Webinar: Projectification in Urban Experimentation11 May, 2020
Urban experimentation has proliferated in recent years as a response to multiple sustainability challenges and renewed pressures on urban governance. The STRN thematic group on Urban Transitions and Transformations hosts a webinar om May 11 to discuss the tensions emergent from a ‘projectification’ of urban experimentation, and the different ways to redress it.
In the webinar, Jonas Torrens (Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development and Urban Futures Studio, Utrecht University) and Timo von Wirth will discuss an ongoing project which seeks to explore different strategies for redressing projectification in urban experimentation. The webinar will consist of a brief presentation around the perspective paper they are currently writing, followed by a facilitated discussion about the role of academics and practitioners in reproducing projectification, and the different ways to redress it.
Urban experimentation has proliferated in recent years as a response to multiple sustainability challenges and renewed pressures on urban governance. A diverse and rapidly changing suite of experimental forms – urban living laboratories, pilots, trials, experimental districts – are becoming commonplace in many European cities, as they seek to meet ambitious goals for smartness, circularity, and liveability. Those involved in ‘governing through experimentation’ often find themselves facilitating a growing multiplicity of initiatives and programmes with various thematic streams, which are expected to generate systemic responses and meet concrete goals but are often hindered by fragmentation, duplication and a lack of shared learning.
The perspective paper
Building upon the JPI Urban expert-driven workshop on ‘Labs 2.0’, and previous work on urban living labs and contexts for experimentation, the perspective paper seeks to understand the strategies behind efforts for redressing the ‘projectification’, which ensued from this first wave of urban experimentation. In particular, it distinguishes two ideal-type strategies – portfolios and ecologies. These strategies differ in terms of the role of manager, degree of directness, affordance to failure, control mechanisms, orchestrating mechanisms and reporting mechanisms. Crucially, each strategy privileges particular forms of experimentation, and therefore implicitly shape what counts for learning, resource allocation. They also shape attempts of coordination – e.g. establishing platforms, communities of practice – which may operate very differently. To conclude, the paper discusses the tensions which emerge between these strategies, their practical implications for funding experimentation, and how they may open up different avenues for transformative change.
Join the webinar
Do you want to join the webinar? Log in on May 11, 2020 at 2-3 pm CET with Zoom! Join the UTT-mailinglist to receive the exact link for the webinar by emailing email@example.com (administrators: Emilia Smeds and Jonas Torrens).