Cooperative metropolitan governance: towards effective regional sustainable development?

Kroen, A 2009, Cooperative metropolitan governance: towards effective regional sustainable development?, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Global Studies, Social Science and Planning, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Cooperative metropolitan governance: towards effective regional sustainable development?
Author(s) Kroen, A
Year 2009
Abstract This thesis is concerned with the coordination of cities and their surrounding suburbs through metropolitan governance as an essential element in the quest for sustainability.

The research selects the approach of ‘cooperative regionalism’ from the different strands of analysis of metropolitan governance as being most suitable for examining the relationship between such governance and sustainable development. Cooperative regionalism proponents argue that effective metropolitan governance is a result of cooperative arrangements based on negotiation processes between a variety of policy-relevant actors, rather than of institutional consolidation, hierarchy or competition. They claim that negotiation and voluntary cooperation is essential, and stress that several paths may lead to effective area-wide governance. Different factors are highlighted in the literature as contributing to effective metropolitan governance. The most pertinent of these for this research are identified and analysed to determine their importance in selected case study regions and additionally the opportunities for influencing them.
The thesis analyses the three city regions of Bonn (Germany), Denver (USA) and Melbourne (Australia) with regard to the approach taken in each city to metropolitan governance and sustainable urban development. The focus of the inquiry is on the stakeholders responsible for implementing regional planning in the case study regions. The primary collection technique consists of interviews with experts in the field, in order to gain an understanding of the experts’ attitudes and perceptions and the processes of regional cooperation in order to reveal problems, opportunities and important influencing factors. Further data collection techniques, such as the review of literature and analyses of documents, websites and newsletters, are used to build a base of knowledge and to compare and contrast with the information gained through the interviews.

Overall, the study has tested the concept of cooperative regionalism and found that it provides a feasible framework with which to analyse metropolitan governance in urban regions. The case studies demonstrate that the identified factors do indeed influence metropolitan governance considerably and contribute to its effectiveness. Through this analysis a number of elements have been found that are conducive to achieving metropolitan governance. These are: the establishment of voluntary regional cooperation; good communication, information and education; the involvement of local governments in metropolitan governance; the establishment of a coordinating agency that can manage regional cooperation through flexible structures, and also have some impact on the regional actors; the development of a shared regional strategy; and the political will to carry out effective metropolitan governance. The results give an initial view on how the analysed factors can be influenced in order to improve metropolitan governance, metropolitan planning and, hopefully, the sustainability of metropolitan urban development.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Global Studies, Social Science and Planning
Keyword(s) metropolitan governance
cooperative regionalism
regional planning
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Created: Mon, 29 Nov 2010, 10:13:54 EST
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