Collaborative governance facilitating learning for sustainability in cities: A case study of Bristol, Kitakyushu and Tongyeong.

Event: 10th Regional Centres of Expertise (RCE) on ESD Global Conference
Date: November 21-26, 2016 (Yogyakarta, Indonesia)
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Quality learning can be transformative by providing empowerment, leadership and wise investments in individual and collective lives as well as revamp the local economies of cities to become inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. It can also contribute to transitioning cities towards achieving the remaining sustainable development goals. Effecting the transformation of cities into Learning Cities however requires changes/improvement in the related governance structure.
Using interviews of key informants (reporting format) and secondary data, the paper uses comparative case study methodology to examine how collaborative governance facilitates quality learning for sustainability in Bristol in the UK, Kitakyushu City in Japan, and Tongyeong in the Republic of South Korea.
The paper focuses on how the cities’ learning-related governance mechanisms and institutional structures help support sustainability learning initiatives premised on cooperative learning relationships such as participation, multi-stakeholder partnerships and coordination. Recognising the existence of similarities and differences in scope and depth of the learning initiatives and the need for further improvements, there was general support for the governance structures and mechanisms for quality learning in these cities.
It is recommended that 1) in an effort to implement the Learning City concept using the Framework of the Key Features of Learning Cities, recognition be given to the already existing institutions and structures, content and processes sustainability learning initiatives of cities, and 2) collaborative governance of the Learning Cities concept at both local and international levels be streamlined by synchronizing the UN initiatives/programmes that are linked to it for efficiency and effectiveness.