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The Audacious Partnerships Program

Making cities more sustainable requires more than upgrading roads, bridges, and water and energy systems. Cities need to create enduring social infrastructure, which include the knowledge, skills, attitudes and networks of city administrators, local businesses, non-profits, and residents. City university partnerships are one way that cities can help address physical and social infrastructure challenges in service of sustainability goals. CapaCities 3.0 focuses on the partnerships established between cities and universities with the goal of improving solutions by improving collaborations.

This GCSO-funded project will grow the strength, resilience, and aspirations of six university partnerships – establishing the collaborations necessary to identify, organize around, and act on major urban sustainability transformations. This collaboration will test and refine the Audacious Partnerships Program (TAPP). TAPP consists of three major phases, each of which use game-based approaches adapted from previous CapaCities research:

  1. Scoping – where partners individually assess their context and values, and build a partnership team;
  2. Integration– where partners engage in facilitated, game-based exercises to integrate and understand each other’s values and experiment with values-driven project selection;
  3. Activation – where the partners harness the salient takeaways from the Integration and develop the processes and practices that will allow the partnership to thrive as urban sustainability transformations are pursued.

In one year of GCSO funding, this project will:

  • Build partnership visions across six city-university pairs
  • Strengthen the six city-university partnerships (increasing the engagement, support structures, resources and interest to collaborate)
  • A tested and refined version of the Audacity for Partnerships Program that is ready to scale internationally

GCSO Participants:
Portland State University

  1. Fletcher Beaudoin, Associate Director, Institute for Sustainable Solutions

Arizona State University

  1. Lauren Withycombe Keeler, Assistant Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

  1. Andreas Seebacher, Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis.
  2. Richard Beecroft, Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis.

King’s College London

  1. Robert Cowley, Lecturer in Sustainable Cities, Department of Geography

Universidad National Autónoma de México

  1. Amy Lerner, Laboratorio Nacional de Ciencias de la Sostenibilidad, Instituto de Ecología

Dublin City University

  1. Diarmuid Torney, Assistant Professor, School of Law and Government, and Samantha Fahy, Director of Sustainability

Implementing Partners:

  • City of Tempe
  • Dublin Climate Action Regional Office
  • City of Portland
  • City of Karlsruhe
  • City of Westminster
  • Mexico City