- developing effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels (16)
- ensuring responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels (16)
- enhancing inclusive and sustainable urbanisation and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries (11)
At the same time, UN policy frameworks have been criticised for not going far enough and more action is needed to deliver these aspirations on the ground.
We need more critique of the dynamics and issues in participation, including politics, power and culture; a focus on what works and what doesn’t work; a focus on tactics and strategies for change; the need to learn from social innovations and experiments and to understand questions of up- or outscaling to move from micro to macro level change.
Participatory Cities was a bridging project within the wider international partnership of Mistra Urban Futures, with a particular focus on adding value to locally funded projects in Greater Manchester and Gothenburg. The overarching aim has been to share knowledge drawn from our platforms and projects with urban decision-makers and international policy communities about how to create more participatory cities. Work in the project positioned the Mistra Urban Futures centre as a critical friend to decision-makers, helping to shape the direction of future research and practice. It also sought to draw together networks beyond formal decision-makers – in community groups and horizontal networks – to galvanise and support action to create more participatory cities.
This project drew on existing and new knowledge across the LIPs to identify lessons and insights about the realisation of the three SDG goals:
Q1: How can cities develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions? Our contribution reflects on the local interaction platform as a governance innovation and space for cross-institutional working.
Q2: How can cities ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making? Our contribution has been to review existing debates, identify secondary cases and undertake interviews with senior decision-makers in Greater Manchester to understand elite perspectives on this issue.
Q3: What needs to be done to enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanisation and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management at the urban level? Our contribution has been to review lessons from existing projects in participation in spatial planning (see especially Whose Knowledge Matters?) and to identify good practice methods and processes.
An interim account of this work appeared in the Realising Just Cities UK report (September 2019)
-- see pages 22-23.