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.

On this database, you will find the summaries of results of a study on fruitful governance interventions for sustainable and just cities.

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.

Enabling governance arrangements

Enabling governance arrangements are elements that we identified as being important for supporting initiatives for just and sustainable cities. Looking at a selection of eleven situated governance interventions for sustainable and just cities (as summarized in our scenarios), we asked: “What key elements of governance arrangements enabled those interventions to come to fruition?”

We assume that the enabling governance arrangements that we identified as important in these cases (building on project reports and interviews), can be important for other cases too. However, we do not claim that these enabling arrangements are the sole factors for bringing interventions to fruition, as the latter will always be embedded in local contexts with place-based factors being important as well.

In order to provide inspiration or even guidance in other contexts, enabling governance arrangements cannot be defined overly specific or overly broad: they are concrete, fluid and adaptive, transferable; tailored, and generally relevant.

When clicking on one of the enabling governance arrangement A) - D) below, you will learn about the ambition this each enabling governance arrangement as well as about the scenarios and detailed descriptions of governance experiments it relates.

A) Embracing flexibility in project management

B) Creating a comprehensive vision of change

C) Institutionalising intermediaries

D) Committing to a meaningful participation process

E) Tapping into resources of existing community networks and learning

F) Develop resilient, and self-sufficient business models

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

Governance interventions

We have selected eleven real-word experiments (mostly within EU-funded projects) and developed detailed 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!

We stress that the interventions presented below (the detailed descriptions and the corresponding scenarios) - are not exemplary “successful interventions”. Rather, they are regarded as general inspiration and real-world cases for testing out how to enable translocal learning.

Detailed governance intervention descriptions Brief governance scenarios
1.Bottom-up resistance against gentrification in Rome 1.Learning from successful community-based actions against gentrification
2.Citizens rescuing and sharing food in Berlin 2.Expanding effective practices for food rescuing and sharing among cities
3.Community led affordable housing in Brussels 3.A new take on affordable housing through community owned and developed dwellings
4.Dealing flexibly with and learning from resistance in Barcelona 4.Inviting citizens to a transformation of street space - flexibly dealing with resistance
5.Biodiversity protection and social justice in the Barcelona Natural Park 5.Balancing long term sustainability and short-term social needs in peri-urban green space
6.Co-creation of a sustainable neighborhood in Freiburg 6.Envisioning and co-creating sustainable urban neighborhoods by reaching across institutional boundaries
7.Public-private partnerships for sustainability infrastructure in Athens 7.Bringing sustainable infrastructure to all - carefully engaging in public-private partnerships
8.Inner-city community energy in London 8.From electricity to empowerment, community energy growing out of the inner-city
9.Holistic neighbourhood development Augustenborg 9.Overcoming compartmentalization in urban regeneration projects for inclusive sustainability and resilience
10.Citizens share in Berlin Energy Grid for sustainable energy 10.Making local energy systems inclusively sustainable - by ourselves, with a little help by friends
11.Regeneration of a deprived neighborhood in Rotterdam 11.Trusting civil society and residents to co-shape regeneration projects in deprived neighborhoods

Template for developing further descriptions: Rich description template


(Coming soon)