University-community partnerships provide opportunities for collaborations and meaningful engagement with community partners, in order to promote sustainable community development. To date, studies on university-community partnerships have largely neglected partnership potential and readiness prior to partnership formation. These factors enable expectations and targets to be negotiated and potential problems to be anticipated, prior to any formal collaboration. Hence, this study investigates the optimal preconditions—including environment, resources, and motivation—to facilitate successful university-community collaboration for local urban planning. Specifically, a sample of local government units (LGUs) and universities in the Calabarzon region of the Philippines were interviewed and observed to determine their needs and access to planning resources at universities, as well as factors that would ensure sustained partnerships. The results show that there is a need for university-community partnerships in local planning, since LGUs have limited technical capacity in preparing comprehensive land use plans, particularly with respect to data analysis, technical writing, project development, and hazard mapping. Conversely, LGUs have more financial resources than universities. Local universities were determined to be uniquely suited to meet the technical and human resource needs of LGUs. Importantly, though, previous partnership experience was found to dramatically influence both parties’ decisions regarding whether or not to pursue a partnership. Accordingly, there is a need to temper the desires and expectations of partner organizations, and lay down the foundations of sustainable university-community partnership prior to partnership formation. Toward this end, policies that bolster partnership institutionalization, funding, and systematic monitoring and evaluation systems can enhance the utility of such partnerships moving forward.
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