Innovative City-Business Collaboration

Published: 1 Oct 2015
Type: Publication

This study looks at six initiatives around the world that aspire to facilitate city-business collaboration with holistic, multi-stakeholder approaches. It provides insights into lessons learned and draws on the common aspects of the cases as well as some of their differences. The review highlights that:

New models are needed that allow and improve city-business collaboration at the early planning stage of a city’s sustainability vision, where city-business engagement has traditionally been weak and tends to lack adequate processes for engagement.

Successful city-business collaboration also needs to address the transition to implementation where commercial interests come back into play. The challenge with this transition is to acknowledge and cope with a change in interests from the pre-commercial phases, where businesses may act in a participatory or advisory role in decision-making in cities, to the commercial phase where businesses compete for partnerships and contracts. Hence, innovative city-business collaboration models need to deliver well thought through processes and facilitation to address the roles and interests of the public and private sector in the pre-commercial and commercial phases.
Key components of successful city-business collaboration models can be summarized as follows:

A common vision and shared objectives to ensure that businesses from different sectors and different local government departments work in unison to achieve urban sustainability objectives

Multi-stakeholder engagement to broaden ownership and buy-in, increase public legitimacy and ensure transparency

Political will and leadership that allow for continuity in city-business collaboration policies and ensure that all relevant stakeholder groups are involved in the process

Defined roles and collaboration process in a structured, transparent and inclusive process

Neutral facilitator or bridging organization dedicated to improving urban development through multi-stakeholder engagement

Multi-sector expertise to address urban development in a holistic way

2015, 21 pages

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