SP4: Transformative UGI-Governance

Head: Prof. Dr. Stephan Pauleit

Execution: Elizaveta Weber-Fakirova


Enhanced governance regimes are required for the development and scaling of multifunctional UGI to overcome the bottlenecks of sector-based decision making and mobilize the array of different stakeholders. For this, the role of and interactions among different modes of governance such as top-down planning, partnerships between the public and the private sector, social entrepreneurship, and community-driven governance need to be better understood in a multilevel governance framework and aligned in what has been called the ‘mosaic governance’ of UGI. Building on recent research, this subproject will explore ways of improving current governance regimes to create momentum for urban transformation via UGI. Cooperation will be particularly close with SP3 and SP5.


This subproject aims to systematically explore the potentials to transform current and alternative modes of UGI governance on different planning levels.

Its objectives are to:

  • (O1) Assess the capacity of current UGI governance to develop and scale multifunctional UGI;
  • (O2) Probe the potential of alternative modes of governance for urban transformation via UGI;
  • (O3) Identify the momentum for a shift towards transformative governance for UGI in a multilevel approach.

The main research questions (Q) are:

  • (Q1) What is the current governance regime for UGI with its relevant actor networks, and what are the potentials and barriers for their vertical and horizontal cooperation?
  • (Q2) What are necessary governance changes (policy, management, incentives) to enhance the capacity for the implementation of transformative UGI? What are effective supporting tools such as new forms of cooperation, planning instruments, regulations, and financing?
  • (Q3) Which ‘windows of opportunities’ and interventions in governance, structures, and practice can support transformative governance of UGI, and how can this shift be sustained?


The project will combine an in-depth case study (Munich) with qualitative and foresight methods. In stage 1 of the doctoral thesis, the current UGI governance regime will be assessed by mapping UGI initiatives, their related stakeholders, and the current governance modes of operation to identify clusters of collaboration that work on specific UGI, scrutinize which urban challenges are addressed by these clusters, and how they relate to the UGI solutions developed in the three clusters. The potentials and barriers for multilevel cooperation between stakeholders will receive particular attention. Through a literature review, the results from the case study will be placed into the wider context of governance research. Findings will serve as an input into stage 2, in which doctoral candidates together with stakeholders define which new collaborations or governance structures can support changes in UGI governance regimes. The transformative potential of these changes in the governance regime in urban spaces of selected urban labs will be explored in the scenario approach. In stage 3, specific windows of opportunity and the potential of selected tools to introduce new modes of UGI governance will be investigated in workshops and interviews with stakeholders and experts.