Improving governance arrangements in support of sustainable cities
Governance to support sustainable development always seems to encounter the same difficulties. The chances of successful governance increase when governance arrangements are better tuned to the environment that it tries to change. However, a better fit leaves less room for change. Governance arrangements supporting sustainable development are more prone to failure, as they aim at changing that environment. Radical institutional change is at the core of sustainable development, but without the help of external factors, such as major crises like the oil crisis in the 1970s, the sense of urgency for such radical change is lacking, and incremental change seems to be the only road available. The authors explore how governance arrangements deal with this recurring barrier to institutional change. Their conclusion is that the more governance arrangements respect the institutional context in which they are used, the higher their quality. To speed up the incremental track, the design of governance arrangements should include positive incentives for actors to cooperate.