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Lind Mayer, Molly, 2024. Governance for closer collaboration and communication in Swedish Climate Neutral Cities : a case study of Viable Cities. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



In order to address the ongoing climate crises, we must develop effective multilevel responses that can be implemented to engage actors in decision-making practices. Subsequently, to better understand how various governance processes can support sustainability there is a need for collaborative actions such as efficient strategies that involve multiple levels of organizations working together. However, collaborative governance can be seen as highly resource-consuming and idealistic and it risks becoming overly complex, overly promising, or diluting responsibility. This study aims to understand how effective implementation of collaborative governance works in climate neutral cities using the case of the Swedish strategic innovation program, Viable Cities. Viable Cities aims to create new forms of governance and management to govern the process together, from a bottom-up approach, with municipalities, authorities, the business community, civil society, and their member organizations. The data originate from semi-structured interviews, observations of Viable Cities events, and literature. The study uses an Integrative Framework for Collaborative Governance to examine how collaborative governance is understood and perceived in practice by representatives from municipalities, Viable Cities, and authority. The results show that the understanding of governance by the representatives is related to the collaborative dynamics of principled engagement, shared motivation, and capacity for joint action. The study’s representatives recognize Viable Cities as necessary to govern collaborative actions for their mission. Viable Cities’ facilitating initiative with face-to-face interactions can help the participants to set ambitions and keep motivated. This is not unexpected, considering Viable Cities explicitly aims to stimulate innovation and facilitate collaboration with participating municipalities. However, it can be difficult to understand when and how collaborative governance should be connected to decision-making processes. Conversely, the representatives’ understanding of collaborative governance is difficult to analyse in this specific case since it appears to have different meanings at different levels and has a wide definition spectrum. The representatives’ prerequisites for collaborative governance change with external or internal context, giving a broad definition to governance. The theoretical framework has proven useful in understanding prerequisites for collaboration and can be seen as a useful tool to improve strategies and understanding of cities' collaborative governance in practice.

Main title:Governance for closer collaboration and communication in Swedish Climate Neutral Cities
Subtitle:a case study of Viable Cities
Authors:Lind Mayer, Molly
Supervisor:Bergeå, Hanna
Examiner:Calderon, Camilo
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2024
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM026 Environmental communication and management - Master's programme
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:collaborative governance, viable cities, collaborative dynamics, environmental communication
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Deposited On:17 Jun 2024 08:25
Metadata Last Modified:18 Jun 2024 11:33

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