Holistic neighbourhood development Augustenborg

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This intervention has been translated into a brief governance scenario. Take a look at Overcoming Silos in Urban Regeneration Projects: Holistic Neighbourhood Design

a) Basic characteristics and ambitions of the intervention

1. What is the name and the urban context (e.g. city/district) of the intervention? Please also indicate the geographical scale of the intervention (e.g. neighborhood, district, small/medium/ capital city, metropolitan area ...). [Example: “Brixton Energy in Brixton, London (neighborhood in capital city)”]

This intervention focuses on the work of Ekostaden Augustenborg, a holistic neighbourhood development programme based in the Augustenborg district in Malmö, a Swedish city with over 300.000 inhabitants.

This project initially focused on sustainable neighbourhood development with the goals of constructing an effective drainage system, energy retrofitting buildings, and supporting biodiversity efforts. Additional social, ecological, and economical topics were adopted over the course of the project.

2. What sector(s) (alias domain/ policy field) is the intervention primarily implemented in ? [e.g. housing, mobility, energy, water, health, local economy, biodiversity, CC adaptation, etc.]

holistic sustainable neighbourhood development, community engagement

3. What is the intervention (i.e. situated experiment) aiming to achieve in terms of sustainability and justice? [If possible, please copy from a project website and give a reference]

There is a broad focus on sustainability, which includes several measures within different areas:

  • A strong focus on energy efficient buildings (e.g passive house standards) and installation of solar panels, small-scale wind, and a pilot project for the production of biogas in the district.
  • Modification of energy related behavior and the lowering of the CO2 footprint of the residents through awareness raising campaigns, training programs, and agreements in rental contracts
  • A wide variety of goals surrounding mobility, prioritizing pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport; they encouraged local use of electric vehicles and carpooling among residents, as well as the development of a Green Line’s zero emission electric street train service.
  • Goals to green the area, particularly on roofs, with an attempted increase in biodiversity
  • Creation of a Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) which aimed at reducing flooding by 70%. The capacity of the old sewage and drainage system was regularly exceeded during heavy rainfalls (Kazmierczak; Carter, 2010).
  • The intervention also includes symbolic and demonstrative actions that help to strengthen the identity of an eco-neighbourhood:
  • Annual environmental days or weeks, cleaning days, bike days and projects, demonstration sites, symbolic street signposts, organized visits, etc.

The intervention strongly focuses on procedural justice and to a lesser extent endemic justice as it included citizens at all stages. In some cases residents were able to directly design certain parts of the intervention.

4. What is the interventions’ timeframe?

The intervention started in 1997 and the main frame of the development lasted until 2002 (Kazmierczak; Carter, 2010).

There are other projects that promoted the image of an eco-neighbourhood that happened much later, e.g a lighthouse project called the Greenhouse Augustenborg; a high-rise building with passive-house energy standards that was built in 2014 (although by another construction company as the one mentioned below). However, the main time-span of the intervention was between 1997 and 2002.

5. By what governance mode is the intervention characterized primarily? (see Appendix 1: Three modes of governance)

It is government-led but characterized by its strong community engagement with a shift of responsibilities to community members later in the project, arguably developing into a more hybrid mode of governance.

6. Why do you consider it worthwhile to study and share experiences made in the context of this governance intervention for sustainable and just cities?[1]

The intervention has been studied in an urban context in Europe and is at its core about sustainability, while also considering different dimensions of justice. There is a lot of media attention and documentation by SMARTEES is extensive (see Question 8a). Developing a neighbourhood in a holistic, integrative way is crucial, as it aims at breaking down institutional logics and compartmentalized policymaking, leading to more sustainable and just outcomes.

7. In which project deliverable(s) or other documents can information be found on this situated (i.e. place specific) governance intervention?

  • Caiati G., Marta F. L., Quinti G. M. [ed.] (2019): Report on Profiles of Social Innovation “In Action” for Each Cluster.


  • Klamméus E. [ed.] (2014): Urban storm water management in Augustenborg, Malmö (2014).


  • World Habitat Awards (2014): Eco-city Augustenborg, Sweden, Winner, World Habitat Award.


b) Additional basic characteristics, links to earlier UrbanA work

8. EU Project-context of the intervention:

  • a. Has the intervention been developed or studied in the context of an (EU-funded?) project? (please name the project, its duration and include a link to the project website here).

It has been studied by SMARTEES - Social Innovation Modelling Approaches to Realizing Transition to Energy Efficiency and Sustainability, which has taken place from 2018 until 2021. https://local-social-innovation.eu/

  • b. According to WP3’s database of approaches, which approach(es) does the intervention best fit under? Where applicable, please indicate if the intervention is found in a project that has been explicitly mentioned in the database.

Governance and participation processes

Governance for urban climate mitigation and adaptation

  • c. Have some project deliverables been coded in the context of UrbanA’s WP4?

The deliverable by SMARTEES (https://local-social-innovation.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/Deliverables/SMARTEES-D3.1_SI_in_Action_R1.pdf) has been coded, but only for the case study on Superblocks in Barcelona.

9. Problematization and priority:

  • a. How exactly has inequality and exclusion been problematized (by whom) in the context of this intervention?

The area had experienced high rates of unemployment and multiple socio-economic problems, which affects the general quality of life problematized by the municipality.

  • b. Has the achievement of justice explicitly been named as a major motivation behind the intervention?

Not directly. More so in that quality of life in the area in general is quite low compared to other districts of the city. It therefore is about distributional justice to give individuals similar opportunities (e.g job related) and environmental justice issues (e.g. to protect them from flooding that could not be handled well in the past due to lack of a working Drainage System).

It also tackles justice as recognition as it actively focuses on a neighbourhood with a high ratio of foreigners and minorities and tries to include them in the process of the implementation.

It therefore also targets procedural justice aspects.

Drivers of injustices Based on WP4 coding Based on own assessment
1. Exclusive access to the benefits of sustainability infrastructure
2. Material and livelihood inequalities X
3. Racialized or ethnically exclusionary urbanization
4. Uneven and exclusionary urban intensification and regeneration
5. Uneven environmental health and pollution patterns X
6. Unfit institutional structures
7. Limited citizen participation in urban planning
8. Lack of effective knowledge brokerage and stewardship opportunities
9. Unquestioned Neoliberal growth and austerity urbanism
10. Weak(ened) civil society X

c) Actor constellations

10. Who initiated the intervention?

The district renovation was promoted by the city administration together with the local public housing company (the Malmö Municipal Housing Company - MKB).

11. Who are the envisioned benefiters of the intervention? (both at a local level and higher, if applicable)

People living inside the district due to an increase of the quality of life (new leisure spaces, new green areas, new services), and environmental health. Also noted are an increase of social cohesion (e.g., new places for socialization, etc.), a decrease of unemployment, and an increase of political participation.

12. Who else is (going to be) involved in the intervention, and what was/is their main role?

Actor types[2] Yes Actor name and role[3]
Academic organizations Yes University of Malmö
Religious organizations
Civil society organizations
Hybrid/ 3rd sector organizations
Social movements
Political parties
Social entreprises
For profit entreprises Yes Several private companies and local businesses as well as The Swedish energy company Sydkraft
Local/regional government Yes The City of Malmö, represented by the Fosie district and the Service Department
Regional organizations
National government
Supranational government
International networks
Other initiatives Yes School managers

13. Which particular interactions among various stakeholders (stakeholder configurations) were crucial in enabling the intervention to emerge successfully? This could include direct or indirect impacts on interventions.

The role of certain enthusiastic individuals has been emphasized by the project report, as some have been particularly important to the success of the intervention. Specifically mentioned are: Peter Lindhqvist from The Service Department, City of Malmö Bertil Nilsson, former headmaster at the school in Augustenborg Christer Sandgren and MKB Trevor Graham, project leader since 1998

Particularly in the early years of the project, there was a critical mass of people with important functions who tried to address ALL issues in the area, caring little if it was their responsibility on paper. This generated a belief that a holistic change of the area was possible (Interview Trevor Graham).

Furthermore “high standing people” (e.g. professors) played a crucial role in mediating and facilitating with citizens.

14. To what extent, in what form and at what stages have citizens participated in the shaping of the intervention?

Citizen participation is key to the success of this intervention.

All physical changes were discussed in advance with residents, giving them the possibility to express their suggestions and observations, thereby having the possibility to adjust and modify the plan. All actions were agreed on together with residents. The involvement of citizens was carried out through a wide set of different methodologies:

  • extensive public consultation, regular meetings, permanent working groups, dialogues with experts, informal gatherings, and co-design.

Important to note is the different level of participation during different parts of the project. Before the first changes were implemented, proponents thought about which projects based in physical investment had the greatest scope for public involvement in terms of design and project development (which have opportunities for jobs etc.). (Interview Trevor Graham) Some aspects of the plan were therefore co-designed by residents, as they were considered as experts and bearers of specific and territorially grounded knowledge. For other more technical issues (like the Storm-Water system), public participation was focussed on acceptance. Thus plans still had to be adapted by residents, and the focus was on creating a dialogue with the community. (Interview Trevor Graham). Initially, the green roofs (on housing buildings) had very little input from communities, but additional green roofs were created when the community included them in their designs for the waste-management houses (Interview Trevor Graham)

In total an approximate of 20% of the residents participated in the project. Several of their ideas were implemented into the neighbourhood, such as:

  • developing the open storm water system in a more natural process that enhances the area’s urban biodiversity
  • an after-school centre that teaches children how to take care of and respect animals (the Rabbit Hotel)
  • energy consumption monitoring and active engagement in recycling and composting
  • creating and shaping public spaces into parks, allowing play areas for children, and hubs for increased biodiversity
  • the Café Summer, a café and meeting space for residents to discuss and share ideas
  • the first car-pooling scheme of Malmö

Additionally, school pupils were involved in different aspects of the project, e.g. the planning of a new community/school garden, rainwater collection pond/ice rink, a musical playground, and sustainable building projects incorporating green roofs and solar energy panels. One obstacle regarding public participation was the commitment of institutions over time - there were times where the housing company (MKB) or the municipality did not invest enough effort in the project, which led to less public/neighbourhood interest (see Q.23). This made future efforts in the neighbourhood more difficult, as it hollowed out trust by residents.

15. How are responsibilities and/or decision-making power distributed among actors?

This project was originally started by the local housing company and the municipality, who remained in charge of it. The wide range of actors (universities, schools, citizen groups…) and the informality of their relationships were crucial for successfully developing and implementing interventions to positively change the district. As mentioned, residents had a lot of power over the nature of the intervention and were able to develop several of their own ideas.

16. Exclusion:

  • a. Which stakeholders or social groups were excluded (at which stages)?

Presumably, people who did not have time to participate in the participation process.

The area has a lot of non-Swedish speakers, whom the municipality tried to include them as well (see below). However, there were also voices who had a "We are in Sweden, we speak Swedish attitude”.

  • b. Is there any indication why this may have happened? With what outcomes? Has anything been done to overcome such exclusions?

There are a lot of non-Swedish speakers living in the area. Flyers had been printed in other languages and interpreters accompanied the participation processes, which helped to include non-Swedish speakers.

d) Enabling conditions for the implementation of the intervention

17. What circumstances or events are reported to have triggered the intervention? (In what ways?)

The area had high status when it was newly built (1948-1952), but started to decline in the 1970´s, when many problems, from flooding basements to high unemployment rates emerged. By the 1990´s, the neighbourhood was faced with social, ecological, and aesthetic problems that ultimately led to a sense of urgency that something had to be done.

The trigger was a discussion in 1997 about closing down an industrial area in Augustenborg. Peter Lindhqvist from The Service Department of the City of Malmö suggested to open an eco-friendly park in the area. At the same time, the former headmaster of the school in Augustenborg, Bertil Nilsson, had become one of the coordinators of the Swedish Urban Program in Malmö. He contacted Christer Sandgren from the Malmö Municipal Housing Company, who was the housing manager of Augustenborg, with the mission to renew the area. Together, the three contacted senior officers, colleagues, and active residents from the area in order to create a sustainable district in Malmö. More than 400 people showed up at the first meeting to talk about flooding issues, the need for an adequate drainage system, green roofs, and a musical theme playground (MKB_01: 2). Trevor Graham, a project leader with experience in transforming communities, was hired in 1998. As the project developed, local businesses, schools, and the industrial estate became a part of it.

18. Are particular substantive (multi-level) governmental policies considered to be highly influential in the genesis and shaping of the intervention? (If easily possible, please specify the policy, the policy field and the governance level mainly addressed, and characterize it along Appendix 2: Policy typology)

It does not seem that one general policy was critical for the project. However, Augustenborg was closely linked to developments at the time which affected the project in different ways (Interview Trevor Graham): Toward the late 90´s, a strong focus on environmental issues with a democratic dimension emerged (e.g with Agenda 21 movements). Social inclusion was thus a highly influential and popular narrative of the time. There were a lot of socio-economic problems present in Malmö, and in Sweden in general, e.g the closing down of the shipyards, integration, the difficulty of entering the labour market, and general economic decline. These led to a collage of redevelopment projects and policies that tried to address these issues at different scales. Augustenborg is one of these local projects and was very much tied into national and local policies of the time. (Interview Trevor Graham)

19. What constitutional responsibilities and rules does the intervention build upon? In other words, what rights, powers, and/or responsibilities, does the country's constitution (in a broad sense) award municipalities, states, utilities, NGOs, citizens etc. and how does this impact the intervention?

Swedish planning culture is trying to promote best practice examples and new technology adoption through goal-oriented and integrated urban development (Galina 2012) An important legal framework for Sweden is the “Planning and Building Act” (1987, updated in 2010) and the “Environmental Code” (1999). The Planning and Building Act applies to all new buildings as well as to reconstruction. It brings attention to climate and environmental issues and attempts to better regulate construction and give planning permissions within ten weeks (Galina 2012). Municipalities need to ensure that all new developments are planned in accordance with the Planning and Building Act. The Environmental Code serves as an umbrella framework for the Planning and Building Act. It also includes special laws that concern changes in the physical environment and aims to improve sustainability regulating the quality of water, air, and land. Fig. 1 shows the general planning process of Sweden. Municipalities have a monopoly in generating comprehensive plans for their cities, although the Swedish government may overrule certain decisions if they are not in accordance with national interests (e.g. regulations or environmental goals in the Planning and Building Act and the Environmental Code). The city therefore has to show it meets the national guidelines, e.g. for air quality.

20. According to project material/and or interviews, in what ways have particularities of (local) political culture influenced the character and success of the intervention? (i.e. trust in political institutions, citizens’ will to interact with policy makers and vice versa, traditions of cooperation etc.)

An experimental approach was crucial; not being too uptight and learning from mistakes. This allowed for a lot of adaptivity in the project (Interview Trevor Graham). This was also connected to inclusionary practices, with the knowledge that projects are more widely accepted if developed together with residents. A a holistic and integrative way of planning, this was demonstrated through efforts to address resident’s energy consumption behaviour rather than relying purely on technical solutions. Inclusionary practices do result, however, in longer implementation times and changes to the original plans for the intervention.

In the beginning of the project, a lot of people shared this experimental mindset. But when certain people were no longer involved in the project (e.g due to changes in department heads) and were replaced by others without this mentality, flexibility and adaptivity started to get lost in the chain of command (Interview Trevor Graham). Flexibility in project implementation thus disappeared when the critical mass of people no longer adopted a shared sense of responsibility and were more afraid of making mistakes (Interview Trevor Graham).

On a more general, institutional note, Malmö´s governance system is rather decentralized. This allowed for adaptability and flexibility throughout the planning, development, and implementation of the project. Again, however, working in partnerships is not a very common or well-developed approach in Sweden (World Habitat Award_01

21. What are financial arrangements that support the intervention?

The intervention cost a total of 200 million SEK´s (1 Swedish Krona (SEK) equals 0.095 Euro). About half of the sum came from the local housing company (MKB). The rest mainly came from the local authorities, principally the City of Malmö, in addition to several other sources which included: The Swedish government's Local Investments Programme for Ecological Conversion and Eco-Cycle Programme (SEK 24M) The Swedish Department of the Environment (SEK 4M) EU program LIFE (SEK 6M) provided funds for the creation of the Botanical Roof Garden The European Union URBAN program, A number of other sources both public and private. The extensive financial commitment by public authorities and the MKB was crucial for the success of the intervention, as it was essential for long-term planning. (World Habitat Award_01)

22. Have any of the above conditions changed within the intervention’s timeframe, which have (significantly) influenced it in a positive or negative way?

The project manager of MKB changed. The new manager lacked the in-depth understanding of the case that his predecessor possessed, and the Housing Company lost a lot of credibility and legitimacy in the lower hierarchy of the company, as well as among residents. The project was mostly anchored in the upper management of the housing company afterwards. Several other people in power changed over the course of the project. This led to a change of culture around responsibilities, as some of the newer people felt less responsible for a holistic change of the area and rather cared more about their own sector. This led to a more sluggish mode of development (Interview Trevor Graham).

Note: Certain contexts, which provide opportunities to learn from other relevant experiences, may also be a supportive framework condition. Please see section h, questions 26 + 30 on learning context.

e) Obstacles to successful intervention implementation

23. What obstacles to implementing the intervention (both generally, and in this particular context) have been identified, relating to:

  • a. Regulatory framework

There did not seem to be many issues regarding the regulatory framework.

  • b. Legitimacy

In general, the intensity to which the local community was engaged was unusual for the time. Not everybody involved in the project saw the need for this engagement, and some people were actively opposed to it (e.g some of the contractors' architechts did not see the point of involving residents) (SMARTEES_01: A79.).

  • c. Public awareness

Trevor Graham, project manager, names continuity as the greatest challenge of the project. In the beginning, participation was easy, as there was a wide public interest in the intervention. This faded over the years. This is closely connected to institutional commitment over time, as there were times in which the housing company/the municipality were less active. This generated problems for the long-term belief in a process for change for local people, leading to questions like “Why should I as a community member invest time and resources if the institutions pushing the project do not seem to do so”? (Interview_Trevor Graham). Simply put, there was very high public interest in the beginning (first three - four years) but decreased over time.

Key here seems to be a good balance between short-term change of the area (where residents see fast changes as a result of their own participation) and long-term commitment of institutions (so residents see a bigger vision behind the project and feel like their time and energy will contribute to something greater) (Interview Trevor Graham).

In this case, efforts to include residents, even making them co-responsible for certain parts of the intervention, led to greater public support. However there were still some instances of resistance from a few individuals.

  • d. Finances


  • e. Others (please name)

A lot of foreigners who do not speak Swedish live in Augustenborg, posing challenges to their inclusion. This issue was tried to be overcome by hiring interpreters and printing flyers in other languages.

Some residents who speak louder made their voices better heard while quieter residents' issues were discussed less.

f) (Institutional) Work done to overcome obstacles

24. What has been done by each central actor group to overcome which particular obstacles in the way of successfully implementing the intervention? (this may include institutional Work - maintaining, disrupting, and creating new rules, applying to both formal laws/regulations and informal norms and expectations.)

Name of obstacle What work was/is being done to overcome this obstacle and by what actor groups?
1. Commitment over time of institutional partners (housing company, city) This has been a huge issue that was not perfectly solved. It seems that in the beginning institutions were very committed to changing the area, but it decreased over time.
2. Maintaining continuity in public participation Finding new ways “to do things” by letting go of power and making residents more responsible. This is closely connected to the issue of institutional commitment as residents also partly lost interest in the project when they did not feel that the institutions were equally committed. New ways of engaging with citizens in later stages partly addressed trust issues between community members and the municipality and housing company.
3. Some of the residents not understanding Swedish Participation flyers were printed in foreign languages and interpreters were hired by the municipality
4. Resistance from one specific resident Project team member “casually bumping into him” and striking up a casual conversation
5. Louder residents issues being more heard Wide set of methodologies of involving the public with formats that tried to give a voice to everybody

g) Reported outcomes

25. What are reported outcomes of the intervention? This may include economic outcomes, political outcomes, ability to reach sustainability and justice targets, etc.

To name some of the most important outcomes (SMARTEES_01: A76f).:

  • Biodiversity in the area has increased by 50% (The green roofs, predominantly the Botanical Roof Garden, have attracted birds and insects, and the open storm water system provides better environments for local plants and wildlife. In addition, flowering perennials, native trees, and fruit trees were planted, and bat and bird boxes were installed).
  • Unemployment fell from 30% to 6% (Malmö’s average).
  • The environmental impact of the area (measured as carbon emissions and waste generation) decreased by 20%.
  • The heat and hot water consumption has decreased by 25%.
  • A small-scale wind power generation in the area was installed in the local school as follow up project.
  • Augustenborg features the world’s first botanical roof garden, with around 9,000 m2, providing local habitat and helping to absorb rainwater.
  • The implementation of an open storm-water system at Augustenborg has improved not only storm-water management in the area, but also the performance of the combined sewer system that serves the surrounding area.
  • There have not been any floods in the area since the open storm-water system was installed.
  • Turnover of tenancies decreased by 50%.
  • As a direct result of the project, three new local companies have started: Watreco AB (set up by local resident and amateur water enthusiast), the Green Roof Institute, and the carpool established in 2000, which uses ethanol hybrid cars to further reduce environmental impacts.
  • Political interest and participation in elections have increased.

h) Learning involved in establishing the intervention

Please fill in any information on social learning that has occured in this intervention (conceptualized here as “Learning context, content, and process” in line with the FOODLINKS project)[4]. Where possible, please differentiate your response into learning done by specific actor groups.

Learning context

(i.e. the configuration and social environment enabling the learning process)

26. According to the TRANSIT project’s four mechanisms for empowerment – i. funding; ii. legitimacy; iii. knowledge sharing, learning, and peer support; or iv. visibility and identity – please briefly describe the following, and indicate where the intervention has been developed or supported as part of which formal collaborations, networks or projects:

  • a. any previous experiences in the same urban context (e.g. city…) that the intervention is (reportedly) building upon? This could include any relevant experiences in the same or another sector.

Certain aspects of the intervention emerged when citizens learned about similar plans for other areas. It is not specified if those other areas were from other cities or Malmö (SMARTEES_01:75) . This mostly targets iii) (knowledge sharing, learning, and peer support).

  • b. any inter-city partnerships, or transfers from experiences elsewhere that have (reportedly) been important in the emergence of this intervention?

There did not seem to be important inter-city partnerships existing at the time worth mentioning here.

Learning content

27. Has any acquired knowledge (e.g. technical knowledge, awareness of local political procedures etc.) been reported as particularly helpful to this intervention?

  • a. from previous experiences in the same urban context

Residents were eager to implement renewable energy projects and sustainable mobility ideas when they heard about similar plans from other areas. However, there are no specificities about where they got their ideas from.

  • b. from inter-city partnerships, or transfers from experiences elsewhere

Not applicable.

  • c. from other knowledge gathering/research

It is very important to note that learning happened on an individual scale. Trevor Graham (project manager) shared a story from a Somalian gynecologist who was unemployed for a long time until he began working in recycling through an employment creation project. He was given time on Fridays to explore opportunities in the health sector and is now working as a doctor again. Another story comes from a woman who was highly opposed to the idea of recycling (and who part of the project), but then discovered the car pool and afterward became very involved in it. These interventions therefore can become opportunities for individuals to grow and change their lifestyles.

Learning process

28. In what ways has the intervention been adapted to specific circumstances of the targeted urban context based on the learned content reported in question 27?

Not applicable.

29. Based on your answers to question 24, how has overcoming obstacles (reportedly) contributed to the learning process?

The implementation process changed over the course of the project. As mentioned, the greatest challenge of the development project was maintaining continuity and keeping residents involved. As central staff (along with their priorities) changed, the project lost credibility and support. The project then had to find new ways of doing things, such as giving residents more decision-making power and making them responsible for certain parts of the project. Project leaders then had to accept that things will not always go the way they planned, but the new ways can be interesting and much more diverse as a result.

30. Please list any tools that enabled the learning process (e.g. various Knowledge Brokerage Activities from pg. 24 of FOODLINK’s Deliverable 7.1 - linked in footnote)[5] and the actors involved in using them.


i) Learning involved in establishing interventions elsewhere (transferability)

31. Suggestions regarding transferability.

  • a. Have any suggestions been made about a replicability, scaleability or transferability of the intervention? [e.g. in the documentation of the intervention in a project or the press? Links would be perfect]

In general, the wide range of topics and fields of this intervention make it hard to speak of replicability or transferability. Rather, single elements (e.g energy efficient buildings) have been discussed and/or actually transferred.

The World Habitats Award claims that Augustenborg has become an international example for incorporating participatory processes in urban regeneration processes (WorldHabitat_01: 09). The project is recognized by the “UN's World Habitat Award 2010,” an award which only two projects worldwide receive annually.

A lot of technical elements were transferred to other contexts (see actual transferability). Trevor Graham, project manager, sees Augustenborg as a pioneer area to create more sustainable urban neighbourhoods, saying that it is not enough that just Augustenborg is an “eco-neighbourhood”, but that every area in Malmö, Sweden, and Europe should have a stronger focus on these issues. (MKB_01)

The organization of the first “Electric Carpool” in Sweden, as well as the "world's first electric road train" (a zero emission electric street train service), could both be replicated.

  • b. Transferability to what kind of contexts has been suggested?

Particular focus in areas where people are living in similar 60´s (in Sweden these are mostly areas of the “Million Home Program”) and 70´s buildings, and especially in northern European areas.

  • c. Who has made the claims?

SMARTEES, The World Habitats Award, Project Manager Trevor Graham

  • d. What limits to transferability to broader contexts have been discussed?

The local housing cooperative of Rosengard district in Malmö was inspired by the project in Augustenborg and wanted to start changing the neighbourhood in a sustainable way. Local people led the way there, and they tried to get help from the city. The Rosengard project lacked long-term thinking (Interview Trevor Graham) (institutional commitment), which led to a diminishing public interest over time. The crucial balance between short-term changes and long-term institutional investment was not there (Interview Trevor Graham). At one point, for example, the local housing company in Rosengard informed residents about project plans through information screens rather than involving and engaging them through workshops/inhabitant meetings. These are important platforms at which long term consequences of these changes could be discussed, possible fears could be mentioned, relationships can be established, etc. .

When transferring physical changes of a project, it is important to also think about the governance arrangements that made these changes possible. One important actor constellation is that both institutions and local people are willing to change the area in the short-term while investing resources over a longer timespan.

A general issue seems to be that cities are lacking joint long-term approaches and shared visions of change, and are rather operating on a project by project basis (Interview Trevor Graham). This is connected to political issues that make such joint ideas difficult (e.g the idea of implementing changes with a strong focus on local communities). Therefore, learning in general is hindered and leads to repeating the same mistakes in other projects. This is visible through the fragmented way of engaging with communities, where each department has its own unit designed for community engagement (in Malmö e.g the Highway and Parks department, the Culture department…). On a city level, these units can be brought together through an intermediary organization connecting neighbours, the city, housing companies, local companies etc. (Interview Trevor Graham) These departments could then become the core of long-term structured development processes, acting as an institutionalized intermediary and transferring knowledge in and between cities. Important here is that there has to be an institutionalized way of organized learning on an individual level as well, and to think about which people can work in such an intermediary institution especially in times of staff change. It would be difficult to fulfill the role of this intermediary (which requires strong communication skills and an existing network with businesses, city departments, and in local communities) immediately after your job starts. It therefore might make sense to learn about these things beforehand as an apprentice of the more experienced people working as these intermediaries. (Interview Trevor Graham)

32. In what forms has the learning process, including stories of overcoming obstacles, been recorded for, and/or made accessible to city makers also from elsewhere?[6]

The Municipal Housing company has published an online document which gives a lot of insight “behind the scenes” and shows their motivation behind the project in its different aspects. In particular, the section titled “Augustenborg is not enough” (MKB_01: 7-8) shows their motivation to transfer insights and ideas to other areas, and highlights the pioneer role of Augustenborg. Also interesting is the part described in Q. 17 about the events that reportedly triggered the intervention (MKB_01: 2).

There are a wide number of guided study visits to the area (e.g “40 French city officials”) (MKB_01: 8). Over 15.000 interested people have visited Augustenborg to learn about its development and implemented actions (MKB_01: 2). In general, the intervention is well recognized (inter)-nationally, and has received special attention surrounding the World Habitats Award, who additionally published a document about why Augustenborg deserves the prize (WorldHeritageAward_01). They included an extra section on “Analysis and lessons learned” which is structured into “Key achievements”, “Challenges” and “Critical success factors”. (WorldHeritageAward_01: 15f).

33. Have any signs of collaboration, support, or inspiration already been reported between actors involved in this intervention and others that follow its example? (e.g. in “follower cities”?)

Several aspects of the project were transferred and upscaled, especially in Malmö and Sweden: The Augustenborg solar project was the starting point for Solar City Malmö which operates all over the city (SMARTEES_01: 79). The regeneration of the Rosengard district and Rosengård (about 2010-13) and Lindängen (2014-2016) was based on Ekostaden Augustenborg. Both are located in Malmö. In Rosengard the goal was to reduce CO2 emissions by 50%, for example with climate coaches inspiring residents about sustainable lifestyles and technical solutions (ebd.) The participatory and inclusive aspect of the intervention was transferred to a similar development project in Järva /Sweden (ebd.)

There are several other aspects that were reportedly transferred to other cities in Sweden and throughout the world, especially regarding waste-management, car-pooling, recycling, and composting (WorldHabitatAward_01: 2).

The world’s first botanical rooftop garden serves as a best practice example for rooftop greening (WorldHabitatAward_01)

j) Structural learning

34. Has the intervention influenced higher-level governance arrangements such that sustainability and justice are considered (together) in a more durable, structural way? In other words, are there any observations about more structural, long-term changes as a result of the intervention?

  • For example: new programs run by local councils, new modes of citizen participation, new mediating bodies
  • Is there other evidence that the project has contributed to enhancing sustainable and just governance in cities in a general sense?

It is difficult to speak of clear cause and effect chains here. There seems to be no institutionalized bodies/programs that were created as a result of the project. Trevor Graham criticizes this: the city operates mostly on a project-by-project basis and lacks shared, long-term visions of change across departments (Interview Trevor Graham).

k) Reflections on important governance concepts

35. What other aspects of governance, that were not covered above, are important to highlight, too?

Adopting a context-specific perspective of what could be done and working with residents to figure out what they want and need as a municipality will lead to far better (sustainable and just) results than simply transferring best practices from other areas (e.g. the transfer to the Rosengard district)

36. From your perspective as a researcher, which word or phrase characterizes this governance intervention most concisely? (Please attach your name to the characterization) In other words, what is the biggest takeaway from this intervention about governance arrangements?

One of the keys to success of this project was that the people working on the project (from different departments of the city, the housing company, the school etc.) collectively worked on ALL issues that were addressed in the neighbourhood, no matter if they were officially responsible for each issue. This generated a collaborative approach and a belief that change was possible. Also important is to combine elements of social and physical change, which creates a reinforcing process (e.g. seeing that a neighbour managed to design a certain part of the neighbourhood, one might think that they could do so as well)

Appendix 1: Three modes of governance

(from NATURVATION project)

NATURVATION's NBS-Atlas distinguishes three categories of governance arrangements (dubbed "management set-ups":

  • Government-led (Gov)
  • Co-governance or hybrid governance (mix of responsibilities between government and non-government actors) (c/h)
  • Led by non-government actors (NGO)

Alternatively or additionally, the following four modes of governing (as distinguished also by Bulkeley/Kern 2006 and Zvolska et al. 2019) could be used as a typology: Castan Broto/ Bulkeley 2013:95

  1. Self-governing, intervening in the management of local authority operations to ‘‘lead by example’’;
  2. Provision, greening infrastructure and consumer services provided by different authorities;
  3. Regulations, enforcing new laws, planning regulations, building codes, etc.; and
  4. Enabling, supporting initiatives led by other actors through information and resource provision and partnerships”

Appendix 2: Policy typology

(from NATURVATION project)

Policy typology Description Examples
Regulatory (administrative, command-and-control) Mandatory fulfillment of certain requirements by targeted actors Legislations, regulations, laws, directives, etc.
Economic (financial, market-based) Financial (dis)incentives to trigger change by providing (new) favourable (or unfavourable) economic conditions for targeted actors Positive incentive include subsidies, soft loans, tax allowance and procurments. Negative incentives are taxes, fees and charges.
Informative (educational) They aim at providing information or knowledge to target actors in order to increase awareness and support informed decision-making accomplish or prevent social change Information and awareness raising campaigns, informative leaflets, advertisements in different media.
Voluntary Commitment and/or actions beyond legal requirements, undertaken by private actors and/or non-governmental organisations. Voluntary actions and agreements.

test tableau

  1. Background to this question: Our four main criteria for selecting particular governance interventions and develop rich descriptions of them were: A) The intervention has been studied in a specific urban context (e.g. city), B) this context is located in Europe (and, preferably, the study was EU-funded), C) the intervention considers to a large extent sustainability AND justice (at least implicitly), and D) it is well-documented, ideally including assumptions or even critical reflections on enablers and barriers to implementation and on transferability (i.e. ‘de-contextualizability’). Additionally, we aimed at a diverse portfolio of domains (see Q2.) and governance modes (see Q5): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nCPcUd-COIQ1MsBjir20_F1CBbnSu6HqKH9nNLshiVQ/edit?usp=sharing.
  2. Actor types according to TRANSIT’s Critical Turning Point Database, http://www.transitsocialinnovation.eu/about-ctps-in-tsi-processes.
  3. If easily possible mention sources for your association of roles.
  4. Deliverable 7.1 Synthesis Report on results from Monitoring and Evaluation (p.14) : http://www.foodlinkscommunity.net/fileadmin/documents_organicresearch/foodlinks/publications/karner-etal-d-7-1.pdf .
  5. http://www.foodlinkscommunity.net/fileadmin/documents_organicresearch/foodlinks/publications/karner-etal-d-7-1.pdf .
  6. Feel free to include learning that has been made available through EU project documentation, intervention initiatives, or other channels. In addition to the forms in which the learning process has been shared with others, please indicate whether the learning process that’s being shared has been recorded in a self-critical/reflexive way.