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The UrbaKnow-project - The Knowledge-Policy Interaction for Urban Sustainability

The way urbanisation is conceptualized, viewed and handled varies considerably across disciplines and policy sectors and among politicians and planners. Not least are the environmental consequences of urbanisation questioned. Knowledge plays a role at every policy stage - in problem identification and policy formulation, as well as in policy strategies and solutions.

The choice of urban models and projects may be grounded in different disciplinary traditions – or there may be larger paradigm shifts guiding both the urban policy and knowledge development. How is for instance the ‘compact city’ model challenged by the more recent ‘smart city’-concept? And what about the new emphasis on ‘re-naturing of cities’? What are the disciplinary and sectoral concerns that dominate – and what are the mechanisms used to weigh up conflicting goals in urban policymaking? And not least, how is the overarching concern with climate integrated into urban development projects?

UrbaKnow has four workpackages:

  1. Knowledge traditions in urban planning;
  2. Knowledge-Policy interaction concerning urban environmental challenges;
  3. Comparative international perspectives on urbanization and environmental challenges: Oslo, London and Chennai
  4. Overcoming knowledge and sectoral frragmentation by testing the claim for interdisciplinarity in urban and environmental planning

By combining different disciplinary traditions such as ‘knowledge and professions’ theory with development and environment research the project can contribute new social science perspectives on current challenges regarding urbanization and environment in a field which has long been dominated by physical planning. The comparative perspective allows Norwegian urban development to be understood from differing perspectives. The project will also combine different methodological approaches – both qualitative and quantitative methods as well as policy and discourse analysis.



Gaustadalléen 21
0349 Oslo, Norway

Phone: +47 22 57 38 00