The most important EU policy documents and frameworks underline the importance of multi-stakeholder and multi-level governance in integrated urban development processes. According to the recommendations of the Pact of Amsterdam and the New Urban Agenda, “vertical and horizontal multi- level and multi-stakeholder cooperation, both bottom-up and top-down, is key to good urban governance.” (The New Leipzig Charter, p.7)
The multi-stakeholder approach is a key requisite of integrated urban development. The involvement of different stakeholders in decision-making and the co-design and co-creation of urban processes helps cities “manage conflicting interests, share responsibilities and find innovative solutions while also reshaping and maintaining urban spaces and forming new alliances to create integrated city spaces” (The New Leipzig Charter, p.6). With the diversity of their experiences and skills, civil society representatives, NGOs, community organisations as well as private enterprises and knowledge institutions can effectively participate “throughout the whole policy cycle in the planning and decision-making process, and implementation of integrated territorial strategies.” (JRC Handbook, p. 104)
Governance structures to connect partners. Source: Eutropian
Multi-level governance is also a crucial element of urban processes: the cooperation of district and city administrations with provincial, regional, or national authorities can assure that their complementary competencies and jurisdictions address all the key themes of integrated urban development. Local authorities acting as “a formal link between small scale neighbourhoods and wider functional areas, with a decisive role in stabilising surrounding and wider rural areas” need to coordinate the “measures implemented at all spatial levels to ensure coherence and to avoid inefficiency.” (The New Leipzig Charter, p.3) This is especially relevant for Sustainable Urban Development strategies whose governance is “inherently multi-level since it requires the involvement of the local level, as well as the regional and/or national level.” (JRC Handbook)
This chapter addresses the following research questions:
- How did projects identify the most relevant local actors to include in their partnership? What was the composition of the partnership (e.g. more public/ private, public/ social, public/ research) and how did this composition relate to the relevant UAEU topic?
- What kinds of governance models did projects use to ensure balanced power relations between partners? How did projects assure that all partners and stakeholders feel represented and heard in the process?
- What types of collaborative models for governance and management were developed to ensure integration of sectoral policies and promote synergies?
- How did projects ensure collaboration between institutional levels in the vertical chain (e.g. including managing authorities and the regional or national level)?
- What level of political and strategic leadership was needed to ensure a collaborative and participative delivery mechanism?
The layers of the DARE platform. Source: DARE