2012 volume 30(3) pages 429 – 447
doi:10.1068/c10158

Cite as:
Smith R, Wiek A, 2012, "Achievements and opportunities in initiating governance for urban sustainability" Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 30(3) 429 – 447

Download citation data in RIS format

Achievements and opportunities in initiating governance for urban sustainability

Riley Smith, Arnim Wiek

Abstract. The concept of urban sustainability governance has developed as an institutional guiding concept to holistically address the vitality of cities under a long-term perspective and is based on the collaborative efforts of government, administration, business, science, and the civil society. Yet, the initiation and implementation of this guiding concept faces a variety of barriers, including deficient conceptualization, unfamiliarity, detrimental organizational structures, and inertia. We examine the initiation of urban sustainability governance in the City of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. On the basis of the reviews of administrative documents and interviews with staff across various administrative levels and units, we reflect on achievements and shortcomings against guidelines of urban sustainability governance spelled out in the literature. Our study indicates accomplishments in the conceptualization of a vision and overall framework to operate from, but also a number of deficits in specifying sustainability targets, applying governance principles, and evaluating impacts. Additionally, we discuss how administrative structures influence how urban sustainability governance is being implemented. We draw conclusions regarding general factors for succeeding in the initiation and implementation of urban sustainability governance.
Keywords: sustainable governance, principles, guidelines, governance implementation, evaluation

Restricted material:

PDF Full-text PDF size: 201 Kb

Your computer (IP address: 54.166.110.247) has not been recognised as being on a network authorised to view the full text or references of this article. If you are a member of a university library that has a subscription to the journal, please contact your serials librarian (subscriptions information).