Transnational Municipal Networks in Europe

A Decision Support for Local Governments


Bachelor Thesis, 2019

57 Pages, Grade: 1,3


Free online reading

Table of contents

1. Introduction

2. Methodology

3. The Development of Transnational Climate Network Research

4. Transnational Municipal Networks
4.1. What are they?
4.2. Network Overview
4.3. Overview table

5. City Planning and City Decisions to Join Global Climate Networks
5.1. Why do cities join?
5.1.1. Primary factors
5.1.2. Secondary factors
5.1.3. Tertiary factors

6. Decision Support System
6.1. Questionnaire

7. Case Studies
7.1. Leipzig
7.2. Heidelberg
7.3. Cottbus

8. Discussion and Reflections

9. Conclusions

Appendix

Control Questionnaire

Decision Support System Results
Leipzig
Heidelberg
Cottbus

UN-Habitat CPI
Leipzig
Heidelberg
Cottbus

Interview Outline
Leipzig
Heidelberg

References

Acknowledgements

I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Hecker for his support through valuable and constructive recommendations throughout the research process. His guidance greatly enabled me to rethink scientific approaches and optimize my research methods.

I would also like to thank all the officials of the cities who generously supported me with knowledge and information and provided me with an insight on the decision making processes of a city.

Finally, I want to offer my special thanks to friends and family who supported me throughout my studies. Without their constructive criticism and encouragement this thesis would not have been possible.

Abstract

Due to the increasing emission of Greenhouse gases, global climate change has become a key challenge of the early twenty-first century. To address this global issue, decision makers have started to initiate multinational actions and agreements on the level of federal governance, as early as the late 1980s. However, global actions are a slow road to success because of long bureaucratic procedures. This gave birth to ‘glocal’ movements, which aim to achieve global climate goals through local actions, in the early 2000s. These plans from local governments are often developed and shared in transnational networks, which enable knowledge transfer and ensure best practice.

Through the research undertaken in this thesis, an overview of the state-of-art of Transnational Municipal Networks (TMNs) was established. Five major networks were prioritized in the analysis – the Climate Alliance, EUROCITIES, Energy Cities, the Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) program of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and the C40 Cities. Other institutions such as the Delta Cities network, are also briefly discussed. Furthermore, significant criteria for the decision making process to join climate preservation networks were identified and ranked by their relevance as primary, secondary and tertiary factors. Ultimately, a Decision Support System (DSS) was developed to help cities along the process of joining such a network. This System was then examined for its accuracy through the application to case studies of German cities. The decision making processes involved in joining TMNs have, until now, been underrepresented in the literature. Therefore, this thesis could significantly contribute to the field of TMNs, by offering a summary and Decision Support for cities, which had not been conceptualized previously. This work provides a foundation for further research, through its compilation and explanation of the essential elements of the decision making process.

Keywords Climate Change • Transnational Municipal Networks • C40 Cities • Climate Alliance • Energy Cities • EUROCITIES • ICLEI - CCP• Climate Action • Decision Support System • Multi-stakeholder governing body

List of Figures

Figure 1: Interaction of Transnational Municipal Networks

Figure 2: Network Structure of the Cities for Climate Protection Program

List of Tables

Table 1: Overview of European Transnational Municipal Networks

1. Introduction

Human-induced climate change was discovered in the late 1980s as a consequence of the rapid industrialization of the past centuries (Bodansky, 2001). While its acknowledgment was widely challenged at first, it now is common practice to pursue climate conservation measures through local and global policymaking (Falkner, 2016). Examples of remarkable national contributions towards climate preservation are the Kyoto Protocol and its successor, the Paris Agreement (Falkner, 2016). Regardless of their success, nation-state initiatives are slow to act because of their top-down nature of policy making. Consequently, politicians have tended to favor initiatives that were more flexible and specific to local problems, while still helping to achieve global goals as the increase in municipal actions, to combat climate change, show (Corfee-Morlot, et al., 2009). To organize these local actions, they formed networks connecting likeminded local governments to exchange information and share knowledge of best practices. These networks are called Transnational Municipal Networks (TMNs).

The broad topic of this thesis is the analysis of those networks, with emphasis on five major European networks – the Climate Alliance, EUROCITIES, Energy Cities, the Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) Program of ICLEI, and the C40 Cities.

The members of these networks are committed to achieving global climate goals formulated in nation-to-nation agreements and delivering even more ambitious plans to combat global climate change, restructure urban transportation and strategize migration.

The existing studies on TMNs involve qualitative and quantitative methods to determine the effectiveness of local climate actions, knowledge exchange within the network, and overall feasibility (Lee, 2015; Bulkeley, et al., 2014; Bulkeley, 2013; Kern & Bulkeley, 2009). The decision-making processes that cities undergo when joining transnational networks is currently under-represented in literature. Therefore, the conducted research will explore this process, with a focus on transnational climate networks. The goal is to provide a Decision Support in the form of a questionnaire that can be used to guide cities considering the participation in a TMN. Ultimately it will provide guidance on how individual cities can identify which network is optimal to join to maximize efficiency. This Decision Support will be the result of a comprehensive literature review of existing papers, expert interviews with city officials, and the application of existing frameworks and criteria discussed in current literature.

The first chapter to discuss research, Chapter 3, consists of an extensive literature review used to conduct the research. It will then briefly explain the findings of the literature review and put them into the context of the logical framework that will be used later on. The following chapter, Chapter 4, will go on to develop an overview of existing TNMs in Europe. Chapter 5 is developing the logical framework of the Decision Support. Finally, the validity of the developed system will be analyzed and examined through case studies of German cities in Chapter 6. After the application of the support system to actual cases, Chapter 7 will reflect on the proposed system, discuss advantages and shortcomings of this Decision Support, and suggest possibilities for future research.

2. Methodology

To develop the Decision Support, the primary research method will be an intensive peer-to-peer literature review of primary and secondary sources. The System will further be supported through qualitative and quantitative data of the case study cities.

The literature review will initially follow the characteristics of a narrative review. It will condense existing literature to examine the current state-of-art of transnational municipal climate networks in Europe. Then, it will systematically arrange papers in accordance to the time they have been published and establish a timeline in which the phases of research are defined. Through the development of this timeline, the reader will be able to understand how the view on TMNs has changed and how the research shaped the current state-of-art of Transnational Municipal Networks, especially in Europe.

The integrative part of the literature review will synthesize the findings of current papers to extract the key criteria for the logical framework of the Decision Support. The drafted criteria will be refined through analysis of qualitative data as part of a secondary analysis.

To confirm the Decision Support, the expert interviews will be used alongside quantitative data to confirm the framework logic. The interviewees’ statements will be the prime source for confirmation as they provide direct insight into the decision making process. It will then be supported by quantitative data collected through primary and secondary sources and reports published by the city or through scholars in the field.

Ultimately the final research output will be the result of combined efforts of quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, collected through primary and secondary sources by means of an intensive, systematic narrative and peer-to-peer literature review.

3. The Development of Transnational Climate Network Research

The first climate networks emerged in the early 1990s. In Europe the three prime networks that developed were the Climate Alliance, Cities for Climate Protection and Energy Cities (Kern & Bulkeley, 2009). All of them set out to achieve one common goal – climate preservation – and became the leading climate networks in Europe. After a decade of development, the first distinctive characteristics in structure, mechanisms used, and impact within the scope of global politics could be observed, and ultimately researched. This thesis divides the history of TMN research into three periods leading up to the modern state-of-art of climate network research.

The first period of key research focused on understanding and developing the principal framework, guidelines, restrictions, and potentials of TNMs and their efforts towards global climate protection. During this period, stretching over the first decade of the twenty-first century, papers often called for recognition of the networks (Betsill & Bulkeley, 2006; Kern & Alber, 2008; Toly, 2008); conceptualized general environmental governing procedures (Betsill & Bulkeley, 2004; Okereke, et al., 2009); identified the tasks of the networks (Davies, 2006); and integrated them into the multilevel governmental approach and decision making process (Andonova, et al., 2009; Bulkeley, et al., 2010; Gustavson, et al., 2009). Pioneers such as Kern and Bulkeley developed criteria to distinguish among the networks and conducted first network analyses (Betsill & Bulkeley, 2004; Bulkeley & Kern, 2006; Kern & Bulkeley, 2009).

Bulkeley and Betsill can be recognized as the key authors driving research during that period. Together they developed a strong, principal understanding of multilateral climate politics (Hakelberg, 2014). Their work laid out the socio-political fundamentals of future climate network research. One key conclusion they established, alongside Kern, was the description of climate networks as networks from pioneers for pioneers (Kern & Bulkeley, 2009). This approach addresses not just the issue of striking differences between global climate governance in the developed and less developed world, also called the global north and global south, as later scholars distinguish them (Chan & Asselt, 2016); it also recognizes one of the key subjects of modern climate network research – who benefits from climate networks? It correspondingly establishes that driving cities that participate in climate networks can benefit more than laggard cities (Kern & Alber, 2008; Kern & Bulkeley, 2009). Given the innovators’ advantage and the fact that climate mitigation and adaptation are relatively young issues of global and urban politics, the recognition of climate networks as pioneers for pioneers remains a fundamental principle of climate network research up until today.

The following five years marked the second period of modern climate network research. Scholars often revisited previous research and focused on reviewing and rethinking the environmental multi-governance approach. Research methods began to utilize qualitative network analysis methods and structure studies (Bulkeley, et al., 2010; Lee & Meene, 2012; Broto & Bulkeley, 2012; Giest & Howlett, 2013) to validate established research statements. The authors Bulkeley and Betsill remained dominant as key researchers in the subject matter and in 2014 provided a paramount research summary, which compiled the major findings of the last decade in one concise book, providing a simple overview of multilateral climate governance. Yet their research mainly focused on revisiting the multilevel governance approach and conceptualizing multilateral governing (Bulkeley & Betsill, 2010; Clarke, 2012). Other scholars started to critique existing network practices (Krause, 2012; Hakelberg, 2014), but rarely incorporated quantitative methods to validate their qualitative results. On the contrary, pioneers of quantitative climate research began to utilize empirical data to evaluate the decision-making process and efficiency of transnational networks. Authors like Lee, Krause and Giest & Howlett focused their efforts on empirical network analysis and first evaluation approaches for effectiveness and efficiency of mitigation and adaption measures established under climate networks (Lee, 2013; Lee & Meene, 2012; Krause, 2012; Giest & Howlett, 2013). Through their research they developed the cornerstones of modern qualitative climate network research and its evaluation criteria. The significance of this pioneering work can be observed in empirical validation of standing research claims such as the pioneers for pioneers’ remark (Oppowa, 2015; Lee, 2018). It also expanded the perception of climate network responsibilities (Lee & Meene, 2012).

Taedong Lee became one of the key scholars of empirical network research of both the decision-making process and efficiency of climate network work, particularly around quantitative analysis of network data and conceptualizing the foundation for present climate network research. His research manifested in his book Global Cities and Climate Change: The Translocal Relations of Environmental Governance (Cities and Global Governance), which established the principles of empirical climate network data analysis.

Present research (third phase), conducted within the past five years, can be characterized through sophisticated, qualitative and quantitative general and network data analysis, as well as qualitative evaluation of the decision-making process of local governments and municipalities joining multinational climate networks (Lee & Jung, 2018).

While the authors who developed the standards of climate network research – Betsill, Bulkeley, and Kern – have shifted their attention from broad network analysis to urban impact of climate measures, new authors have established themselves in the field (Busch, 2015; Cao & Ward, 2016; Chan & Asselt, 2016). Two authors who demand special recognition regarding the focus of this thesis are Oppowa and Krause, who produced the most elaborate, collective network analyses of European and German transnational municipal climate networks to date. Their quantitative analysis explicitly differentiates existing networks and distinguishes the benefits of each network. It not only compares the main climate-city networks but also incorporating the EUROCITIES network; a general city network that provides an alternative for cities that cannot afford to solely focus their efforts on climate goals, but also seek to incorporate them into their goals of urban development (Oppowa, 2015). Their research will be further discussed in Chapter 4.2.

The literature on TMNs can be condensed into two key statements, relevant to the state-of-art of these networks and this research.

TMNs as networks of pioneers for pioneers (Kern & Bulkeley, 2009).

This claim of climate networks to be networks has been validated multiple times (Oppowa, 2015; Chan & Asselt, 2016; Lee, 2018) and has become a fundamental principle for climate networks. The members who first engaged in climate actions are often the ones who have the knowledge, status, funding, and support of public opinion to justify climate actions. Potential members can seem to be overwhelmed and intimidated by all these interdependent factors. However, research has also demonstrated the importance and efficiency of climate networks in supporting local governments beyond just knowledge exchange (Lee & Jung, 2018).

The decision to join TMNs is a multivariable, complex process (Lee, 2015) .

Through network analysis it became apparent that the decision-making process to join a network is dependent on various variables and can be impulsive and unsustainable, which leads to inactive membership (Oppowa, 2015). More general networks like EUROCITIES, without a straight focus on climate preservation, tend to be the more practical solution for cities that do not hold the prestige of Climate-City status. Consequently, it is important to differentiate networks precisely to guide cities towards sustainable decisions.

The research conducted in this thesis will follow up on these statements and previous research so that a more in-depth understanding may be developed. Chapter 4 will utilize the discussed literature to provide a general overview of current major city-networks before going on to investigate criteria that are crucial for cities’ empirical decision-making processes. These findings will then be incorporated into the Decision Support later on.

4. Transnational Municipal Networks

To discuss TMNs, it is necessary to understand their position within the multilateral structure of global politics. The following paragraph will therefore clarify the tasks and structure of TMNs and put them into the context of global politics. Subsequently, different networks will be analyzed, and their benefits and shortcomings distinguished. Ultimately this analysis will provide an overview table that will summarize all findings of Chapter 4.2., that will be used for the final recommendation of the Decision Support System.

4.1. What are they?

TMNs are intermediary institutions of the modern multilateral governing structure (Kern & Bulkeley, 2009). They facilitate information exchange between local and global governmental institutions and help unify local authorities to enable them to engage in joint lobbying activities and to participate in direct discussion with higher governing institutions.

TMNs furthermore facilitate learning processes including different stakeholders, such as businesses, experts, NGOs, and ultimately their member cities. They are usually based on voluntary agreements and commitments with little to no enforcing mechanisms in place. The structure of a transnational municipal network therefore often only aims to gather information from multiple inputs and distribute it amongst the different legal entities to identify best practices. Figure 1, visualizes the engagement and distribution process of TMNs with their partners and members.

The figure visualizes the role of TMNs as moderators between members and how they influence / get influenced by governmental institutions. At the same time, networks also have to pass on the information they receive from governmental institutions to members and assist their compliance with legal regulations. This requires an organized structure for information exchange. This structure can be a horizontal or vertical, follow a bottom-up or top-down approach, or a decentralized, holacratic governing concept. This governing concept usually uses secretaries and/or executive boards to coordinate internal and external communication. There are only a few exceptions to this governing structure so far. These exceptions will be discussed more comprehensive later in this Chapter, in section 4.2. Network Overview. The central structure of networks was observed by Kern and Bulkeley and was visualized as a stakeholder-mind-map.

The agenda and structure of each network can vary slightly; still there are fundamental duties every network tries to fulfill and fundamental bodies the network tries to incoorporate. These vital tasks include information exchange, networking efforts, and often funding of projects or initiatives (Betsill & Bulkeley, 2004; Davies, 2006; Busch, 2015). However, the networks’ continuity can only be ensured by also engaging in lobbying activities, research, and target setting and/or planning efforts, as well as monitoring and certification to ensure optimal resource allocation (Lee & Jung, 2018). These activities are often monitored by a central authority within the network. In their efforts to accomplish climate goals, a network can fit multiple distinctive roles. The function as platform, consultant, commitment broker, and/or city advocate are the most commonly recognized (Busch, 2015).

4.2. Network Overview

Climate Alliance

The Climate Alliance network is the biggest climate-oriented TMN in Europe. The network represents over 1,700 municipalities in 26 European countries. It was established in 1990 as an initiative to not only combat global climate change, but also preserve the Amazonian Rainforest. The headquarters and central secretariat are located in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and the European secretariat is in Brussels, Belgium. The executive board of the network is composed of thirteen representatives of various municipalities and the Coordinadora de las Organizaciones Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica (COICA), a non-governmental organization that represents indigenous tribes of the Amazon region.

The network can be distinguished from other networks through its powerful commitment to climate preservation and existing mechanisms to help with and ensure that climate goals are being matched. Up on joining, every member has to sign a binding commitment to reduce their CO2 emission by 10% every five years. This commitment also binds members to only use sustainable, FSC-certified, non-tropical timber for municipal projects (Climate Alliance, 2019). This pledge has to also be verified by the COICA. Non-compliance will be publicized and repeated non-compliance can lead to the exclusion of the member.

To support municipalities to reach their climate goals, the Climate Alliance provides a ‘climate toolbox’ that includes software to calculate the CO2 consumption and provide suggestions for emission reduction initiatives (Oppowa, 2015; Giest & Howlett, 2013). To ensure that these ambitious goals are met, cities have to submit annual reports to the central secretariat. These reports are then published on the network’s website, to be openly discussed by peers. Consequently, the website also serves as a communication and information exchange platform for member cities. If a city is failing to publish a report in time, it is approached by the networks executive committee.

The network’s role can be generalized as an open platform for information exchange, with consulting abilities on technical issues; and as a commitment broker with slight lobbying capability on a European level. In this function, the network focuses on mitigation measures that are coordinated through a bottom-up governing process (Busch, 2015).

To facilitate municipal exchange, the Climate Alliance also partnered with Energy Cities, a network that focuses on the transition from fossil to renewable energy. Under the Tandem Program these networks try to partner a German City (Climate Alliance) and a French city (Energy Cities) to realize a successful energy transition and accomplish the climate goals, set by the Climate Alliance (Energy Cities, 2019; Climate Alliance, 2019). Partnered municipalities often communicate directly through their technical departments and exclusively focus on local agendas of the involved cities (Busch, 2015).

However, since the majority of municipalities are below the size of 30,000 inhabitants and their climate actions can still be described as ‘on their way’ (Busch, 2015), bigger cities might find it hard to find peers within the network. Yet, this aspect makes the network especially attractive for small-sized municipalities since they can expect to find peers who face the same issues (Oppowa, 2015).

The strong participation of German-speaking municipalities in the network (over a third of the members speak German) creates an optimal environment for germanophone knowledge exchange and cooperation (Oppowa, 2015; Busch, 2015). However, this strong focus on German-speaking countries is also one of the biggest exclusion factors of the network, because it might intimidate potential members with another language background (Oppowa, 2015).

To oppose this, the network initiates Partnership programs as the Tandem Program and members actively participate in the Covenant of Mayors, a coalition of mayors across the globe committed to increasing energy efficiency, using renewable energies, exchanging knowledge, and setting climate goals. For this, they also utilize the office space in Brussels, which they share with the Energy Cities and EUROCITIES networks.

Energy Cities

Energy Cities can be considered as Climate Alliance’s French counterpart. While Climate Alliance concentrates on German municipalities, Energy Cities has a strong membership of French municipalities.

The network was established in the same year as the Climate Alliance and currently represents 1,000 municipalities across 30 European countries. Its secretariats are located in Besancon, France and Brussels, Belgium. The network’s main agenda is the transition of energy production from fossil fuels to renewable resources (Energy Cities, 2019).

Energy Cities’ executive board is made up of a President and eleven directors from different European cities. Together they established a holacratic governing system in which cities work together without a clear leadership structure. This decentralized approach incentivizes a dynamic change of pioneering activity within the network. This enables members to engage freely and achieve ambitious goals of energy transition without big requirements of bureaucracy.

A city’s application to the network must be approved by the mayor and city council, otherwise the application is rejected by the network. As a result, the technical staff, present in the city council, often is the deciding stakeholder for participation in the network (Oppowa, 2015). Through the strong engagement of technical experts, the network is able to serve as a platform of consultants on a highly technical and topic-specific level. This subject-specific knowledge is also used for lobbying activities with the European commission. There, the network’s executive board takes on an advocacy role for their members and, through position papers, communicates regulatory approaches that are passed by the municipalities to the EU and vice versa (Energy Cities, 2019).

Within the network, the executive board exclusively serves as matchmaker, bringing together potential project partners. To participate, cities submit ideas to the board which in return evaluates the idea and informs potential project partners about the proposal. The board, however then only takes on administrative and management tasks during the project. This should help to unburden the participating cities and project partners from management obligations, so that they may completely focus on an effective implementation.

To ensure that project partners are matched efficiently, partnerships with other networks and NGOs are engaged by the executive board to ensure a bright variety of potential partners. Examples of these partnerships are the membership of Energy Cities in the Covenant of Mayors, the participation in the Tandem Program with Climate Alliance and the participation in the Coalition for Energy Savings, the Renovate Europe Campaign, and various other networks and programs.

The main point of exclusion for the network is its strong ties to French municipalities. Similar to the Climate Alliance, this allows excellent collaboration among francophone municipalities, but also potentially excludes municipalities of other language backgrounds.

Additionally, without a clear commitment and leadership structure the members are left to engage in projects and mitigation actions themselves. This exposes the members to the problem of free-riding and low activity in the network, leading to a loss of resources (Busch, 2015).

EUROCITIES

EUROCITIES is the third network participating in the Covenant of Mayors and also holds an office in Brussels. It was established in 1986 and currently represents 140 of Europe’s largest cities. The network’s focus is on general, urban development, while also taking on responsibilities for climate preservation (EUROCITIES, 2019). Through the relatively small number of members and their wide distribution across Europe, the network’s main language of communication is English which makes it the first network of this analysis that is unbiased to a region. Furthermore, the network’s central secretariat is located in Brussels to enable easy exchange between the EU commission and the network.

The network follows a multilateral, bottom-up governing approach. The executive board is made up of expert committees and development departments. Partnerships exist with the Energy Cities network as well as the Climate Alliance, with which the network also shares an office building and participates in the Covenant of Mayors with. The decision to join the network is made by the mayor and passed by the city council. Often the decision is heavily influenced through the technical staff of the city council, similar to Energy Cities.

The department groups of the network are Culture, General Economics, Environment, Knowledge Society (data analysis), and Mobility, and Social Affairs (EUROCITIES, 2019). The environmental department in respect hosts five working groups – Air Quality, Green Areas, Noise, Waste and Water. The distinctive feature of EUROCITIES is that even if a development plan is initiated under the networks guidance, the municipality must involve each aspect of each department to some extent. This ensures a sustainable development plan, and also makes every initiative environmentally viable (Oppowa, 2015; Heßke, 2019). During projects, the network organizes consultation on technical problems and puts potential project partners in contact. The network furthermore actively lobbies for its members’ interests at EU governing bodies, to influence regulations and pass on recommendations from its network-members to the EU.

The EUROCITIES network takes on the role of a platform, advocate, and consultant as well as to some extent as commitment broker, since environmental issues always have to be addressed in any initiative. Consequently, the network can be viewed as the most versatile of the observed networks, which is a direct result of its diversified department structure that allows municipalities to focus on various objectives within the network.

However, this diverse structure proves to be restrictive if a city aims to exclusively in the departments of climate adaption and mitigation. As the main goal of the network is urban development, and there are different departments that require attention, climate initiatives are often not prioritized in the network (Singer, 2019). Furthermore, the member structure, involving only the big cities of Europe, makes it hard for mid-sized– or small municipalities to connect with peers (Oppowa, 2015). The issue of municipality size is similar the Climate Alliance, where only small municipalities seemed to actively benefit from the membership. As a result, EUROCITIES can potentially help to achieve almost every development goal of a municipality, although it can also be an insufficient choice for small municipalities; especially if they are not connected and regulated by the EU.

ICLEI – CCP

The Cities for Climate Protection Program was initiated by one of the biggest global municipal networks – The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). It is one of the two networks, discussed in this paper, that focus specifically on connecting cities internationally and serve as platform for them to represent themselves as global actors, rather than on climate actions they implement locally (Betsill & Bulkeley, 2004). The network was founded in 1993 as a measure to involve local governments in improving urban management and to address economic, environmental, and social concerns of municipalities. The idea was that local governments should be able to develop on an urban level while also achieving the indirect benefits of environmental initiatives like better air quality, waste- and greenhouse gas reduction.

Currently the network represents 1500 municipalities worldwide and around 160 cities in over thirty European countries. It follows a strict top-down governing approach. The network’s headquarters are located in Bonn, Germany and the European secretariat is located in Freiburg, Germany (ICLEI Global, 2019). Participation in the network is exclusively decided by the mayor.

The network’s purpose is to provide efficient tools for capacity building and take the role of a strong lobbying advocate for their members. Therefore, the management level, consisting of a central executive board, council, advisory board, and general secretary, has engaged partnerships with important international institutions. Influential partners include the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), International Centre for Sustainable Cities (ICSC), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Consequently, the network’s communication is conducted exclusively in English.

The networks five-step milestone program enables members to effectively and efficiently organize capacity building and guide their local governments to best practices and policy learning. The CCP further provides training and technical assistance, as well as an emission quantification software tool (Betsill & Bulkeley, 2004). This tool is similar to the Ecoregio tool of Climate Alliance, which helps cities to track their–, and others climate actions and makes it easy for members to be hold accountable for their actions.

Information exchange within the network is facilitated through regular newsletters, case studies, and peer-to-peer exchange with international experts and local governments through annual meetings. All this information is provided on the network’s website, which acts also serves as the central networking tool for members (Busch, 2015).

The biggest advantage are the outstanding international connections ICLEI and CCP facilitate (Oppowa, 2015; Busch, 2015). This international representation helps cities to embed themselves and their climate actions within a global context. The network’s size and resources furthermore allow remarkable data collection and technical support for best practice implementations. The high financial capacity ICLEI finally also enables the network to host big events where municipalities can exchange within a very culturally diverse setting (Busch, 2015). Another advantage is that the decision for participation has to only be passed by the mayor. This means it can be passed very quickly (Oppowa, 2015).

Subsequently, the networks biggest advantages can also reveal the network’s biggest disadvantages. For instance, the international activities and focus can make it hard to implement solutions on a local level, and the culturally diverse background makes it hard to exchange with peers who face similar problems and have a comparable municipal structure. The meetings and events are often perceived as superficial and hollow (Busch, 2015). Interviewees also report that as a result of easy joining process, the decision to participate can be perfunctory because it is only dependable on the mayor in office (Oppowa, 2015). Finally, the top-down structure within the network makes decision-making complicated and bureaucratic (Oppowa, 2015).

Therefore, cities that are not directly involved in the network, like Bonn or Freiburg, often keep the status of a globally connected city (granted through membership), but become inactive and eventually seek technical advice on local actions from other networks, especially after a change of mayor (Oppowa, 2015; Busch, 2015).

C40 Network

The C40 Network is the other network presented in this thesis that, similar to ICLEI s CCP, focuses especially on the international representation of their members. Contrary to the CCP, it is relatively small. With only 94 current members, it is the smallest of the discussed networks. The forty core cities of this network united in 2005 to form the network, which also makes it the youngest network observed in this thesis. Nonetheless, the network currently accounts for 700+ million citizens and more than 25% of the global economy (Lee & Meene, 2012; C40Cities, 2019).

Different to the CCP it follows a holacratic approach, similar to Energy Cities. Cities should initiate and engage climate actions through their own motivation and be able to accomplish ambitious climate goals without bureaucratic pressure. Through assigning special positions to cities, the network however structures its members into inventor - and/ or observer city categories. This categorization should help cities to organize themselves more efficient, connect and control peers (C40Cities, 2019).

Innovator cities provide innovative solutions and pioneer ideas for the metropolises of the network (mostly observer cities), in return the bigger municipalities help smaller ones with capacity building measures. In the process, the cities focus on the different fields: Adaption and Implementation, Air Quality, Energy & Buildings, Food, Waste and Water, and Transportation & Urban planning (C40Cities, 2019). Through workshops and programs the network also provides expert knowledge on City Finances, Diplomacy, Measurement & Planning and Business and Innovation (Lee & Meene, 2012).

The key feature, that ultimately distinguishes the network from other Transnational Municipal Networks is its exclusivity. The network can only be joined up on invitation. This invitation acknowledges the city’s significance, engagement in environmental issues and competence to pursue ambitious climate actions. Therefore, it also establishes a global status for the member-city as green-pioneer or important mega-cities.

The shortcomings of the network are similar to those of the CCP. Through the international focus, members might find it difficult to communicate with peers on an eye-to-eye level. Especially through the categorization of members, they often only interact with peers that are advanced in the same area and face the same problems. Furthermore, the initiatives, pioneered by innovator cities (considerably smaller than the observing mega-cities), might not be applicable on a large scale. On the contrary, similar difficulties can arise for small municipalities. As they might not have the financial capacity of metropolitan cities, implementing highly sophisticated climate initiatives might not be possible.

Ultimately, the laissez-faire approach also exposes the members to the problem of free-riding. Lee observed, that “central cities [of the network] are more connected than less central cities” (Lee, 2018). As a result, they are more likely to benefit from the membership, whereas less connected cities are less likely to advance their climate actions and are less likely to engage in actions. However, the problem of free-rider is considerably smaller than in the Energy Cities network, because of the exclusive status provided through the network and the associated feel of responsibility by the members. Furthermore, members are compelled to submit regular reports on their progress, which encourages participation. However, this falling behind of cities, observable mainly in networks with a decentralized structure, confirms once more that climate city networks are “networks of pioneers for pioneers” (Kern & Bulkeley, 2009).

4.3. Overview table

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Table 1: Overview of European Transnational Municipal Networks

5. City Planning and City Decisions to Join Global Climate Networks

A city can be characterized as a settlement of primarily high-rise buildings, with a comparatively dense population. It usually serves as religious, cultural, economic, and ruling center for its surrounding settlements (Schäfers, 2006; Giseke & Spiegel, 2007; Dijkstra & Poelman, 2012). Furthermore, it offers the most diverse fields of work. This usually attracts young people and those that are seeking employment, and in respect affects the cities demographics and labor market. In addition to this dynamic structure it also facilitates trade on a national and even international level. Especially mega-cities, with an extraordinary number of citizens, evolved to financial- and international trade hubs (Melosi, 1993; Turok & Mykhnenko, 2007). The rapid increase of international companies, capital investment and monetary flow in the early 1980s accelerated the growth of cities to an almost unmanageable pace. This led to modern problems like urban sprawl and slums (Schäfers, 2006; Jorgenson, et al., 2010).

Since then, city and urban planning has become an even more crucial tool to ensure that the city correctly identifies and fulfills the needs of its inhabitants. Furthermore, urban planning should help to ensure a more regulated and sustainable growth of economy and population of the city (Schäfers, 2006; Heckel, et al., 2010). However, the planning process is also always requires resources – not only financial, but also human capital that has to be available for administrative tasks (Schäfers, 2006).

The goals of a city can usually be extracted from its urban development concept that frames the intermediate future plans of the city (Heckel, et al., 2010). This development concept often also aims to establish the identity of the city. For instance, a city can aim to identify as an entrepreneurial city, that tries to maximize the innovative and creative potential in order to gain access to emerging markets; a pioneer city, that acts as an innovative “melting pot” and wants to deliver great opportunities to pioneer global initiatives; a livable city, that primarily addresses quality of life and environmental as well as energy issues to develop an attractive place to live and work; or a connected city that mainly seeks opportunities through advancing transportation and infrastructure so that it may act as nodal point in polycentric networks (Lombardi, et al., 2012; Bonis, 2013).

However, it can be observed that plans, regardless of the city’s identity, nearly always focus efforts on core issues like affordable housing, facilitation of job creation, transport and sanitary infrastructure, quality of life and economic development (Schäfers, 2006). According to city officials environmental issues are often not prioritized and are seen as privileges of developed cities, since they require additional attention and capital and do not describe immediate concerns of urban planning (Singer, 2019).

Transnational municipal networks are therefore usually not approached by less developed cities, because their constitutions often demand some sort of resource from a city. However, networks can also help to address environmental issues of the cities and lift administrative or financial burdens.

5.1. Why do cities join?

Generally, there are eight factors discussed in the literature, that enable cities to join global climate networks. The factors can be classified as primary, secondary and tertiary. Socio-economical, institutional, and cultural aspects can all affect, and be relevant to the decision-making process. However, cultural aspects should not be considered primary or secondary factors, as they have not been identified as driving factors by previous studies. This can be due to the fundamental goal of transnational municipal networks to facilitate cultural exchange. Therefore, cultural similarities between members usually only play a subordinate role in the decision-making process. This thesis identifies political tradition and participation, financial capacity and economic development, and global city connectivity as primary factors. Secondary factors are population, regional factors, and civil involvement. Finally, tertiary factors are language, and personal affiliation to a network or connection to current member cities (Lee, 2013; Mocca, 2017; Rashidi & Patt, 2018; Lee, 2018).

5.1.1. Primary factors

Political tradition and environmental view

Political tradition and involvement is a core factor for participation, since the decision to join a network is often made by mayoral- or city council accord (Oppowa, 2015). A basic political interest in climate conservation can spark the idea to join a climate network, whereas a general political interest in strong economic growth can inhibit it (Lee & Painter, 2015). It appears that municipal governments with a central-left orientation, that favor green initiatives are likely to engage, and stay active, in more translocal climate networks. The ideals of a variety of stakeholders being involved in the decision-making process, a progressive and critical view on central governing bodies, and the aspects of sustainable development resonate strongly with the ideologies of center-left parties (Mocca, 2017). Additionally, an existing environmental plan by the city council can favor the participation in global climate networks.

As a result, the political attitude of a government can also affect the future participation of a city within a climate network. As Oppowa observed, cities that stopped participating in networks often experienced a recent change of local government. This was observed in the cases of Hamburg and Munich, which both stopped their participation in the Climate Cities Protection network after a change of governing parties. (Oppowa, 2015).

Finally, administrative autonomy is another politically influenced factor in the cities’ participation process. Lee argues that a higher level of financial and administrative autonomy reduces the influence of central governments on domestic and international activities of local governments (Lee, 2015). Since transnational municipal climate actions take place globally, and can vary even within the same national context, a stronger decentralization can favor the participation in global climate networks. Mocca’s findings furthermore suggest that politically autonomous cities have a higher policymaking capacity and/or political influence to convert network initiatives into policies of their own, and are therefore more effective in addressing climate issues (Mocca, 2017).

Financial capacity and development

Financial capacity and especially a high degree of development favors the decision-making process. Without a surplus of financial and human capital, cities are unable to finance and manage initiatives (Ryan, 2015). Additionally, a citiy’s level of development directly correlates with its ability to participate in global (climate) networks. It ensures that the city possesses the required infrastructure to effectively participate in climate networks. This development level can be evaluated, using the UN-Habitat CPI index (Lee, 2015). Additionally, the fiscal capability of a city is commonly disclosed in public financial statements and is commonly referenced in the city’s development plan. Financial spending power can then further be measured by income per capita, which is usually disclosed by the corresponding bureau of statistics.

However, it ultimately is open to debate if financial spending power actually affects participation in transnational municipal networks. According to data collected by Mocca, financial capability only contributes to participation in global climate networks by the ability to budget correctly (Mocca, 2017). Findings of Oppowa and Busch support this claim, as they observe that networks can both financially and administratively support climate initiatives without requiring high upfront investment from members (Oppowa, 2015; Busch, 2015). Furthermore, Schöneberger suggests that the setting of emission reduction targets is not attached to any monetary costs for the city (Schönberger, 2013).

On the other hand, participation in networks can also be increased if climate consultation services require financial investment, because it incentivizes cities to use these services (Rashidi & Patt, 2018).

Nevertheless, cities that cannot afford the initial costs of employing a network-coordinator, or that face more direct issues like affordable housing or job opportunities, will rarely consider long term benefits of climate actions and will instead prioritize the short term needs of their city (Holgate, 2007). For cities with a tight budget and/or a lack in human resources, as well as potential development issues it is therefore difficult to take part in exclusive climate networks. Attractive TMNs for these cities are networks that do not exclusively focus on climate issues but also consider economic development or offer funding and/or support with administrative tasks of climate actions. Potential networks are EUROCITIES and Energy Cities.

Global city connectivity

Global city connectivity is one of the major influences on participation in a transnational municipal network. As one of the main tasks of such networks is to connect cities on a continental and international scale, one of the big goals of members is to present themselves as global actors (Toly, 2008). It is furthermore important to the network that potential members can facilitate this international exchange and contribute to the network through organizing events or participating in regular meetings (Lee, 2013).

Global city connectivity can be measured, inter alia, by the number of annual airport passengers, which denotes their role as transportation hub and center for human resource flow. This ensures that potential conventions can be hosted without complications of international transits (Lee, 2013). An additional factor of global connectivity can be the national status of the city. Cities that are capitals of a country are more likely to engage in networks with international focus, since they represent their country. The more international ties a city has the more likely it is to engage in international municipal networks (Lee, 2013).

Furthermore, the use of the global city index, developed by the Globalization and World Cities Studies Group and Network (GaWC), can be a helpful tool to determine the level of international representation of a city. The global city index is mainly determined by overlapping global producer services and number of international firms in the city, incentivizing cities to interact globally through the private sector. This data, combined with number of international passengers, reflects the level of globalization more accurately than the level of international trade a city is involved in (Lee, 2013). As a result, the index specifies four levels of global-cityness: alpha -, beta-, gamma-, and evidence of world cities.

Global alpha cities can profit most from big international networks such as the C40 cities or the CCP, since they establish the city as “global-green” in an international context, which results in increased international exchange (Busch, 2015). However, these networks also require a high level of resources, not just for administration but also financially, to meet the ambitious climate goals of the networks (Lee & Meene, 2012; Lee, 2013).

5.1.2. Secondary factors

Population

The population of a city is not regarded as a primary factor for participation, because cities can engage in climate activities regardless of their size. However, population can serve as an indicator for financial and human capital (Lee, 2015). Generalized, big cities have a higher financial capacity, stronger ties to the internationally connected private sector, and a better infrastructure to facilitate international transit (Zhang, et al., 2016; Frick & Rodríguez‐Pose, 2018). Since big cities likewise often face environmental and quality of life issues such as air pollution and too little green space within the city (because of dense population) they are more obliged to address them (Zhang, et al., 2016).

However, the size of a city can likewise favor participation in specific networks. As discussed in Chapter 4, the Climate Alliance network primarily connects small municipalities (Oppowa, 2015; Busch, 2015). This can benefit potential members of similar size because they are able to connect with peers who face similar issues. On the other hand, it can be counterproductive to initiate networks where the population size of members varies highly. In these networks, it can be hard to relate issues of a metropole of 5 million inhabitants to problems of a municipality of only 5000 citizens (Oppowa, 2015; Heßke, 2019).

Regional factors

Regional factors significantly affect the decision-making process, if cities are threatened to be immediately affected by global climate change (Lee, 2015). Cities that are especially prone to impacts of climate change are for instance municipalities in coastal areas (Lee, 2013). According to the OECD there are 136 cities worldwide that are identified as port cities (OECD, 2019). These port cities often experience the impacts of global climate change first hand through direct exposure to natural disasters or change in water levels (Lee, 2015). As a result, they are likelier to engage climate mitigation actions or implement adaptation measures to combat existing issues, caused by climate change.

However, regional factors are very specific aspects of the decision process and can therefore not be regarded as prime factors for participation in in this study. Nevertheless, they are important factors to why cities join global climate networks, especially if they just experienced a natural disaster, caused by climate change (Lee, 2015).

For coastal cities, the proposed network is the Delta Cities network. This network, however, is not included in the research of Chapter 4 because of its incompatibility with the average European city. Networks like EUROCITIES, CCP and Climate Alliance are more suitable for non-port cities. These networks also focus efforts on implementing adaptation and mitigation measures and connect a broader number of cities.

Nevertheless, Delta Cities is the most suitable network for coastal cities, since it primarily connects international port cities (Lee, 2015), thereby helping cities exchange with peers on specific problems and discuss the needs of cities in coastal areas.

Civil involvement

Civil involvement is a crucial factor in the successful implementation of complex climate agendas, but not in the city’s decision to join a global (climate) network (Lee, 2013; Mocca, 2017). While mayors and city council drive urban climate governance, the implementation of their agendas is dependent on the contributions of civil society and requires input from research groups and the business sector (Lee & Painter, 2015). They represent the stakeholders that implement the administrative visions and/or have to comply with governmental regulations. Without the support of its citizens, a city is unable to effectively implement climate mitigation and adaption measures.

Special attention in this interrelationship must be given to public private partnerships. In these partnerships the public sector employs private companies to implement their visions and carry out climate action initiatives set by regulations (Lee, 2013). Often these contractors are employed to remodel districts, to be more environmentally friendly, and perform changes to the structure of buildings and housing quarters, to be more resource-efficient.

Especially cities that seek economic development can profit tremendously from a strong affiliation with local private partnerships helping with the implementation of climate actions (Lee, 2015; Mocca, 2017). It can both stimulate economic growth of the local businesses, and successfully achieve sustainable climate agendas. Consequently, cities with a primary focus on traditional and fossil fuel industries should seek public-private partnerships and civil involvement to effectively implement climate actions. This can ultimately prevent that a change towards renewable energies results in a loss of job opportunities, causing political discontent (Lee, 2015).

The required data to measure civil involvement and local affiliation can be found in the UN HABITAT index (Lee, 2015). Networks that support economic growth and offer possibilities for public-private partnerships are Energy Cities and EUROCITIES. These networks primarily seek the implementation of renewable energy solutions in a city and strive to stimulate the (economic) growth of a city (Oppowa, 2015).

5.1.3. Tertiary factors

Language and personal preferences

Tertiary factors are complementary aspects of the decision process to join a transnational municipal (climate) network. While they usually play a subordinate role, they can still affect the decision, especially when there are multiple potential networks to be joined (Lee, 2015). The preeminent tertiary factor, influencing the decision-making process, is language spoken in the network. Furthermore, participation of ethnic or religious minority groups or personal affiliation of city officials to existing members can also affect the decision-making process.

All these factors help to identify a network of most suitable peers to enable easy coordination, even if the city coordinator does not speak a world language like English. However, the case of language homophily is a very specific factor, and is almost exclusively observed only in networks and members in North America and central Europe (Lee & Meene, 2012). Additionally, homophily is typically only relevant for cities that are less globally connected, and are usually small municipalities (Lee, 2015). Globally well-connected cities are commonly able to provide easy communication in one of the world languages.

Examples of existing homophily were discussed in Chapter 4.2.3 and therefore detect this factor to be relevant in the Decision Support System. Chapter 4 identified Energy Cities network as Francophone, and Climate Alliance to be specifically favorable for German-speaking municipalities (Oppowa, 2015; Busch, 2015).

6. Decision Support System

The Decision Support System is divided into three levels, which correlate to their relevance in the decision-making process. To make following the Decision Support easy, it is designed as a questionnaire with a multiple-choice system.

Each answer assigns a value to the variables of the networks, discussed in Chapter 4 and 5. The total points are ultimately added up to ultimately provide a network-recommendation. This recommendation will be the network which variable reaches the highest overall score.

All question variables follow a binomial structure, either contributing to the point system or not. Each attribute assigs a positive value from to each decision, reaching from 0 to 1. Exceptional variables to the tally system are Barrier and Delta Cities, as well as the last questions on personal preferences. Each of them has to be viewed with a higher significance than the other variables because they can tremendously affect the decision process. If any points are collected for either variable, special decisions will be suggested to the city.

The variable Barrier is assigned binomial values from 0 to +1, same as the other variables of the system. However, if the final score for this variable is assigned any value > 1, then it is suggested to the city to not participate in any TMNs. If the assigned value is exactly +1, then a more in-depth review will be suggested to the city. Finally, a value of 0 for the Barrier -variable does not affect the decision support at all. Additionally, any points for the Delta Cities -variable will suggest the Delta Cities TMN to the city. This is due to its specific fit to coastal areas and port cities. Finally, answering yes to question 11 will add +2 points to each network mentioned in personal preferences. This adjustment was made because of the potentially strong influence of personal opinion on the decision-making process. The control questionnaire, displaying all possible values for each question, can be found in the appendix.

6.1. Questionnaire

Level 1

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Level 2

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Level 3

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

7. Case Studies

As the previous chapters identified, the decision-making process is a multivariable process and therefore different for each individual city. To examine this further and to confirm the DSS, three cities are selected as case studies. Each city has different political and/or economic characteristics. The Decision Support System is applied to each city to evaluate current or potential network choices.

7.1. Leipzig

Leipzig’s history is characterized by a dynamic development as well as radical changes, especially during the 20th century. From a cosmopolitan, striving center, the city was drastically degraded to an almost irrelevant city in East Germany after the fall of the GDR. It had to fight a lot of demographic and social problems, and continuous to do so, after the reunification of Germany (Stadt Leipzig, 2018).

This fight, also for economic and political relevance, explains most of the city’s development decisions post-GDR. In particular, the loss of around 100,000 inhabitants hit the city’s economy and development process. Until 2007, the number of inhabitants was still 25,000 below the 1989 population, despite an area growth by 50%. This also influenced the employment rate, which shrank by 85% within the first three years of the reunification of Germany (Giseke & Spiegel, 2007). Even today Leipzig ranks high in terms of unemployment rate with 7.2% (Germanys unemployment rate is currently at 3.1%). As a result, it should come to no surprise that the core aim of the recent city development plan is still the creation and preservation of jobs (Stadt Leipzig, 2018).

This need for development, as city officials put it (Heßke, 2019), is visible in the UN-Habitats City Prosperity Index (CPI) of the city. It ranks it only in the top 51% percentile of compared cities. This puts Leipzig on the same development level as for instance Lima, Jakarta, Bangkok or Mexico City (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2019).

To evaluate this, the commissioner for climate protection and the commissioner for international cooperation have been interviewed. Both officials claimed that the city is interested in climate protection, but also mentioned the lack of resources to achieve ambitious climate goals. The commissioner for climate protection stressed the fact that climate initiatives as well as partnerships with other cities often fail because of the substantial lack of financial resources for climate issues (Singer, 2019). This was also acknowledged by the commissioner for international cooperation, who emphasized Leipzig’s need for economic development and economic stabilization. However, she underlined the city’s focus on national cooperation while emphasizing that Leipzig is an internationally competitive city (Heßke, 2019).

A study conducted by the Siemens group further showed that Leipzig is actively addressing climate protection, despite its long history of coal mining (Economist Intelligence Unit, 2011). However, because of this long tradition in the mining sector a change to production and consumption of 100% renewable energy will require strong civil involvement to spark a rethinking process within the society and pressure the city government into climate actions (Singer, 2019).

To validate the Decision Support System, the available data from city reports, as well as the interviews with city officials were used to create the city’s CPI (Appendix) and fill out the questionnaire. The preexisting assumption that Leipzig would not join climate-focused transnational municipal networks, because of lack of financial resources and the assumption that the city would prioritize networks that focus on cities seeking economic development, financial and administrative support and civil involvement could be confirmed. Suitable networks like EUROCITIES and Energy Cities were confirmed and suggested by the support system (Appendix). As a third option, the system successfully confirmed Climate Alliance, in which Leipzig also participates as observing member.

7.2. Heidelberg

Heidelberg’s city development and contribution to global climate actions are very different from those of Leipzig. Heidelberg is located in the central south-west of Germany. Because it was spared by the bombs of the second World War and was located in the American occupation zone, it has experienced a stable urban development since the 1950s. Today the biggest employers are the city’s university and university hospital. This status as an academic stronghold (with Germany’s oldest university) gave the city reputation within the global research community. Furthermore, the political environment of the city and its state was, and still is, influenced stronger by the central-left, environmental party (compared to the rest of Germany), since the 1980s. Especially the city’s current mayor is a strong advocate for climate protection and environmental initiatives.

Heidelberg’s strong urban development can be observed from the city’s high CPI, its elaborate urban development plan, and its environmental commitment through strong participation in transnational municipal climate networks. The UN-Habitats CPI places the city in the 66th percentile of developed cities (Appendix), in line with Dublin, Melbourne, Manchester, Sydney, and Toronto (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2019). This percentage is significantly higher than that of any of the cities studied in this chapter.

Heidelberg’s strong commitment towards climate protection can primarily be attributed to the strong historical influence of green politics (Bermich, 2019). The city’s forerunning role in environmental matters was already recognized by scholars as early as 2006 (Bulkeley & Kern, 2006). However, the interviewed city official also acknowledged that Heidelberg currently participates in too many climate networks and is thus unable to be meaningfully active in most of them. Yet he also confirmed, that the city will keep up an inactive membership as long as the financial burden is not reaching “unbearable” costs (Bermich, 2019).

As driving factors for participation in global networks, the interviewed city official indicated the strong political interest of the mayor to represent Heidelberg as an international, cosmopolitan city and the proximity of the mayor to climate networks (Prof. Dr. Würzner is the president of Energy Cities). He, however, also acknowledged that the membership to networks has to provide a practical benefit for the city and its environmental initiatives. Therefore some memberships are not actively pursued by the city anymore (Bermich, 2019).

Ultimately the interview revealed that Heidelberg is aware of its position as global climate pioneer, and therefore is seeking to exchange with international peers who are as committed to climate protection as Heidelberg is. Contrary to Leipzig, the decision to join a network appears to be mainly influenced by personal affiliation and preference, as well as the strong interest to represent the city internationally. The numerous network memberships are not seen under a cost effective, financial aspect but rather by an altruistic need for climate protection (Bermich, 2019). Nonetheless, the interviewed official also recognized that this commitment is only possible because of the city’s high development standard and fiscal wealth of the city. He was also not able to explained the specific factors that influenced, or could have changed, the city’s decisions of which network to join at the time.

Yet, he confirmed that Heidelberg now prioritizes networks based on to the strong personal involvement or the exclusivity and conditions of the network. The Decision Support System confirmed this claim successfully and suggested Energy Cities and C40 as networks of prioritized interest (Appendix). However, it was unable to detect that the CCP lost its appeal for the city and suggested it as third option, even though city currently only participates as inactive/ passive member in the network.

7.3. Cottbus

Similar to Leipzig, Cottbus experienced a strong deindustrialization and change in urban structure after the reunification of Germany. During the regime of the GDR, Cottbus was designed as central city for coal mining. As a result, the change in structure, after the fall of the GDR, was accompanied by a structural unemployment. Within the first decade after the reunification, the employment rate dropped by 18% (Fischer & Kühn, 2009), challenging the city to reimagine itself. Contrary to Leipzig, the city, however, had no rich history to fall back on and struggled with its identity.

Due to a frequent change in political structure the city administration failed to develop a clear mission statement. The various urban development concepts (seven within 15 years) were unsuccessful to direct the city towards a clear structure, but tried to diversify the city and lost orientation (Fischer & Kühn, 2009). The problems of high unemployment rates and a small job market have only recently been addressed in the integrative urban development plan. As a result, Cottbus faces an excessive public debt. Additionally, the city’s GDP per capita is the lowest out of all three observed cities. The CPI ranks Cottbus in the 49th percentile of developed cities, similar to Jakarta, Marrakech, Casablanca, and Lima (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2019). This is very close to Leipzig in terms of development status. However, the absence of political pressure to participate in an international exchange led to the situation that Cottbus is not part in any transnational municipal network.

The city’s urban development plan also shows that Cottbus primarily focuses on stable economic development and local initiatives. It does not seek international representation, and rather joins programs with German peers. Furthermore, in addition to the general lack of financial capacity, the city also shows a strong influence of conservative-right parties, that are less likely to be active engage in environmental initiatives. Subsequently, climate actions and initiatives are often not prioritized and the idea of participating in global (climate) networks is disregarded.

Prior to the analysis through the DSS, the hypothesis for Cottbus was that due to the strong financial and economic struggle Cottbus could not finance the initial costs of joining a network. This hypothesis was only semi confirmed, since no city official could be interviewed on what the actual reasons are (the positions of commissioner for environmental issues as well as the commissioner for international actions had not been filled at the time of this study). Therefore, it can only be assumed that the city does not pursue the participation in global (climate) networks due to lack of financial resources and focus on local agendas.

The Decision Support System ultimately suggested no participation as most suitable, but further suggested the same networks as it did for Leipzig, EUROCITIES (suggested the strongest), followed by Energy Cities and Climate Alliance (Appendix).

8. Discussion and Reflections

The results of the case study verify the Decision Support System. It was successful in predicting the networks the cities joined and how they prioritized them. This indicates that the recommendations provided to other cities through the system would represent their interests and successfully suggest the optimal network for the cities.

However, the DSS showed problems in successfully predicting activity in the networks, as observed in the case of Heidelberg. There the system suggested the CCP as third priority, even though the city official reported that Heidelberg has been inactive in the network because of mismatching interests.

The case of Heidelberg also made apparent that personal affiliation or strong personal interests of the mayor can heavily influence, and drive the decision-making process. However, both those variables were previously considered tertiary factors in Chapter 5. This had to then be adjusted in the DSS by weighting them heavier, because of their strong influence. This showed that, even though the general prioritization of influencing variables is correct, a definite ranking into primary, secondary and tertiary factors is not possible.

Furthermore, the case study of Cottbus showed that an interview of city officials is vital to the confirmation of the DSS, otherwise the outcome can only be assumed to be true. This proves to be less critical for the actual use of the support system outside of scientific studies, because it will only be used to guide the city’s decision. It only is important to the cases discussed this study, because without an interview the case study of Cottbus cannot be completely scientifically validated.

Nevertheless, the system does provide sufficient guidance for the decision-making process and ensures that the suggestions are validated as well as possible within the limited set of time, and the scope of a bachelor thesis. It is, however, possible to be improved through future research. Suggestions to adjust the Decision Support System would be to include more factors and consider more networks in the framework research. Also a larger amount of qualitative data and number of interviews could minimize the probability of bias. Finally, the data can be proved empirically to see if they hold true by statistical means as well. Eventually, the empirical data can also be utilized to develop an index of likeliness to join and determine the actual probability for active participation in networks.

9. Conclusions

The process of joining Transnational Municipal (Climate) Networks is a multivariable and complex process. This thesis examined the correlation of various of these variables and developed a Decision Support System in accordance to them. The scientific groundwork of this research was an intensive literature review that was supported by qualitative and quantitative data later in the thesis.

To understand the motivation of TMNs, Chapter 4 defined municipal networks and put them into the context of international politics. It defined the structure of a TMN as well as the mechanisms by which they connect members and achieve their global goals. The fundamental duties of TMNs could be defined as: serving as platforms, consultants, commitment brokers, and city advocates for their members. The networks have to fulfill the fundamental tasks of knowledge exchange, networking, and often also funding projects or initiatives. To insure a continuous interaction with their members, networks should also engage in lobbying activities, research, target setting, and monitoring as well as certification. This ensures a high engagement rate of their member cities.

To put these tasks into a more practical context, as well as highlighting where networks distinguish themselves from others, Chapter 4 also analyzed five of the biggest TMNs in Europe. This analysis identified the roles of the networks along with, their advantages and shortcomings and ultimately condensed them into an overview table (Table 1). It could be concluded that each network fits a particular niche and provides its members with specific support, ranging from providing a platform for technical exchange to administrative- and financial support. After determining what distinguishes the networks, the factors that influence the decision-making process have been researched.

The research identified eight factors to be crucial to the decision-making process. These factors are political tradition, financial capacity, economic development, global city connectivity, population, regional factors, civil involvement, and language and personal preference. Due to their different relevance for the decision-making process, these factors could be loosely categorized as primary, secondary and tertiary. The reviewed literature and provided data suggested that primary factors heavily influence the decision-making process, whereas tertiary factors do not necessarily play a deciding role in the decision-making process. This statement was refuted and a Decision Support System in form of a questionnaire was developed, according to these adjusted factors. This system also utilized the distinctive traits of the observed networks to deliver a suitable recommendation for which network should be prioritized in the process. Ultimately the finalized questionnaire was applied to three case studies to validate the developed system. The findings of the case studies were then discussed and reflected on. As a result of this discussion, the Decision Support System could be evaluated to have a reasonable accuracy for the scopes of a bachelor thesis and the limited time frame of the research. Suggestions to improve of the Decision Support System were given in Chapter 8, and can be applied in future research.

Appendix

Control Questionnaire

Level 1

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Level 2

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Level 3

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Possible variables

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Decision Support System Results

Leipzig

Questionnaire

Level 1

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Level 2

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Level 3

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Answer Matrix

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Heidelberg

Questionnaire

Level 1

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Level 2

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Level 3

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Answer Matrix

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Cottbus

Questionnaire

Level 1

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Level 3

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Answer Matrix

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UN-Habitat CPI

Leipzig

http://cpi.unhabitat.org/estimate-cpi-your-city

Heidelberg

http://cpi.unhabitat.org/estimate-cpi-your-city

Cottbus

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

http://cpi.unhabitat.org/estimate-cpi-your-city

Interview Outline

Leipzig

1. Wie formuliert die Stadt Leipzig ihre Klimaziele?

a. Welchen Einfluss haben dabei die Netzwerke?

2. Warum hat sich die Stadt Leipzig für den Beitritt zu Städtenetzwerken entschieden, trotz einer mittelgroßen Stadtgröße, und keiner unmittelbaren Bedrohung durch den Klimawandel.

a. Warum europäische Netzwerke?

i. European Energy Awards

ii. Klima-Bündnis

1. War der Deutschsprachige Faktor ausschlaggebend?

iii. Euro Cities – welches Department bekommt am meisten Aufmerksamkeit?

3. Wie hat sich der Weg zum Beitritt für die Stadt gestaltet?

a. Wie war der Prozess der Entscheidungsfindung zum Beitritt der einzelnen Netzwerke?

b. Wie wurden/werden die Auflagen der Netzwerke priorisiert/ erfüllt? (Dazu gerne auch vertiefende Informationen zu dem Klimaschutz Plan der Stadt)

c. Welche Ziele stehen noch für die Zukunft offen?

d. Wie werden Aufgaben der Netzwerke priorisiert?

4. Welche Gewinne hat sich die Stadt Leipzig durch einen Beitritt zu einem Städtenetzwerk erhofft?

a. Sind diese Erwartungen bisher erfüllt worden, oder in absehbarer Zeit erfüllbar?

5. Wie gestaltet sich die Arbeit / Zusammenarbeit im/ mit Netzwerk/en?

a. Covenant of Mayors [EUROCITIES]

b. Aktivität im Klimabündnis?

c. Energy Cities, Climate Alliance, and EUROCITIES share an office/ building

6. Wäre es für die Stadt Leipzig in Betracht zu ziehen einem globalen/anderen Netzwerk beizutreten, um die deutsche Präsenz auf globaler Ebene zu unterstützen? – Erfahrungen aus dem EuroCities netzwerk

a. ICLEI

b. Energy Cities

7. Wäre eine Berufung zu den C40 Städten anstrebenswert?

a. Gründe warum

b. Gründe warum nicht

Heidelberg

1. Wie formuliert die Stadt Heidelberg ihre Klimaziele?

a. Welchen Einfluss haben dabei die Netzwerke?

2. Warum hat sich die Stadt Heidelberg für den Beitritt zu den C40 Städten entschieden, trotz einer mittelgroßen Stadtgröße, und keiner unmittelbaren Bedrohung durch den Klimawandel.

3. Wie hat sich der Weg zum Beitritt für die Stadt gestaltet?

a. Wie war der Prozess der Entscheidungsfindung zum Beitritt der einzelnen Netzwerke?

b. Wie wurden/werden die Auflagen der Netzwerke priorisiert/ erfüllt? (Dazu gerne auch vertiefende Informationen zu dem Klimaschutz Plan der Stadt)

c. Welche Ziele stehen noch für die Zukunft offen?

d. Wie werden Aufgaben der Netzwerke priorisiert?

4. Welche Gewinne hat sich die Stadt Heidelberg durch einen Beitritt zu einem Städtenetzwerk erhofft?

a. Sind diese Erwartungen bisher erfüllt worden, oder in absehbarer Zeit erfüllbar?

5. Wäre es für die Stadt Heidelberg in Betracht zu ziehen einem anderen Netzwerk beizutreten?

a. ICLEI

b. Climate Alliance

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57 of 57 pages

Details

Title
Transnational Municipal Networks in Europe
Subtitle
A Decision Support for Local Governments
College
Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus
Course
Environmental and Resource Management
Grade
1,3
Author
Year
2019
Pages
57
Catalog Number
V500563
Language
English
Tags
Climate Change, Transnational Municipal Networks, C40 Cities, Climate Alliance, Energy Cities, EUROCITIES, ILCEI, CCP, Climate Action, Decision Support System, Multi-Stakeholder governing body
Quote paper
Philip Gatzlaff (Author), 2019, Transnational Municipal Networks in Europe, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/500563

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