Broadening experimentation through research-industry collaboratives in the Australian water sector

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Whether urban climate experimentation is productive for climate-resilient sustainability transitions is determined by the extent to which experimentation provides impulses to radical change that are embedded in and strategically connected with on-going policy and planning processes, thus building on and boosting new governance capacities. We analyse the transformative and orchestrating capacities manifest in the urban climate experimenting processes in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Transformative capacity enables developing and embedding novelty. Orchestrating capacity serves to coordinate multi-actor processes to facilitate and align experimentation. While actors in Rotterdam are successfully employing experimentation as a new governance mode to address climate change, sustainability and resilience, this approach is mainly legitimised by marketing the city internationally as a frontrunner in climate adaptation. As a result, individual innovations remain stand-alone initiatives. We can identify several capacity gaps, which point to mismatches between experimentation and on-going policy and planning processes, as well as across (strategic and operational) governance levels.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInnovating Climate Governance
Subtitle of host publicationMoving Beyond Experiments
EditorsBruno Turnheim, Paula Kivimaa, Frans Berkhout
Place of PublicationCambridge UK
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781108277679
ISBN (Print)9781108417457
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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