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On the road to ‘research municipalities’: analysing transdisciplinarity in municipal ecosystem services and adaptation planning

Brink, Ebba LU ; Wamsler, Christine LU ; Adolfsson, Maria; Axelsson, Monica; Beery, Thomas; Björn, Helena; Bramryd, Torleif LU ; Ekelund, Nils; Jephson, Therese LU and Narvelo, Widar, et al. (2018) In Sustainability Science 13(3). p.765-784
Abstract
Transdisciplinary research and collaboration is widely acknowledged as a critical success factor for solution-oriented approaches that can tackle complex sustainability challenges, such as biodiversity loss, pollution, and climate-related hazards. In this context, city governments’ engagement in transdisciplinarity is generally seen as a key condition for societal transformation towards sustainability. However, empirical evidence is rare. This paper presents a self-assessment of a joint research project on ecosystem services and climate adaptation planning (ECOSIMP) undertaken by four universities and seven Swedish municipalities. We apply a set of design principles and guiding questions for transdisciplinary sustainability projects and,... (More)
Transdisciplinary research and collaboration is widely acknowledged as a critical success factor for solution-oriented approaches that can tackle complex sustainability challenges, such as biodiversity loss, pollution, and climate-related hazards. In this context, city governments’ engagement in transdisciplinarity is generally seen as a key condition for societal transformation towards sustainability. However, empirical evidence is rare. This paper presents a self-assessment of a joint research project on ecosystem services and climate adaptation planning (ECOSIMP) undertaken by four universities and seven Swedish municipalities. We apply a set of design principles and guiding questions for transdisciplinary sustainability projects and, on this basis, identify key aspects for supporting university–municipality collaboration. We show that: (1) selecting the number and type of project stakeholders requires more explicit consideration of the purpose of societal actors’ participation; (2) concrete, interim benefits for participating practitioners and organisations need to be continuously discussed; (3) promoting the ‘inter’, i.e., interdisciplinary and inter-city learning, can support transdisciplinarity and, ultimately, urban sustainability and long-term change. In this context, we found that design principles for transdisciplinarity have the potential to (4) mitigate project shortcomings, even when transdisciplinarity is not an explicit aim, and (5) address differences and allow new voices to be heard. We propose additional guiding questions to address shortcomings and inspire reflexivity in transdisciplinary projects. (Less)
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published
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keywords
Transdisciplinarity, Ecosystem services, Project assessment, Urban planning
in
Sustainability Science
volume
13
issue
3
pages
20 pages
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:85034222879
ISSN
1862-4057
DOI
10.1007/s11625-017-0499-0
language
English
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yes
id
fde74d39-3328-4554-a2a0-5c91334aa9c1
date added to LUP
2017-11-26 13:14:14
date last changed
2018-10-07 05:02:21
@article{fde74d39-3328-4554-a2a0-5c91334aa9c1,
  abstract     = {Transdisciplinary research and collaboration is widely acknowledged as a critical success factor for solution-oriented approaches that can tackle complex sustainability challenges, such as biodiversity loss, pollution, and climate-related hazards. In this context, city governments’ engagement in transdisciplinarity is generally seen as a key condition for societal transformation towards sustainability. However, empirical evidence is rare. This paper presents a self-assessment of a joint research project on ecosystem services and climate adaptation planning (ECOSIMP) undertaken by four universities and seven Swedish municipalities. We apply a set of design principles and guiding questions for transdisciplinary sustainability projects and, on this basis, identify key aspects for supporting university–municipality collaboration. We show that: (1) selecting the number and type of project stakeholders requires more explicit consideration of the purpose of societal actors’ participation; (2) concrete, interim benefits for participating practitioners and organisations need to be continuously discussed; (3) promoting the ‘inter’, i.e., interdisciplinary and inter-city learning, can support transdisciplinarity and, ultimately, urban sustainability and long-term change. In this context, we found that design principles for transdisciplinarity have the potential to (4) mitigate project shortcomings, even when transdisciplinarity is not an explicit aim, and (5) address differences and allow new voices to be heard. We propose additional guiding questions to address shortcomings and inspire reflexivity in transdisciplinary projects.},
  author       = {Brink, Ebba and Wamsler, Christine and Adolfsson, Maria and Axelsson, Monica and Beery, Thomas and Björn, Helena and Bramryd, Torleif and Ekelund, Nils and Jephson, Therese and Narvelo, Widar and Ness, Barry and Jönsson, K. Ingemar and Palo, Thomas and Sjeldrup, Magnus and Stålhammar, Sanna and Thiere, Geraldine},
  issn         = {1862-4057},
  keyword      = {Transdisciplinarity,Ecosystem services,Project assessment,Urban planning},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {04},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {765--784},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Sustainability Science},
  title        = {On the road to ‘research municipalities’: analysing transdisciplinarity in municipal ecosystem services and adaptation planning},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11625-017-0499-0},
  volume       = {13},
  year         = {2018},
}