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Governing for Eco-City Innovation

International Eco-Cities Initiative, April 2013

CREDIT: Kıvanç Niş (CC).

Rising interest in eco-city initiatives prompts questions about what innovation processes are needed and how these can be facilitated by appropriate governance mechanisms. This briefing note identifies key opportunities and challenges based on a two-year research initiative.


  • Eco-city innovation is concurrently driven by global concerns (e.g. climate change) and local needs and opportunities (e.g. sustainable food).

  • Individual eco-city initiatives have to be considered in terms of their place specificity.

  • Integration across urban scales, systems, and organizations is key to effective innovation.

  • Political leadership, through a mixture of national policy frameworks and city-regional initiatives, should focus on steering and incentivizing innovation.

  • Community engagement should be tailored to various publics; its functions in the planning and policy processes need to be made explicit.

  • Environmental-technological goals need to be balanced with social sustainability dimensions.

  • Accessibility and comparability of data are a prerequisite for international research, knowledge exchange and shared practice learning.

External Link: CONTINUE READING: Governing for Eco-City Innovation

Read More: Cities, Democracy, Energy, Environment, Food, Governance, Innovation, Sustainability

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