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Barriers to implementing sustainability locally: a case study of policy immobilities
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
2015 (English)In: Local Environment: the International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, ISSN 1354-9839, E-ISSN 1469-6711, Vol. 20, no 12, 1489-1506 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study aims to contribute to the field of urban planning by applying policy mobilities and transfer theories to a case study of the Capital Regional District and its 13 municipalities in British Columbia, Canada, in order to analyse and understand the dynamics of how sustainability is governed locally, with a special focus on barriers to sustainability policy mobility. The empirical material is primarily based on interviews with key stakeholders who guide policy development and creation in the region to inform an understanding of how sustainable development initiatives are developed and shared. This study finds that while there is interest and demand in sustainability, policy-makers are frustrated with their lack of success in implementing sustainability programmes. While there are some instances of policy sharing and transfer among municipalities in the region, there is a clear desire for more exchanges which would allow municipalities to respond more effectively to the demands placed upon them. Significant barriers to policy mobility are also identified, in particular, an unclear understanding of sustainability, a culture of competition and hostility among municipalities, difficulty with the process of transfer itself, and a lack of time, money and resources. These barriers are in part a result of a broken governance structure which does not provide clear leadership to the municipalities, sets municipalities to be competitive with each other and provides ineffective support for municipalities through an unwieldy regional administrative body which is not well regarded by the municipalities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 20, no 12, 1489-1506 p.
Keyword [en]
sustainability, policy mobilities, policy transfer, policy development, governance, Canada
National Category
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-103030DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2014.909798OAI: diva2:714598
Available from: 2014-04-28 Created: 2014-04-28 Last updated: 2015-12-16Bibliographically approved

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Borén, Thomas
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