Without a structured process that acknowledges and successfully negotiates the complexity of social-ecological systems (including diverse actors and their interests), transition activities often fail to achieve a balance between the different dimensions of sustainability.
While many current transition initiatives aim for the development of holistic solutions through stakeholder involvement, the interface between two alternative approaches is still underdeveloped: one the one hand, there are descriptive and analytical approaches that tend to rely on expertise in specialised fields. On the other hand, we see normative approaches acknowledging the need to negotiate conflicting goals and interests. In order to be successful, transition initiatives should integrate the virtues of both analytical and normative approaches.
The 4-Corner model helps to structure transition activities by guiding the participating actors through a comprehensive process that includes 1) a systemic analysis of the local urban situation, 2) vision formulation, 3) strategy building and 4) the development of pilot projects in the implementation phase.
The 4-Corner model supports comprehensive system analysis by providing an overview of concrete steps to generate, collect and integrate different types of knowledge. It supports inclusive vision building processes by providing a detailed roadmap for stakeholder involvement and facilitates strategy development by providing a basis for negotiating the conflicting dimensions of sustainability from a normative perspective. As a working tool, the model demonstrates crucial issues and sets out key steps for implementing pilot activities for sustainability transitions.
All departments relevant to urban challenges can participate in the transition process.
FACILITATORY (PUBLIC) BODIES:
strategic planning department; community development department; planning and development department
LOCAL TASK FORCE:
local or regional authority; community group; professional expert
urban region; (sub)urban communities
MAIN NECESSARY RESOURCES ARE:
expert knowledge; local knowledge; institutional set-up; legal legitimization
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