How to make CCA partnerships work? Adaptive governance reflections on the CCA cross-border and cross-authority partnership “EU LIFE C2C CC”

11:15 Thursday 30 May


Room S11


Dorthe Selmer (Denmark) 1; Helle Ørsted Nielsen (Denmark) 2; Mia Rix (Denmark) 3; Theis Andersen (Denmark) 4; Bjarke Horst Jensen (Denmark) 5; Bertel Meilvang (Denmark) 6

1 - Central Region Denmark; 2 - Aarhus University; 3 - Randers Municipality; 4 - VIA University College; 5 - Hedensted Municipality; 6 - Samsoe Municipality

Collaborative partnerships, stakeholder involvement and policy experimentation have emerged as key recommendations in the governance literature for how to manage complex natural and social systems under conditions of uncertainty (Ostrom 2010; Huitema et al 2009; 2018). While there is evidence that such institutional mechanisms allow for flexible and adaptive approaches to resource management, they also face challenges related to coordination, conflicts of interest and how-to upscale evidence from local experiments. Therefore, it is important to understand how and under what circumstances adaptive governance may improve climate governance. One question is: Do different types of partnerships vary in their ability to promote coordination, trust and learning?

This session discusses different types of cross-border collaboration and solutions from a governance perspective on collaborative mechanisms. Within CCA implementation it is well known that cities are key drivers for action (Rosenzweig 2011, Bulkeley 2010), and this session will focus on a joint CCA partnership on collaboration among actors at the local and regional level. The partnership of the EU LIFE IP project Coast to Coast Climate Challenge (C2C CC) consists of 31 partners and 20 supporting stakeholders representing municipalities, utilities, knowledge institutions, national agencies, businesses and NGOs. The project has 24 sub-projects on different CCA aspects and where the common dominator is cross-border and cross-authority collaboration i.e. collaboration between neighbouring municipalities, between municipalities and water utilities, and collaboration between various actors such as knowledge institutions, businesses and community actors. C2C CC is thus a showcase for network governance and an example of various types of cross-border collaboration and the collaborative mechanisms that may occur within a partnership.

This session discusses from a science-practice perspective different types of cross-border collaboration and the experienced drivers and implications. The presentations illuminate on drivers as policy entrepreneurs, regional growth, innovation, capacity building and networking, and need for action; and implications for division of responsibility, legitimacy, planning processes, knowledge sharing etc.

The drivers and implications presented in the presentations will following be discussed in a panel debate, where the chair and the audience ask reflective governance questions from science and practice, respectively. The panel consists of the presenters, representing the partnership, and who jointly will reflect on the partnership. The outcome for science is a theoretical contribution from practice on collaborative mechanisms of adaptive governance, and for practice a showcase on adaptive governance, where the importance of cross-border collaboration is tested.

Target audience

This session is a science-practice session with presentations from both knowledge institutions and local governments. The session provides theoretical reflections based on adaptive governance on a case from practice, the EU LIFE IP project C2C CC. C2C CC is a joint partnership across borders and across knowledge institutions, regional and local governments, utilities and the private sector in Central Denmark Region (CDR). This session discusses drivers and implications experienced in collaboration on coordinated cross-border CCA, which benefits practice with concrete examples and benefit science by contributing the concept of collaborative mechanisms of adaptive governance.

Proposed format for the session

The format of the session:

Different science and practice perspectives on collaborative mechanisms in a partnership, organized as pitches of 10 minutes: a total of 6 speakers, 60 minutes.

The pitches are followed by a Panel Debate with all speakers, chaired by Duncan Russel, University of East Anglia. The panel debate includes audience discussion. The scope of the panel debate is centered on the collaborative mechanisms in a CCA partnership and will provide reflections on adaptive governance across science and practice.

Contributing Authors abstracts

1. Dorthe Selmer, Central Denmark Region (CDR) – EU LIFE IP project C2C CC and why CDR is taking the role of facilitating cross border governance of CCA without a regulatory mandate

Abstract: In Denmark, there is no authority that secures cross-border or cross-organisational coordination and collaboration, the main responsibility lies with the municipalities. Through dialogue with the municipalities, CDR saw a need for collaboration and also discovered an innovation potential, and the Region found that it through CCA and collaboration between the municipalities could contribute to regional development. CDR facilitated the dialogue and process of all partners’ contribution to a LIFE IP application on coordinated implementation of the municipal CCA plans. The aim is to push for a coherent CCA effort and to propose a new paradigm for holistic CCA planning. The partnership is an example of network governance and some of the experienced successes are positioning of the region, networking among local CCA officials, gathering of competences, formulation of complementary projects and financing. On the contrary some of the experienced challenges are to maintain an overview of all activities, to avoid sub-optimization and to keep the same storyline among all partners. The partnership has run for two years and will run for four more years, whereas the future perspectives are to be a showcase for other regions on how to engage in CCA, and to have tested a new paradigm for CCA planning in practice.

2. Helle Ørsted Nielsen, Aarhus University – Adaptive governance: theoretical promise and empirical evidence.

Abstract: Adaptive governance has been suggested as the most appropriate approach to (co)-management of environmental problems characterized by complexity and unpredictability, such as climate change (Huitema et al. 2009; Sharma-Wallace et al. 2018). Adaptive governance involves collaboration between multiple governing authorities across scales and sectors (polycentricity); collaboration between public and non-public stakeholders and development through experimentation (Huitema et al 2009, Ostrom 2010). Such institutional arrangements enable flexible problem management necessary to ensure resilient social and ecological systems. They also require effective coordination, trust building and a capacity for policy learning a.o. (Sharma-Wallace et al. 2018). Yet, we know that coordination is often hampered by divergent interests and high transaction costs, that public participation is vulnerable to power differentials, while the experimental approach is not yet clearly defined (Huitema et al. 2018). Therefore, it is important to understand how and under what circumstances adaptive governance may improve climate governance. One question is whether different types of partnerships vary in their ability to promote coordination, trust and learning. This paper reviews the theory and empirical evidence on the challenges, promoters and effectiveness of adaptive governance arrangements and discusses a typology of partnerships based on transaction costs, power differentials and learning mechanisms.

3. Theis Raaschou Andersen, VIA University College – Science-practice collaboration in a CCA innovation project: The Climate Road of Hedensted

Abstract: In collaboration between VIA University College and Hedensted Municipality an innovative Climate Road has been established as a science-practice case study. The Climate Road acts both as a climate adaptation and climate mitigation installation providing an interdisciplinary platform where knowledge can be transferred between researchers, stakeholders, citizens and authorities. For Hedensted Municipality, the climate road is used to enhance the public awareness of future climate changes in Hedensted e.g. the climate road is used by local schools as a case study for discussions on the future climate and the challenges and opportunities it provides. For VIA University College the Climate Road provides a full-scale research platform where both scientists and students can work in a living lab. Through workshops, local citizens and stakeholders are engaged and introduced to the work performed by students and researchers from VIA University College. At the workshops the Climate Road and its performance are discussed and ideas from the citizens are added to the future research on the Climate Road. Within the context of the C2C-CC project the results and lessons learned from this project is distribution throughout the C2C-CC network as workshops, articles and presentations.

4. Mia Rix, Randers Municipality – The role of a partnership for a town that applies CCA as an urban development strategy

Abstract: The municipality of Randers aims to fully integrate CCA with urban development of a low-lying and flood-prone brownfield area of 52 ha. This may sound like a project bound for future problems. However, an all-inclusive approach to urban development including infrastructural investments and CCA etc. enables the municipality to carry out the ambitious project in a sustainable and responsible way. In addition, integrating CCA into urban development is a complex process that requires political and administrative focus and courage. New approaches are needed for the current state-of-the-art of CCA solutions to be able to respond to the complex reality in a provincial city, where flexibility and adaptive capacity is a prerequisite. In Randers, C2CCC works as a trigger for such innovative solutions. The participation in a network like C2CCC requires an effort, but it also creates a legitimate platform for working with bold and innovative solutions. By participating in C2CCC, the municipality of Randers thus boosts the level of innovation in urban CCA thus benefiting the local city life and, hopefully, inspiring other provincial cities as well.

5. Bjarke, Hedensted Municipality – CCA collaboration across 7 municipalities in the large river catchment of Gudenå

Abstract: The River Gudenå is the longest river in Denmark being 160 km. On its way to the sea at the inlet of the city Randers it passes many administrative boundaries. The 7 municipalities along the River Gudenå have organized themselves in a cooperation regarding common nature and environmental issues focusing on both the use and protection of the river as well as administrative conditions and a joint coordinated management of sailing on the river. The local residents have always lived with and used the River Gudenå for various purposes and today there are many different interests and associations related to the river. Recently, there has been an increased focus on climate change and what to expect. The many stakeholders along the River Gudenå pleads cooperation, but cooperation contains challenges and these are the conditions we aim to address in view of the coming climate challenges.

6. Bertel Meilvang, Samsø Municipality – The implications of being an island in a cross-border partnership

Abstract: Samsø is an island, famous for its ‘renewable energy (RE) adventure’ and for producing more RE than it consumes. The mitigation aspect of climate change is part of the island’s identity and the goal is to become a fossil free society in a circular economy.

CCA has been an overseen topic due to the fact that the island hasn’t experienced climate events with the same effect as other parts of the country. In this context, C2CCC has made a big difference in raising awareness locally on climate scenarios, and in learning from the partners that have been severely affected by such events. There is a big advantage in being a small place, when you need a political decision with fairly short planning processes and project realization. However, a small place has little means and in comparison to other municipalities within the project, funding for CCA solutions is very limited. Because of the geographical isolation, we don’t have issues on how to find solutions on possible climate events across municipal borders, which to some extend also isolate us as the ‘little brother’, who is kind of cute, but not in the same league as the older siblings.