Governing sustainable cities: from coercion to persuasion to embracing diversity?

Lectures, talks and seminars

Rutherford House LT1 (Pipitea Campus)

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Sustainable and resilient cities are typically seen as an important response to climate change. It is thus not surprising that “sustainable cities and communities” have a central position in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 11—"Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”). But increasing urban sustainability and resilience is no easy task.

City governments often lack the power to coerce their populations to change their behaviour through mandatory codes and regulation. Around the world, city governments have therefore sought to use positive incentives such as financial support and information sharing to persuade their populations to make the required change. Yet, it is becoming increasingly clear that there are limits to such persuasive governance strategies. Likely, a combination of coercion and persuasion is necessary for cities and other human settlements to become sustainable, resilient, safe, and inclusive. Finding and implementing the right combination of urban governance strategies in a peaceful and just manner will require strong institutions (SDG 16).

In this seminar, Professor Jeroen van der Heijden will explore in what way strong institutions can come to a mix of coercive and persuasive urban governance strategies.

Speaker Bios

Professor Jeroen van der Heijden is Professor of Public Governance and the inaugural Chair in Regulatory Practice at the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington. He also is an Honorary Professor at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet), Australia National University. He works at the intersection of public governance and regulation, with specific interests in regulatory stewardship and dynamic governance regimes, and urban climate governance. He has published widely on regulation and governance, including five books and over 70 articles in leading academic journals. Books include Urban Climate Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2019, with Bulkeley and Certomà) Innovations in Urban Climate Governance (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and Governance for Urban Sustainability and Resilience (Edward Elgar, 2014). At Victoria University of Wellington, Jeroen works closely with the New Zealand Government Regulatory Practice initiative (G-REG) to improve regulatory practice and regulatory stewardship.

You can also join via Zoom:

For more information contact: Christian Schott