Collaboration, as a process of social learning, facilitates the integration of different perspectives, forms of knowledge, and approaches to encounter multifaceted issues, such as climate change, energy transition, globalization, etc. Thus, political decision-makers increasingly involve a broad variety of actors in order to improve the efficacy and legitimacy of solutions. Also, for local development, the participation of citizens in processes of decision-making or planning has widely turned into common practice, but often does not reach beyond brief “on-off” involvement of citizens into government controlled activities. As the ability of local actors to interact and collaborate in a continuing social learning process is seen as a prerequisite for sustainability and resilience, obtaining knowledge on how governments and citizens may collaborate and work together successfully in the long run is of high relevance. This chapter follows the question on how to develop flexible, but reliable, local collaboration structures. Therefore, it moves beyond Sherry Arnstein’s theory of participation, and introduces Elinor Ostrom’s design principles for the management of the commons as valuable reference points. It concludes that acknowledging time-consuming group processes, the joint development of common goals, structures, and collaboration rules as well as flexibility and openness towards adaptive processes are prerequisites for long-term oriented collaboration.
Part of the book: Management of Cities and Regions