IUFRO LE 2017-9

IUFRO LE 2017-9: Sustainable governance of urban landscapes in cross-boundaries contexts


Author(s): Spyra M. (a), Fürst C. (a), La Rosa D. (b), Inostroza L. (c)

Institution(s): a) Institute for Geosciences and Geography, Martin-Luther University, Halle, Germany b) Department Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Catania, Italy c) Institute of Geography, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany

Sustainable governance of urban landscapes in cross-boundaries contexts needs to be understood as a highly participatory process with a broader range of actors compared to more classic urban planning processes. It relates to concepts such as metropolitan areas, megacities and conurbations, which characterize the ecological and socio-economic interactions of a city with its environment. This addresses urban, regional and (cross-) national development goals such as air pollution reduction, integrated watershed-management, transport-management and the provision of urban ecosystem services.

We hypothesize that the sustainable development of urban landscapes requires novel tools and governance approaches, which reflect multi-stakeholder and cross-boundary interactions. In our approach the "cross-boundary urban context" has twofold meaning: (1) it refers to urban landscapes located in one country and stretching across diverse administrative units, such as Rhine - Ruhr metropolitan region or Halle (Saale) - Leipzig urban area in Germany and as a specific case (2) it refers to urban landscapes also covering two or more administrative units, but located in at least two independent countries (e.g. Upper Silesian Industrial Region located in Poland and Czech Republic).

The symposium will discuss the impact of existing urban governance tools and approaches by a prominent set of examples. The presentations are expected to discuss the capacities of such approaches for sustainable urban development, e.g. by improving the connections of urban green with adjacent natural ecosystems as an incentive to contribute to urban biodiversity and to cultural services. Lessons learnt from the presentations will end-up in recommendations for promising governance approaches in relation to different socio-cultural contexts. Particular attention will be paid to presentations that address urban-environment relations in cross-boundary contexts, where different legal regulations and cultural assets pose particular challenges to sustainable urban development.

As a possible outcome of the symposium we would like to encourage all attendees to work on an opinion (perspective essay) or review paper concerning to the symposium topic. During the wrap up of the symposium we are planning to organize a moderated discussion concerning to the opinion paper, to foster the writing process after the meeting. The paper is planned to be submitted to e.g. Landscape and Urban Planning or Land Use Policy peer-reviewed journals (to be discussed during the symposium). The second proposed outcome is the joint research project application. The possible sources of the application will be also discussed during the symposium.