Call for abstracts for a fully funded workshop:

Innovative urban governance for mitigation and adaptation: Mapping, exploring and interrogating

22-23 September 2016, Amsterdam

Innovative urban governance for mitigation and adaptation

The built environment is a major source of resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. It is an absolutely key aspect of climate change adaptation and mitigation, and holds a large cost-effective potential for improvement. But traditional governance approaches such as planning legislation and building regulation have not been able to unlock its full potential. In response governments, firms and citizens around the globe have begun to develop and implement governance innovations for improved urban sustainability and resilience. This fully funded workshop will bring together 15-20 scholars under the flag of the COST Action INOGOV (Innovations in Climate Governance) to map, explore and interrogate this global trend of urban governance innovations.

Examples of the urban governance innovations this workshop is interested in are city networks such as ICLEI and the C40 Cities Group, government-to-business and government-to-citizens collaborations such as revolving loan funds that seek to make available funds for building or infrastructure retrofits, or voluntary programs led by businesses and citizens such as (international) building certification tools. But also more radical examples are welcomed, such as the sustainability initiatives of squatter movements in Berlin and Barcelona.

We invite social scientists from all disciplines to debate how and to what extent innovations in urban governance can help accelerating the transition to more sustainable and resilient cities around the globe. We welcome theoretical papers, methodological papers, and empirical studies or combinations thereof; and invite abstracts that discuss and examine urban governance innovations for climate mitigation and/or adaptation. The aim is to publish the draft papers, subject to normal review process, as a special volume in a high ranked scientific journal/or edited book.

Guest speakers

The following leading experts will give keynote lectures during the workshop:

  • Professor Kristine Kern, University of Potsdam
  • Professor Rob Imrie, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Professor Jonathan Davies, De Montfoort University

Topical themes

The workshop is open to a broad variety of interpretations of innovative urban governance for climate change mitigation/adaptation, but we strongly encourage submissions on the following themes:

  • What governance innovations have been developed, where, and what actors are involved; and, whether and how do these innovations act as compliments to or substitutes for traditional governance?
  • How well have innovations been taken up to date, what outcomes have they achieved, and may they be expected to activate a rapid transformation towards high levels of urban sustainability and resilience?
  • Whether and how can insights from novel governance tools/processes/systems be scaled up? How transposable are they from one context to the next?

Activities that established INOGOV have already led to the publication of three special issues, in Environmental Politics (2014, Vol. 23 (5)), Global Environmental Change (2014, vol. 29), and Policy and Society (2016, Vol 35 (1)).

Practicalities and submission deadlines

The workshop will be funded under the 4 year COST Action INOGOV (IS1309 Innovations in Climate Governance: Sources, Patterns and Effects) (2014-8). INOGOV will cover reasonable travel costs and accommodation of all invited authors, subject to standard COST reimbursement and eligibility rules.

Interested participants/authors are encouraged to submit 500 word abstracts by 15 July 2016 as a first step towards full paper development. Please send your abstract to the workshop organizer, Jeroen van der Heijden,

Authors will be notified of acceptance/rejection by 29 July 2016 and those selected to contribute to the workshop will receive funding to cover their costs of participation. Contributing authors are expected to submit a full first draft of their paper by 9 September 2016 to be distributed to all workshop participants before the workshop. The drafts will be intensively debated at the workshop and full papers should tentatively be submitted for the review process by 27 January 2017.

Authors with specific questions are encouraged to contact workshop organizer, Jeroen van der Heijden,

Local organizer:

Dr. Jeroen van der Heijden

Australian National University & University of Amsterdam


Photo credit: Tom Chance/Flickr

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