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Ambio. 2019 May;48(5):529-538. doi: 10.1007/s13280-018-1117-9. Epub 2018 Nov 17.

Building actor-centric transformative capacity through city-university partnerships.

Author information

1
School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA.
2
Center for Global Sustainability and Cultural Transformation, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Lüneburg, Germany.
3
Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA.
4
Institute for Sustainable Solutions, Portland State University, Portland, OR, USA.
5
Center for Global Sustainability and Cultural Transformation, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Lüneburg, Germany. arnim.wiek@asu.edu.
6
Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA. arnim.wiek@asu.edu.
7
School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA. arnim.wiek@asu.edu.
8
Institute for Ethics and Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Lüneburg, Germany.
9
Laboratoria Nacional de Ciencias de la Sostenibilidad, Instituto de Ecología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México City, Mexico.
10
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany.
11
Office of Sustainability, City of Tempe, Tempe, AZ, USA.
12
School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA.

Abstract

Cities worldwide are rising to the challenge of sustainable development, calling for large-scale and fast-paced transformations towards sustainability. Urban sustainability challenges are now being reframed as a lack of capacity of individuals and organizations to carry out such socio-technical transformations. This article expands on transformative capacity literature by elucidating the concept of actor-centric transformative capacity. It focuses on the unique role city-university partnerships (CUPs) can play in catalyzing and supporting effective urban sustainability transformations. Two case studies on CUPs in Portland, Oregon and Tempe, Arizona are used to identify determinants of actor-centric transformative capacity, their role in the transformative capacity of urban systems, and how they are built through CUPs. The article concludes with strategies for building effective CUPs capable of building actor-centric transformative capacity among university actors and city administrators.

KEYWORDS:

Capacity; Partnerships; Transformation; Urban sustainability

PMID:
30448997
PMCID:
PMC6462279
[Available on 2020-05-01]
DOI:
10.1007/s13280-018-1117-9

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