Cities are not only the sites where contemporary ‘wicked policy issues’, such as migration, inequality and sustainability crystallise in a bundled way. They are also considered an engine of social and political change – and governance innovation. Cities are the arena of encounter and materialisation of the economic (production), political (redistributive), and community (relational) spheres of social integration. An interactive series of short presentations, discussions and developing ideas on co-design challenges was introduced during the “Planning for Inclusive Cities” Laboratory. Issues of sustainable governance of such urban spaces were also discussed.
Spatial contradictions trigger a dispute for the organisation of the city, and are challenged by social struggles that demand the right to the city for every citizen. ‘Voice’ as a mechanism to deliver public services can be translated into citizen participation and customer focus policies, namely customer-oriented policies in the public sector which are also labelled as quality management schemes.
- The democratisation of the local power, revamping the city with citizens in the exercise of active democracy through participation, social networks and struggles for inclusion.
- Urban social innovation responding to the need of new management technologies, which include inter alia participatory budgeting, counsels, and conferences, either on a local level of implementation or at the national level of integration.
- The new urban agenda generated by the dynamic socio-spatial context of cities – demographic changes, mobility, sustainability, diversity, elderly and childcare.
- Intergovernmental relations, which are institutionalised through the decentralisation and devolution of power, inter-city consortium for shared management of conurbation issues, and shared accountability for policies.
- Collaboration and public-private partnerships as new forms of management and provision of services that involve matters of accountability, sustainability, and responsiveness in the policy networks that link government’s sections and other societal actors.