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Urban Transformations

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Sustainability -- cities


Cities across the globe are striving to produce viable solutions to pressing urban sustainability and resilience problems. Despite aspirations, municipal governments often need additional support in terms of knowledge, capacity, or resources to achieve transformations. Partnerships between cities and universities are one mechanism for co-producing knowledge and achieving sustained progress on complex challenges. When properly structured and effectively managed, city-university partnerships (CUPs) are purported to increase transformative capacity in city administrations and support actions which accelerate urban transformations; but these outcomes are not always achieved. As CUPs grow in numbers, there is a pressing need to identify which principles and practices facilitate transformation. Therefore, we used iterative reflective focus group sessions to develop in-depth case studies of five sustainability and resilience CUPs across three countries. The CUPs were cross-compared to explore the partnership dynamics and management practices that aid progress towards transformative goals. Observations were then related to transformative capacity typologies, and mapped to the newly described project-partnership cycle – which is useful for the management of transformative partnerships.


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