Integrated Urban Governance
Background: New challenges need new approaches
Ever since - at the latest - the emergence of globalisation, in particular major cities all over the world have been confronted with two vital inter-linked questions:
- How can social and spatial deprivation and the resulting societal and spatial fragmentation be mitigated or even resolved?
- How can local economic growth, international and inter-regional competitiveness and new employment opportunities be stabilised or achieved?
To meet these - and other – challenges, new forms of governance have gained importance by involving civil society (NGOs, business, you, the 'people') in decision making and in implementing these decisions. This integrated urban governance approach requires changes in administrative action and settings, too. Integrated Urban Governance implies going beyond mere coordination between policies, and thus encompasses joint work among sectors. It refers to both horizontal integration between policy sectors (different departments) and vertical inter-governmental integration (between different tiers of government), as well as beyond administrative boundaries (in the double sense: city administration - regional / national administration and administration - civil society). In spite of this ambitious definition, in real world processes or procedures, a hierarchy of cooperative approaches can be observed:
Though integrated urban governance includes the entire spectrum of 'traditional' policy fields, three of these fields appear to be of particular importance in dealing with the challenges mentioned above:
- Local economy
Example of an integrated approach
The City of Berlin introduced an integrated approach to urban development policy, involving cross-policy actors and stakeholders of all kinds, as early as the end of the 1990s. The 'Socially integrative city' ("Soziale Stadt") program was implemented in order to improve living and housing conditions, and also to support the economic basis in Berlin city districts. The strategy involves cross-departmental co-operation and an integrated action plan, setting up new structures in directing neighbourhood management operations. Neighbourhood management ("Quartiersmanagement") enables cooperation between all relevant actors and stakeholders, thus extending the scope of local policies.
Commission C3 aims at analysing and systematising Metropolis member and other cities' know-how and everyday practice. For this purpose, case studies and examples of integrated urban governance, aimed at surmounting societal and spatial disadvantages with regard to education, local economy and mobility, will be identified and analysed. Though the Commission will concentrate on these three topics, integrated approaches in other fields will be explored too. On this basis, good practice criteria will be elaborated, hindrances and pitfalls will be identified, and resultant recommendations for transferable action and methods will be developed.
Main outcome and results
The main outcome of the Commission's work will be a manual on integrated urban governance. The handbook will describe approaches, tools and instruments, as well as hindrances and pitfalls, and will present a number of case studies. A main emphasis will be on transferability to different types of cities, different requirements and conditions.
The Commission's activities will be accompanied by provision of training workshops that will be run in cooperation with experts in the relevant fields.