"Citizen Initiative and Civic Self-Organisation for Urban Greening Projects"

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This thesis research determines, based on the analysis of two case studies, which success factors and which relevant meta-governance strategies ensure the success of urban citizen initiatives. The first case study taking place in Brussels, shows that without a true support from their surrounding public authorities, citizen initiatives are not able to last over time. The second case study takes place in the city of Rotterdam, where residents of the neighbourhood the “Oude Westen”, together with “the Aktiegroep”, lead local sustainability projects. Both case studies enabled the present research to acknowledge how the combination of all success factors identified and the application of relevant meta-governance strategies, enables a citizen initiative to co-create durable outcomes. At the end, the success factors that citizen initiatives require are: presence of a trigger, trust-worthy relations, focus in interaction, locus in interaction, boundary spanning, adaptive capacity, and time availability. On the other hand, public authorities need to assist citizens by selecting among relevant meta-governance, which are: suggesting strategic frameworks, monitoring, framing and storytelling, presence of supporting actions, formulating playing rules, and direct interaction. The “time availability” and “direct interaction” elements were discovered during the case study analysis and added to the final conceptual framework. Keywords: civic self-organisation, citizen initiative, spatial planning, public authorities.
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