Governing the Urban Commons: Experimentalist Governance for Resilient Climate Co-benefits Regime in Asian Megacities

  • Antonio José Junqueira BotelhoEmail author


A main challenge facing Asian and Latin American cities seeking win-win intervention toward a sustainable maximization of climate co-benefits lies in the complex governance of policy implementation. These urban commons are nested within multiple governmental levels (federal, regional, state, metropolitan, province, county, and municipal) and have diverse institutional arrangements for the provision of services and infrastructure to their population as well as for the promotion of development and a healthy environment. Further, they also have contrasting arrangements for both aggregating and processing demands (shaping patterns of collective action), delivering results (implementation), and communicating outputs to their different constituencies. Thus, the practical politics of urban climate co-benefits policy implementation is fraught with conflict and misunderstandings. These are further amplified in the urban commons by the long-term, fragmented, and uncertain nature of the co-benefits. This paper suggests that the experimentalist governance may contribute to the construction of a resilient governance framework for the implementation of policy toward climate co-benefits. The approach was originally developed to provide a resilient, self-evolving analytic routine for the design of experimentalist governance of sticky, complex, multilevel policy problems under conditions of strategic uncertainty. As it is informed by a pragmatic, practice-oriented experimentalism theory, it promotes deliberation and self-calculation in recursive relations among actors with diverse interests and views; analogously one can suggest that it may also incorporate the diverse and contradictory relations among urban commons’ governmental actors and stakeholders, as well as recipient citizens, the last critical link in the implementation phase. The wide scope of recent applications of experimentalism governance to build alternative frameworks for the promotion of policy regimes in contexts characterized by strategic uncertainty, including global and transnational climate change regimes, seem to indicate the promise of its application to the implementation of climate co-benefits policy in urban commons.


Experimentalist governance Urban sustainability Asian cities 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IUPERJ, Candido Mendes UniversityRio de JaneiroBrazil

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