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Transforming urban water governance through social (triple-loop) learning

Johannessen, Åse LU ; Gerger Swartling, Åsa; Wamsler, Christine LU ; Andersson, Kim; Arran, Julian Timothy; Hernández Vivas, Dayana Indira and Stenström, Thor Axel (2019) In Environmental Policy and Governance
Abstract

The sustainable development of cities is threatened by a worldwide water crisis. Improved social learning is urgently needed to transform urban water governance and make it more integrated and adaptive. However, empirical studies remain few and fragmented. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to analyse how social learning has supported or inhibited sustainable transformations in urban water governance. On the basis of multiple case studies conducted in urban, flood-prone areas in Colombia, the Philippines, South Africa, India, and Sweden, we study learning processes related to different aspects of water management and governance. Our results show that transformations in water governance are often triggered by crises, whereas other... (More)

The sustainable development of cities is threatened by a worldwide water crisis. Improved social learning is urgently needed to transform urban water governance and make it more integrated and adaptive. However, empirical studies remain few and fragmented. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to analyse how social learning has supported or inhibited sustainable transformations in urban water governance. On the basis of multiple case studies conducted in urban, flood-prone areas in Colombia, the Philippines, South Africa, India, and Sweden, we study learning processes related to different aspects of water management and governance. Our results show that transformations in water governance are often triggered by crises, whereas other potentials for transformation are not tapped into. Furthermore, learning is often inhibited by “lock-ins” created by powerful actors. We conclude that there is a need for more proactive design of governance structures for triple-loop learning that take into account the identified barriers and supporting principles.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
@article{033fd9e2-e2ac-4a7f-b58e-d24beb67fd67,
  abstract     = {<p>The sustainable development of cities is threatened by a worldwide water crisis. Improved social learning is urgently needed to transform urban water governance and make it more integrated and adaptive. However, empirical studies remain few and fragmented. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to analyse how social learning has supported or inhibited sustainable transformations in urban water governance. On the basis of multiple case studies conducted in urban, flood-prone areas in Colombia, the Philippines, South Africa, India, and Sweden, we study learning processes related to different aspects of water management and governance. Our results show that transformations in water governance are often triggered by crises, whereas other potentials for transformation are not tapped into. Furthermore, learning is often inhibited by “lock-ins” created by powerful actors. We conclude that there is a need for more proactive design of governance structures for triple-loop learning that take into account the identified barriers and supporting principles.</p>},
  author       = {Johannessen, Åse and Gerger Swartling, Åsa and Wamsler, Christine and Andersson, Kim and Arran, Julian Timothy and Hernández Vivas, Dayana Indira and Stenström, Thor Axel},
  issn         = {1756-932X},
  keyword      = {climate change adaptation,disaster risk reduction,flood risk,integrated water resources management,social learning,transformation,urban water services,water governance},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Environmental Policy and Governance},
  title        = {Transforming urban water governance through social (triple-loop) learning},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eet.1843},
  year         = {2019},
}