Governing for Eco-City Innovation
International Eco-Cities Initiative, April 2013
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.
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