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Open AccessArticle

Learnings from Local Collaborative Transformations: Setting a Basis for a Sustainability Framework

1
Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, 1749-016 Lisbon, Portugal
2
Municipalities in Transition Project, Totnes TQ9 5HN, UK
3
Transition Network, Totnes TQ9 5HN, UK
4
Dutch Research Institute of Transitions, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 3062 PA Rotterdam, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 795; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030795
Received: 16 December 2019 / Revised: 14 January 2020 / Accepted: 18 January 2020 / Published: 21 January 2020
The complexity of the sustainability challenge demands for collaboration between different actors, be they governments, businesses, or grassroots movements, at all levels. Nevertheless, and according to previous research, many tensions and obstacles to partnership still exist and results are far from meaningful. By investigating potential synergies, our purpose is to define a sustainability framework to promote better collaboration between community-based initiatives and local governments, in the context of transformation. Specifically, the research aim presented in this paper is to harvest learnings from existing collaborative experiments at the municipal level. As a starting point and using exploratory literature review concerning areas like policy (e.g., public administration) or business and management research, we propose a ‘Compass for Collaborative Transformation’. This heuristic device can support the study of these sustainability experiments. We also introduce a method to map the governance imprint of these collaborations and to provide a ‘proxy’ of transformative efforts. We then present and discuss results from 71 surveyed cases happening in 16 countries in America and Europe, comparing distinctive frameworks involved. Finally, we consider the preconditions of a framework to improve these local collaborations—namely the capacity to support joint navigation through transformative efforts, facing high levels of uncertainty and complexity—and present ongoing efforts to codesign a new sustainability framework. View Full-Text
Keywords: collaboration; governance; framework; local government; community-based initiative; sustainability; transformation collaboration; governance; framework; local government; community-based initiative; sustainability; transformation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Macedo, P.; Huertas, A.; Bottone, C.; del Río, J.; Hillary, N.; Brazzini, T.; Wittmayer, J.M.; Penha-Lopes, G. Learnings from Local Collaborative Transformations: Setting a Basis for a Sustainability Framework. Sustainability 2020, 12, 795.

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