The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Universities, civil society and professionals’ alliance

Knowledge production, citizen empowerment & collaborative urban action towards a just city

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16 August 2019

Global urban and environmental challenges create tensions and vulnerabilities and the need for rethinking modes of city production. Growing spatial and social inequalities in cities raise a concern that traditional modes of knowing and governing the city are no longer adapted.

This project analyses other modes of city production emerging since a decade in tri or quadripartite cooperation in Europe and Southern countries: broad alliances leading to concrete collaborative urban action between citizens, professionals, the non-profit private sector, local authorities and universities.

The research aimed at filling the wide gap in comparative understandings of the governance of collaborative practices for a just and sustainable city. Research organizations show greater interest for participatory practices, but new alliances’ potentials and their internal mobilization into collaborative urban actions to drive change in planning practices are underestimated. A multidisciplinary and comparative (North/South) approach is necessary to bring major stakeholders to develop common research on collaborative initiatives for justice and sustainability.


Dr Barbara Lipietz