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ClimateNetworks. Transformations in urban climate mitigation and resource protection by designing governance processes
Client:Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Partner(s):RWTH Aachen University (IfS - department for Sociology/ Technology Studies; PT – department for Planning Theory and Urban Development), City of Bielefeld, City of Darmstadt
Time frame:10/2016 – 09/2019

Climate change and resource management are global challenges for actors of all sectors of the society. The transdisciplinary research project “ClimateNetworks” focuses on the local level of climate change governance and studies the efforts of actors from the state, businesses and civil society to cooperate in projects that mitigate climate change. The project integrates perspectives from sociology, human geography and urban planning in order to analyse the existing social structures of control as well as the processes of coordination and interaction in a specific German city. The analysis of the urban actors’ social network helps to identify hindering and enabling factors of collaboration. By co-working with the local representatives and activists, the project will develop recommended actions to improve the cooperation.

The project “ClimateNetworks” proposes an integration of multi-level social quantitative network analysis and methods of qualitative interview- and document analysis, called mixed methods. At first the network will be mapped by document analysis as well as quantitative and qualitative surveys. The concept of the network domain integrates the different theoretical strands. It combines the socio-structural analysis with cultural aspects like patterns of interpretation or narrative patterns. Specific parts of the climate change mitigation network can be identified in order to deepen the analysis and to develop real world interventions. Scientists and local actors will collaborate in real world laboratories and will foster social learning about local climate governance processes.

Finally, the experiments will be evaluated regarding their ability to enhance a collaborative interaction towards a sustainable transition of the community. The results of the project will be continuous documented and classified in the current state of research. Concluding, the project contributes to the research on innovations as well as to advanced application of social network analysis in urban studies.

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