Collaborative governance for urban sustainability and resilience

Collaborative gov_High tech building

Project leader(s)

There is a pressing need to improve the resource sustainability of cities and their resilience to hazards. Increasingly, governments seek to achieve such improvement by engaging directly with businesses and citizens. Whilst this collaborative city governance holds a promise for transforming resource use and resilience of cities, little is known about its performance benefits and effectiveness. The project addresses this knowledge gap through a systematic empirical analysis of a series of collaborations in four global cities. Results will help to refine theories of collaborative governance, and will provide policymakers and practitioners with lessons on how to improve sustainability and resilience of cities in the Asia-Pacific and elsewhere.

This research seeks to enhance understanding of whether, the extent and the manner in which collaborative governance arrangements help to achieve a wide application of available technologies and social know-how capable of reducing resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in cities, and of increasing their resilience to human-made and natural hazards. In particular it asks:

  • What conditions explain the outcomes of collaborative governance arrangements in the area of urban sustainability and resilience?
  • To what extent is collaborative governance a promising approach with which to address urban sustainability and resilience in developed and rapidly developing economies?
  • In what ways are collaborative governance arrangements promising complements or alternatives to traditional regulation?

The project studies practices of collaborative governance in Sydney, Tokyo, Mumbai, Seoul, Beijing, and Singapore. An example from Sydney is the Better Buildings Partnership; a collaboration between the Sydney city government and the city’s 14 major property owners. Through the collaboration they seek to reduce building related carbon emissions in the central business district with 70 per cent in 2030 as of 2006 emissions. In each city three such practices will be studied, with a specific focus on the development and retrofitting of residential and commercial property, and infrastructure.

The project is funded through a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) from the Australian Research Council. It is based in the Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet) at the Australian National University.

Please contact Dr. Jeroen van der Heijden if you wish to learn more about this project:

Image: Dr Jeroen van der Heijden (RegNet)

Professor Jeroen van der Heijden

Professor Jeroen van der Heijden is the inaugural Chair of Regulatory Practice at the School of Governance, University of Wellington, New Zealand (School of Government) and Honorary Professor at...

Climate, energy & the environment cluster

Climate, energy and the environment

This cluster has four broad regulatory and governance research themes: identifying obstacles and options for effective energy governance; analysing state and private governance mechanisms for mitigating climate change; examining the opportunities and constraints of the green economy in transforming infrastructure and urban development; and exploring creative regulatory solutions to transnational environmental problems.

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet