1st Edition

Co-producing Knowledge for Sustainable Cities Joining Forces for Change

Edited By Merritt Polk Copyright 2015
    212 Pages
    by Routledge

    212 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    At the current time, many issues and problems within sustainable urban development are managed within traditional disciplinary and organizational structures. However, problems such as, climate change, resource constraints, poverty and social tensions all exceed current compartmentalization of policy-making, administration and knowledge production. This book provides a better understanding of how researchers and practitioners together can co-produce knowledge to better contribute to solving the complex challenges of reaching sustainable urban futures. It is written for academic and professional audiences working with urban planning and sustainable cities around the world.

    Co-producing Knowledge is presented, by way of introduction, as a non-linear, collaborative approach to knowledge production which combines interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, cross sector and policy approaches to societal problem solving. Examples are taken from Cape Town, Gothenburg, Kisumu, Manchester, Melbourne and a selection of cities in Southeast Asia. Each city chapter discusses the drivers and motivations behind knowledge co-production and gives concrete examples of activities and approaches that have been used to promote sustainable urban futures. Each chapter is written to promote mutual learning from the approaches that are already in use. Building upon these city cases, the conclusions outline an international practice and research agenda aimed at strengthening the promotion and implementation of the knowledge co-production for sustainability across diverse urban development contexts.

    This book provides an overview of the diverse driving forces behind co-production, and their specific contexts and constraints in a variety of cosmopolitan urban contexts. Some of these include institutional and cross-sector barriers to co-production, the need for learning across diverse levels and contexts, and strategies for balancing scientific excellence with the needs of societal change. This book offers valuable lessons regarding the concrete implications and potential impact that co-production processes can have for different user groups, such as planners, politicians, researchers, business interests and NGOs in different urban development contexts.

    1. Co-producing knowledge for sustainable urban futures  2. Co-producing knowledge for whom, to what end? Reflections from the African Center for Cities in Cape Town, South Africa  3. The Gothenburg Story: Boundary-breaking partnerships for co-producing knowledge for urban change in Sweden  4. Collaboration across borders in Kisumu, Kenya: Crossing diverse divides  5. Creating urban knowledge arenas and active intermediaries at SURF – examples and experiences from Manchester, England  6. Multi-faceted engagement for urban sustainable futures in Melbourne and Southeast Asia  7. Stimulating and evaluating quality for knowledge co-production: The case of sustainable urban development  8. Critical issues and challenges for co-producing knowledge for urban change  


    Merritt Polk is Associate Professor in Human Ecology at the School of Global Studies, the University of Gothenburg, and research director at Mistra Urban Futures. She has authored and co-authored numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and governmental policy reports on a number of topics within the urban development discourse. She is currently leading the methodological and theoretical development of processes and research around the co-production of knowledge at the Center.

    Jaan-Henrik Kain is Associate Professor in Urban Transformation and Planning Processes at Chalmers Architecture, Chalmers University of Technology, and research director at Mistra Urban Futures. Jaan-Henrik’s primary area of research is the underlying mechanisms that support or hinder sustainable urban development. He has authored or co-authored numerous peer reviewed articles, book chapters, as well as edited a book in Swedish. He has also been involved in numerous action-oriented research projects, involving facilitation of multi-stakeholder learning processes in support of positive urban change.