International Development Planning Review

Co-producing urban knowledge: experimenting with alternatives to ‘best practice’ for Cape Town, South Africa

International Development Planning Review (2015), 37, (2), 187–203.

Abstract

As an alternative to ‘best practice’, a City–University partnership in Cape Town has been influencing the development trajectory of the city through the co-production of knowledge by practitioners and academics. The partnership allows for sharing and a deepening of substantive knowledge about Cape Town and also acquisition of tactical knowledge about the regulatory decision-making process in the city. The new networks of knowledge generation transcend institutional boundaries. The impacts of the programme are not confined to the outcomes generated; value also derives from the varied modes and processes of the co-production of useful knowledge about the city. Co-produced interventions in cities are an alternative inspiration to off-the-shelf or best practice ‘solutions’ that are uncritically replicated between cities.

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ANDERSON, P. M. L., BROWN-LUTHANGO, M., CARTWRIGHT, A., FAROUK, I. and SMIT, W. (2013), ‘Brokering communities of knowledge and practice: reflections on the African centre for cities’ cityLab programme’, Cities, 32, 1–10. Brokering communities of knowledge and practice: reflections on the African centre for cities’ cityLab programme Cities 32 1 10 Google Scholar

BULKELEY, H. (2006), ‘Urban sustainability: learning from best practice?’, Environment and Planning A, 38, 1029–44. Urban sustainability: learning from best practice? Environment and Planning A 38 1029 44 Google Scholar

CARTWRIGHT, A., PARNELL, S., OELEFSE, G. and WARD, S. (eds) (2012), Climate Change at the City Scale: Impacts, Mitigation and Adaptation in Cape Town, London, Routledge. Climate Change at the City Scale: Impacts, Mitigation and Adaptation in Cape Town Google Scholar

COE, N. M. and BUNNELL, T. G. (2003), “Spatialising” knowledge communities: towards a conceptualisation of transnational innovation networks’, Global Networks, 3, 437–56. Spatialising” knowledge communities: towards a conceptualisation of transnational innovation networks Global Networks 3 437 56 Google Scholar

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GIBBONS, M., LIMOGES, c., NOWOTNY, H., SCHWARTZMAN, S., SCOTT, P. and TROW, M. (1994), The New Production of Knowledge: The Dynamics of Science and Research in Contemporary Societies, London, Sage. The New Production of Knowledge: The Dynamics of Science and Research in Contemporary Societies Google Scholar

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HEMMING, c., PUGH, S., WILLIAMS, G. and BLACKBURN, D. (2004), ‘Strategies for sustainable development: use of a benchmarking tool to understand relative strengths and weaknesses and to identify best practice’, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 11, 103–13. Strategies for sustainable development: use of a benchmarking tool to understand relative strengths and weaknesses and to identify best practice Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management 11 103 13 Google Scholar

HODSON, M. and MARVIN, S. (2009), ‘cities mediating technological transitions: understanding visions, intermediation and consequences’, Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, 21, 515–34. cities mediating technological transitions: understanding visions, intermediation and consequences Technology Analysis and Strategic Management 21 515 34 Google Scholar

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LAWHON, M. and MURPHY, J. T. (2011), ‘Socio-technical regimes and sustainability transitions: insights from political ecology’, Progress in Human Geography, 36, 354–78. Socio-technical regimes and sustainability transitions: insights from political ecology Progress in Human Geography 36 354 78 Google Scholar

MARCUSE, P. (1998), ‘Sustainability is not enough’, Environment and Urbanization, 10, 103–11. Sustainability is not enough Environment and Urbanization 10 103 11 Google Scholar

O’FARREL, P. J., ANDERSON, P. M., LE MAITRE, D. c. and HOMES, P. M. (2012), ‘Insights and opportunities offered by a rapid ecosystem service assessment in promoting a conservation agenda in an urban biodiversity hotspot’, Ecology and Society, 17, 27. Insights and opportunities offered by a rapid ecosystem service assessment in promoting a conservation agenda in an urban biodiversity hotspot Ecology and Society 17 27 Google Scholar

PARNELL, S., PIETERSE, E. and WATSON, V. (2009), ‘Planning for cities in the Global South: an African research agenda for sustainable human settlements’, Progress in Planning, 72, 233–41. Planning for cities in the Global South: an African research agenda for sustainable human settlements Progress in Planning 72 233 41 Google Scholar

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PIETERSE, E. (2008), City Futures: Confronting the Crisis of Urban Development, London, Zed Books. City Futures: Confronting the Crisis of Urban Development Google Scholar

PIETERSE, E. (2013), ‘city/university interplays amidst complexity’, Territorio, 66, 26–32. city/university interplays amidst complexity Territorio 66 26 32 Google Scholar

RYDIN, Y. (2006), ‘Guest editorial: joined-up knowledge for the sustainable city?’, Environment and Planning A, 38, 1005–7. Guest editorial: joined-up knowledge for the sustainable city? Environment and Planning A 38 1005 7 Google Scholar

TOMLINSON, R. (2013), ‘Dentists, politicians and policy professionals: the prescriptive character of best practice “knowledge products” for slum upgrading’, International Development Planning Review, 35, 353–69. Dentists, politicians and policy professionals: the prescriptive character of best practice “knowledge products” for slum upgrading International Development Planning Review 35 353 69 Google Scholar

TOMLINSON, R., WITH RIZVI, A., SALINAS, R., GARRY, S., PEHR, J. and RODRIGUEZ, F. (2010), ‘The influence of Google on urban policy in developing countries’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 34, 174–89. The influence of Google on urban policy in developing countries International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 34 174 89 Google Scholar

UN-HABITAT (2009), ‘Global report on human settlements 2009: planning sustainable cities’ (global report), London, Earthscan. Global report on human settlements 2009: planning sustainable cities Google Scholar

WATSON, V. (2014), ‘Co-production and collaboration in planning: the difference’, Planning Theory and Practice, 15, 62–76. Co-production and collaboration in planning: the difference Planning Theory and Practice 15 62 76 Google Scholar

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