Urban Chances, City Growth and The Sustainability Challenge: A Research Dissemination Report
Urban Chances, City Growth and The Sustainability Challenge: Chance2Sustain is a research programme that examined how governments and citizens in cities with differing patterns of urban economic growth make use of participatory (or integrated) spatial knowledge management to direct urban governance towards more sustainable development. Participatory spatial knowledge management is the main concept used to study this issue, as it reflects a strategic resource, which all stakeholders can contribute to urban governance processes towards sustainable development.
It includes both expert knowledge and several forms of non-expert knowledge, such as knowledge from (working) experience (tacit), embedded sectoral knowledge, and social (or community-based) knowledge at the neighbourhood and city-wide level. Participatory processes of urban planning and management are strategic in eliciting these forms of spatially disaggregated (of specific) knowledge, which are usually not acknowledged in topdown, expert-driven models of urban governance and planning. Utilizing participatory spatial knowledge can make urban governance and planning more effective and gain wider acceptance, by incorporating both expert and local community knowledge. Although participatory spatial knowledge management is increasingly used in urban planning processes, its success depends on external political and economic conditions.
A legal framework providing for fiscal decentralisation and funding, for instance, is a strategic support. The influence of various external conditions has not yet been analysed much locally, and certainly not comparatively across different socio-political contexts, although it is a strategic question, given the inherent trade-offs and potential political conflicts in combining environmental, social and economic goals (within sustainable development). Therefore, the programme focused on ten cities with contrasting economic and political conditions, with the main scientific objective of developing a model on participatory spatial knowledge management to direct urban governance to sustainable development.
The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) was a dissemination partner for the research programme. This report summarizes the findings of the research and contains two policy briefs targeted at policy makers and practitioners.