Learning pathways and the governance of innovations in urban climate change resilience and adaptation

Ryan Bellinson, Eric Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
428 Downloads (Pure)


The proliferation of transnational municipal networks (TMNs) has led to different innovative models of urban climate change governance. To date, there have been few reflexive inquiries into how urban governance actors and processes are learning to innovate as a result of participating in TMNs. In response, this paper draws on theories of institutional learning and urban governance to offer a conceptual distinction between innovations in governance and the governance of innovations in the context of climate resilience and adaptation. We apply these concepts to evaluate the case studies of Rotterdam and Berkeley, where we highlight the actors, networks, and resources required to motivate and sustain actions against concurrent sectoral interests. Experiences from the two cities show that learning pathways are constructed and reified through processes of communication and negotiation, which can result in the grounding of TMN resources. A focus on unpacking the variations in learning and implementation within cities across diverse political economic contexts can offer insights into the opportunities for enabling more meaningful and sustained forms of innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-89
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Environmental Policy and Planning
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Climate change resilience
  • transnational municipal networks
  • urban governance
  • innovation
  • learning


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