The Role of University Partnerships in Urban Sustainability Experiments: Evidence from Asia
- 2.1k Downloads
University-driven partnerships and experiments for advancing urban sustainability are flourishing around the world. Responding to drivers such as calls for stakeholder engagement in research, tangible social and economic contributions, and government funding incentives, Asian research universities are also forming cross-sector partnerships and implementing various sociotechnical experiments. In this chapter we examine the role of university partnerships in knowledge co-production and implementation of urban sustainability experiments in industrialized Asian nations. By examining fifteen cases from Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and Korea, we highlight common attributes (focus areas, actors, motivations and mechanisms) and then investigate the functions, motivations, barriers and significance of roles assumed by differing societal sectors. A detailed case study of an ambitious project from the University of Tokyo then follows to further illustrate these attributes in context. Key findings are that, overall, university partnerships for urban sustainability in our Asian sample are dominated by technical approaches. Yet the most significant barriers are human aspects such as time restraints, lack of unity, and poor management and leadership, to name several. On key drivers, government funding is playing a major role in enticing partnership formation and influencing particular approaches to urban sustainability. Measures are required to encourage the participation of the social sciences and humanities, and non-technical sustainability experiments. Case study evidence suggests that the ability of partnerships to tackle complex social issues and trigger societal transitions towards sustainability is often constrained by existing research projects and the institutional capacities of universities and their partners.
KeywordsAsia urban sustainability experiment transition transformation partnership university co-design co-production
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Bai, Xuemei; Shi, Peijun; Liu, Yansui, 2014: “Realizing China’s urban dream”, in: Nature, 509 (8 May): 158–160.Google Scholar
- Bai, Xuemei; Wieczorek, Anna; Kaneko, Shinji; Lisson, Shaun; Contreras, Antonio. 2009: “Enabling sustainability transitions in Asia: The importance of vertical and horizontal linkages”, in: Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 76: 255–266.Google Scholar
- Bai, Xuemei; Roberts, Brian; Chen, Jing, 2010: “Urban sustainability experiments in Asia: patterns and pathways”, in: Environmental Science and Policy, 13: 312–325.Google Scholar
- Bai, Xuemei; Imura, Hidefumi, 2000: “A comparative study of urban environment in East Asia: Stage model of urban environmental evolution”, in: International Review for Global Environmental Strategies, 1,1: 135–158.Google Scholar
- Birch, Eugenie; Perry, David; Taylor, Henry Louis, 2013: “Universities as anchor institutions”, in: Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 17,3: 7–15.Google Scholar
- Berkhourt, Frans; Verbong, Geert; Wieczorek, Anna; Raven, Rob; Lebel, Louis; Bai, Xuemei, 2010: “Sustainability experiments in Asia: innovations shaping alternative development pathways?”, in: Environmental Science and Policy, 13: 261–271.Google Scholar
- Brown, Lester, 2011: World on Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse (New York: WW Norton).Google Scholar
- Bulkeley, Harriet; Castan Broto, Vanessa, 2012: “Government by experiment? Global cities and the governing of climate change”, in: Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 38,3: 361–375.Google Scholar
- Castan Broto, Vanessa; Bulkeley, Harriet, 2013: “A survey of urban climate change experiments in 100 cities”, in: Global Environmental Change, 23: 92–102.Google Scholar
- Crow, Michel, 2010: “Organizing Teaching and Research to Address the Grand Challenges of Sustainable Development” in: Bioscience, 60,7: 488–499.Google Scholar
- Dedeurwaerdere, Tom, 2013: “Transdisciplinary Sustainability Science at Higher Education Institutions: Science Policy Tools for Incremental Institutional Change”, in: Sustainability, 5: 3783–3801.Google Scholar
- Etzkowitz, Hendry; Webster, Andrew; Gebhart, Christiane; Cantisano Terra, Branca Regina, 2000: “The future of the university and the university of the future: evolution of ivory tower to entrepreneurial paradigm”, in: Research Policy, 29: 313–330.Google Scholar
- Etzkowitz, Henry; Leydesdorff, Loet, 2000: “The dynamics of innovation: from National Systems and ‘Mode 2’ to a Triple Helix of university–industry–government relations”, in: Research Policy, 29: 109–123.Google Scholar
- Evans, James; Karvonen, Andrew, 2011: “Living laboratories for sustainability: Exploring the epistemology of urban transition”, in: Bulkely, Harriet; Castan Broto, Vanessa; Hudson, Maassen (Eds.): Cities and Low Carbon Transitions (Routledge: New York): 126-141.Google Scholar
- Evans, James; Karvonen, Andrew, 2014: “Give me a laboratory and I will lower your carbon footprint!—Urban Laboratories and the Governance of Low Carbon Futures”, in: International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38,2: 413–430.Google Scholar
- Fadeeva, Zinaida, 2004: “Promise of sustainability collaboration—potential fulfilled?”, in: Journal of Cleaner Production, 24,13: 165–174.Google Scholar
- Future Earth, 2013: “Future Earth Initial Design: Report of the Transition Team” (Paris: International Council for Science).Google Scholar
- Geels, Frank; Schot, Johan, 2010: “The dynamics of sociotechnical transitions—a sociotechnical perspective”, in: Grin, John; Rotmans, Jan; Schot, Johan (Eds.): Transitions to Sustainable Development (New York: Routledge): 9–101.Google Scholar
- Hanleybrown, Fay; Kania, John; Kramer, Mark, 2012: “Channelling Change: Making Collective Impact Work”, in: Stanford Social Innovation Review, 75: 1–8.Google Scholar
- Hoover, Elona; Harder, Marie, 2014: “What lies beneath the surface? The hidden complexities of organizational change for sustainability in higher education”, in: Journal of Cleaner Production (in press); at: <http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.01.081>.
- König, Ariane (Ed.), 2013: Regenerative sustainable development of universities and cities: the role of living laboratories (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar).Google Scholar
- König, Ariane; Evans, James, 2013: “Experimenting for sustainable development? Living laboratories, social learning, and the role of the university”, in: König, A. (Ed.): Regenerative sustainable development of universities and cities: the role of living laboratories (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar): 1–27.Google Scholar
- International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN), 2014. “Best Practice in Campus Sustainability”; at: <http://www.international-sustainable-campus-network.org/latest-news/iscn-and-gulf-share-best-practices-in-campus-sustainabilityat-the-world-economic-forum.html> (20 October 2014).
- Laursen, Keld; Salter, Ammon, 2004: “Searching high and low: what types of firms use universities as a source of innovation?”, in: Research Policy, 33: 1201–1215.Google Scholar
- Liedtke, Christa; Welfens, Maria; Rohn, Holger; Nordmann, Julia, 2012: “LIVING LAB: user-driven innovation for sustainability”, in: International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 13,2: 106–118.Google Scholar
- Lubchenco, Jane, 1988: “Entering the century of the environment: a new social contract for science”, in: Science, 279,5350: 491–497.Google Scholar
- Mauser, Wolfram; Klepper, Gernot; Rice, Martin; Schmalzbauer, Bettina Susanne; Hackmann, Heide; Leemans, Rik; Moore, Howard, 2013: “Transdisciplinary global change research: the co-creation of knowledge for sustainability” in: Current Opinions in Sustainable Development, 5,3–5: 420–431.Google Scholar
- M’Gonigle, Michael; Starke, Justin, 2006: Planet U (Canada: New Society Publishers).Google Scholar
- Molnar, Carina; Ritz, Thor; Heller, Benjamin; Solecki, William, 2011: “Using higher education-community partnerships to promote urban sustainability”, in: Environment, 53,1: 18–28.Google Scholar
- Mowery, David; Nelson, Richard; Sampat, Bhaven; Ziedonis, Arvids, 2004: Ivory tower and industrial innovation: university–industry technology transfer before and after the Bayh-Dole Act in the United States (Stanford: Stanford University Press).Google Scholar
- Notter, Domini; Meyer, Reto; Althaus, Hans-Jo rg, 2013: “The Western Lifestyle and Its Long Way to Sustainability”, in: Environmental Science and Technology, 47,9: 4014–4021.Google Scholar
- Nowotny, Helga; Scott, Peter; Gibbons, Michael T., 2001: Re-thinking Science: Knowledge Production in an Age of Uncertainty (Polity: Malden).Google Scholar
- Orr, David, 2013: “Governance in the Long Emergency”, in: State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible? (Washington DC: Island Press): 279–291.Google Scholar
- Philpott, Kevin; Dooley, Lawrence; O’Reilly, Caroline; Lupton, Gary, 2011: “The entrepreneurial university: examining the underlying academic tensions”, in: Technovation, 31,4: 161–170.Google Scholar
- Shrum, Wesley; Genuth, Joel; Chompalov, Ivan, 2007: Structures of Scientific Collaboration (MIT Press: Cambridge).Google Scholar
- Trencher, Gregory; Masaru, Yarime; Ali Kharazzi: 2013: “Co-creating sustainability: Cross-sector university collaborations for driving sustainable urban transformations”, in: Journal of Cleaner Production, 50: 40–55.Google Scholar
- Trencher, Gregory, Yarime, Masaru; McCormick, Kes; Doll, Christopher; Kraines, Stephen, 2014: “Beyond the third mission: Exploring the emerging university function of co-creation for sustainability”, in: Science and Public Policy, 41,2: 151–179.Google Scholar
- Trencher, Gregory; Bai, Xuemei; Evans, James; Yarime, Masaru; McCormick, Kes, 2014: “University partnerships for co-designing and co-producing urban sustainability”, in: Global Environmental Change, 28: 153–165.Google Scholar
- Trencher, Gregory, 2014: “Co-Creative University Partnerships for Urban Transformations Towards Sustainability: Beyond the Third Mission Through Technology Transfer” (PhD dissertation, University of Tokyo, Graduate Programme in Sustainability Science).Google Scholar
- University of Tokyo, 2014: “Urban Reformation Program for Realization of a “Bright” Low-Carbon Society: Progress Report 2013”; at. <http://low-carbon.k.u-tokyo.ac.jp/documents/E%20summargy%20of%20progress%20report.pdf>.
- Vigoda-Gadot, Eran; Shoham, Aviv; Schwabsky, Nitza; Ruvio, Ayalla, 2005: “Public Sector Innovation For The Managerial And The Post-Managerial Era: Promises And Realities In A Globalizing Public Administration”, International Journal of Public Sector Management, 8,1: 57–81.Google Scholar
- Whitmer, Ali; Ogden, Laura; Lawton, John; Sturner, Pam; Groffman, Peter; Schneider, Laura; Hart, David; Halpern, Benjamin; Schlesinger, William; Raciti, Steve; Bettez, Neil; Ortega, Sonia; Rustad, Lindsey; Pickett, Steward; Killilea, Mary, 2010: “The engaged university: providing a platform for research that transforms society”, in: Frontiers in Ecology and Environment, 8: 314–321.Google Scholar
- Yarime, Masaru; Trencher, Gregory; Mino, Takashi; Scholz, Roland; Olsson, Lennart; Ness, Barry; Frantzeskaki, Niki; Rotmans, Jan, 2012: “Establishing sustainability science in higher education institutions: towards an integration of academic development, institutionalization, and stakeholder collaborations”, in: Sustainability Science 7(1), 101–113.Google Scholar
- Yusuf, Shahid, 2007: “University-industry links: policy dimensions”, in: Yusuf, Shahid; Nabeshima, Kaoru (Eds.): How universities promote economic growth (Washington DC: The World Bank): 1–25.Google Scholar
- Zilahy, Gyula; Huisingh, Donald, 2009: “The roles of academia in Regional Sustainability Initiatives”, in: Journal of Cleaner Production, 17: 1057–1066.Google Scholar
- Statistics Bureau (of Japan): “Japan Statistical Yearbook”; at: <http://www.stat.go.jp/english/data/nenkan/1431-02.htm> (15 July 2014).
- National Research Foundation, “Physical Sciences & Engineering”; at: <http://www.nrf.gov.sg/research/r-d-ecosystem/research-priorities/physical-sciences-engineering> (15 June 2014): 1.
- National Research Foundation, “Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise”; at: < http://www.nrf.gov.sg/docs/default-source/new-nrf-factsheets/20131217_create-factsheet-(final).pdf?sfvrsn=2> (11 July 2014): 1.