Special Issue "Social Innovation and Participatory Governance? Exploring Their Relationship in the Context of Urban Sustainability and Climate Adaptation"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Beatrice John
Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Sustainability, Leuphana University Lueneburg, Universitätsallee 1, 21335 Lüneburg, Germany
Interests: urban sustainability climate adaptation; capacity building; transformational sustainability research; digital decision and visualization environments
Dr. Thorsten Heimann
Website
Guest Editor
Environmental Policy Research Research Centre (FFU), Freie Universität Berlin, Ihnestraße 22, 14195 Berlin, Germany
Interests: culture and climate change; transformation research; cultural and environmental policy research; urban and rural development; mixed-method research
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Lena Bendlin
Website
Guest Editor
Department for Infrastructure, Economics and Finance, German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu), Zimmerstraße 13-15, 10969 Berlin, Germany
Interests: urban transformation; multilevel governance; climate governance; sustainability innovations
Dr. Julia Teebken
Website
Guest Editor
Environmental Policy Research Research Centre (FFU), Freie Universität Berlin, Ihnestraße 22, 14195 Berlin, Germany
Interests: transformative adaptation; social and political vulnerability; comparative policy analyses; political systems; vulnerability lock-ins

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The governance of urban sustainable development and climate adaptation has become an important challenge for decision-makers and researchers, which is, for instance, emphasized in UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 “Sustainable Cities and Communities”. In this regard, participatory governance is considered a key aspect for strengthening democratic engagement and legitimatizing governmental action. Many authors see participatory governance as a trigger for social change and innovation, particularly in times of crisis. Others criticize the fact that participation procedures may lead to time-consuming procedures, maladaptation, and undermining of democracy through the exclusion of relevant voices.

This Special Issue aims to reflect on the different notions of “participatory governance” in different social and cultural contexts, which modes of participatory governance exist, and in how far they carry transformative potential for different types of change. Therefore, the Special Issue aims to explore to what extent participatory governance can trigger the development of social innovation in times of crisis—such as (but not limited to) climate change. We would like to encourage researchers to discuss theoretical and empirical results in the field of urban climate adaptation and/or sustainability in large and smaller cities as well as townships.

  • Analyzing the relationship between social innovation and participatory governance: What is the transformative potential of participatory approaches? How much can participatory governance trigger social change and innovation? Under which conditions are (new) ideas and social innovations generated? Which role does issue-linking to broader societal themes play to enable social innovations? How can we reconcile open-endedness of participatory processes and sustainability goals?
  • Analyzing the design and conditions of participatory governance, such as: What are factors of effective integration into urban governance? What role do learning processes and learning communities play? How are processes of issue-linking to broader societal themes designed and which role do they play to foster participatory governance? Which barriers and/or lock-ins exist? What are the different modes and practices of participatory governance? E.g.,(online) participation formats, co-creative processes, experiments, transdisciplinary approaches;
  • Building capacities for participatory governance and social innovation: What are the context-specific individual, collective, and institutional capacities that influence participatory governance and social innovation, and how are they embedded and built? How can their impact and/or outcome be evaluated, considering different contexts and wider institutional processes, or temporal dynamics; and which problems and priorities for actions are identified? Which opportunities for transfer exist and how can transfer be realized?
Dr. Beatrice John
Dr. Thorsten Heimann
Dr. Lena Bendlin
Dr. Julia Teebken
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • climate adaptation
  • urban sustainability
  • participatory governance
  • social innovation
  • co-creation
  • capacity building
  • transdisciplinarity
  • transformation

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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