice to create arrangements for justice oriented sustainability governance?

Governance arrangements, sorted according to governance modes

Some governance arrangements for sustainability and justice in cities are initiated by local governments, while others are initiated by social movements or even enterprises. We present here some scenarios and governance interventions that are driven primarily by governmental actors, civil society or hybrid arrangements. When clicking on one of the modes A) - C) below, you will find a list of the scenarios and detailed descriptions of governance interventions that are best illustrating these governance modes.

A) Government led

B) Civil society driven

C) Hybrid arrangements

What other examples of justice oriented sustainability governance in these modes do you know?

Governance arrangements, sorted according to sectors

Governance arrangements for sustainability and justice in cities differ from sector to sector due to the specific nature of services provided in these sectors. When clicking on one of the sectors A) - F) below, you will find a list of scenarios and detailed descriptions of governance interventions developed mainly within this sector. We describe in detail some governance arrangements that have been developed in the following sectors:

A) Mobility

B) Housing

C) Food

D) Energy

E) Urban development/regeneration

F) Biodiversity protection

What other examples of justice oriented sustainability governance in these sectors do you know?

Full list of brief governance scenarios

  1. Learning from successful community-based actions against gentrification
  2. Expanding effective practices for food rescuing and sharing among cities
  3. A new take on affordable housing through community owned and developed dwellings
  4. Inviting citizens to a transformation of street space - flexibly dealing with resistance
  5. Balancing long term sustainability and short-term social needs in peri-urban green space
  6. Envisioning and co-creating sustainable urban neighborhoods by reaching across institutional boundaries
  7. Bringing sustainable infrastructure to all - carefully engaging in public-private partnerships
  8. From electricity to empowerment, community energy growing out of the inner-city
  9. Overcoming compartmentalization in urban regeneration projects for inclusive sustainability and resilience
  10. Making local energy systems inclusively sustainable - by ourselves, with a little help by friends
  11. Trusting civil society and residents to co-shape regeneration projects in deprived neighborhoods

Full list of detailed governance interventions

  1. Bottom-up resistance against gentrification in Rome
  2. Citizens rescuing and sharing food in Berlin
  3. Community led affordable housing in Brussels
  4. Dealing flexibly with and learning from resistance in Barcelona
  5. Biodiversity protection and social justice in the Barcelona Natural Park
  6. Co-creation of a sustainable neighborhood in Freiburg
  7. Public-private partnerships for sustainability infrastructure in Athens
  8. Inner-city community energy in London
  9. Holistic neighbourhood development Augustenborg
  10. Citizens share in Berlin Energy Grid for sustainable energy
  11. Regeneration of a deprived neighborhood in Rotterdam

Template for developing further descriptions