Urban Governance of Sustainability Transformations. The Case of InnovationCity Ruhr - Model City Bottrop (Germany).

Authors: Valentin Espert*, Wuppertal Institute
Topics: Sustainability Science, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: Sustainability Transformation, Urban Governance
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Stones Throw 2 - Slate, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Urban sustainability transformations are a key element of sustainable global change. A large amount of cities worldwide has started initiatives, mobilized actors and implemented measures for sustainable urban development. In conceptual terms, sustainability transformations have increasingly been analyzed as structural changes of societal systems resulting from new technological, social and institutional developments on different scale levels (transitions). These system- and innovation-oriented approaches, however, have been criticized because they do not take sufficient account of the locally specific dynamics and the uneven transformation of regions and cities. Against this background, it is argued that an analytical approach based on governance studies, which focuses on the role of actors, their interactions and institutional context, offers a possible way for a place-specific analysis of urban sustainability transformations. The paper adapts an analytical approach from urban governance studies and applies it to the case of InnovationCity Ruhr, a large scale project for the climate-friendly development of the German city of Bottrop. It is illustrated how public, private and intermediary actors with different interests and capabilities interact in a network-based steering approach and how concrete measures for the urban transformation result from this. Based on the empirical results, it is discussed how an urban governance approach can be a useful analytical complement for sustainability transformation research.

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