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UrbanA Community Conversation: How to address justice and sustainability together in urban governance?

June 23, 2020 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm CEST

To avoid injustices emerging from sustainability governance in your city, you can not only ask what needs to be done to address specific local challenges, but also how broader governance processes could be changed in order to avoid injustices across all sectors and in the longer term too.  The latter is a more difficult question to ask. Some answers have been developed locally in governance experiments and were studied in EU-funded projects.

For example, when planning for a new district in Freiburg-Vauban, Germany, a new scheme was developed that relieves households without cars from the obligation to finance parking space (e.g. via rents). This is what was done to foster justice and sustainability simultaneously. By co-developing such a solution, people from the city administration and from a civil society organisation found themselves increasingly on par with one another as experts. This changed, at least temporarily, how the views of future inhabitants were considered in district development in Freiburg.

In order to improve integrative governance for sustainability and justice, people often discuss the following ambitions:

  • How can sustainability and justice challenges be dealt with in a more integrative and comprehensive way – rather than by (sectoraly) compartmentalized policies and organizations? (policy integration)

  • How can citizens be better enabled to participate in deliberations about the most urgent objectives and measures of urban development? (citizens’ involvement)

  • Do we need alternative metrics to guide urban policy development, which could focus e.g. on the affordability of housing rather than on GDP growth, employment and investments? (new metrics)

  • How can people from governments, civil society and enterprises be enabled to better co-operate for sustainability and justice in their cities? (bridging institutional logics)

What other questions do you consider important on the way towards more justice-oriented sustainability governance in our cities?

In this Community Conversation, we will kick-start a discussion of these questions in view of promising governance experiments from across Europe. Do you know of more such experiments that may have produced interesting insights? We will show you how to contribute to the work of UrbanA with your questions and your knowledge.

Register for the Community Conversation here.


June 23, 2020
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm CEST
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