Organising for Co-Production: Local Interaction Platforms for Urban Sustainability

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

Organising for Co-Production: Local Interaction Platforms for Urban Sustainability

  • Beth Perry Urban Institute and Urban Studies and Planning, University of Sheffield, UK
  • Zarina Patel Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Ylva Norén Bretzer Department of Public Administration, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Merritt Polk School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

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Abstract:  Urban sustainability is a wicked issue unsuited to management through traditional decision-making structures. Co-productive arrangements, spaces and processes are inscribed in new organisational forms to bridge between diverse forms of knowledge and expertise. This article suggests that local interaction platforms (LIPs) are innovative responses to these challenges, developed in two African and two European cities between 2010 and 2014. Through elaborating the design and practice of the LIPs, the article concludes that the value of this approach lies in its context-sensitivity and iterative flexibility to articulate between internationally shared challenges and distinctive local practices. Six necessary conditions for the evolution of LIPs are presented: anchorage, co-constitution, context-sensitivity, alignment, connection and shared functions. In the context of increased uncertainty, complexity and the demand for transdisciplinary knowledge production, the platform concept has wider relevance in surfacing the challenges and possibilities for more adaptive urban governance.

Keywords:  boundary spaces; co-production; collaborative governance; hybridization; local interaction platforms; Mistra Urban Futures; transdisciplinarity; urban experimentation; urban sustainability



© Beth Perry, Zarina Patel, Ylva Norén Bretzer, Merritt Polk. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.