Transformative Governance: Catalyzing Urban Coalitions to Drive Systemic Transformation Towards Sustainability (Appraisal Phase)

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    Project Manager :
    Simone Sandholz

    Limiting climate change requires rapid and radical transformation of development pathways, especially in cities, which are responsible for 70% of global CO2 emissions. The Transformative Urban Governance project develops, tests, and disseminates a scalable approach for achieving key shifts in urban development to put cities on a path to zero-carbon emissions by 2050. The consortium will identify local leverage points to shrink carbon emissions, conserve biodiversity, and expand inclusion. We will test an approach to transformative governance:

    (a) focused, high-impact coalitions of public, private, knowledge, and community actors in 5 pilot cities in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico;

    (b) first class transformative research in the pilot cities combined with implementation of transformative initiatives;

    (c) governance blueprints and lessons from pilot cities will be disseminated through our global networks and new transformation partnerships initiated to make sustainable urbanisation a feasible global priority.

    The project will support three kinds of changes towards decarbonization in partner countries. First, functional coalitions of local decision makers and stakeholders will exist – with increased awareness and knowledge on urban transformation – to foster sustainable urban transformation pathways. This will be demonstrated through new working relationships between political, business, knowledge and civil society groups. Our implementing partners will hold workshops and support projects that are multi-sector and multi-stakeholder. Second, implementation of transformative action that can become models for other cities or even national or regional programs. Third, we will build local, national, and transnational transformative alliances that last beyond the life of this project through knowledge sharing, curriculum development, and a media engagement strategy.

    During the Appraisal Phase the consortium engaged in a range of on-line and in-person discussions to further develop the overarching conceptual framework for the project, determined ways of working among the different members and partners, and set out a detailed project proposal, based on the definition of concrete work packages. Thereby the foundation for a dynamic and successful partnership of the different teams was laid out and channels of communication and interaction between the global and local stakeholders were established. A series of substantive workshops and country missions were conducted, that brought together different groupings of local and global researchers and stakeholders to refine shared objectives for the project, working methods, and roles and contributions to the project.

    • Simone Sandholz Simone Sandholz Associate Academic Officer
      Project Manager
    • Zita Sebesvari Zita Sebesvari Deputy Director of UNU-EHS / Head of Section – Environmental Vulnerability and Ecosystem Services (EVES)