Our research aims to advance collaborative governance between citizens and governments for sustainable urban development. Smart use of ICT presents a ‘’golden opportunity’’ for engaging citizens to co-produce liveable cities. Many local and regional governments are experimenting with social networking technologies but little is known about their significance in civic involvement. Therefore, our key research objective is to analyze how the use of ICT stimulates or hinders collaborative sustainability governance.

We investigate the dynamics, outcomes and the critical factors of co-creation between citizens and governments in various policy domains (infrastructure, economy and social issues) and in three different countries (Brazil, UK and the Netherlands). A strong focus on place, heterogeneity, spatial variation and context maximises the relevance of our research for a variety of cities all around the world.

The research is conducted by three research institutes: Utrecht University (Netherlands), Stirling University (UK) and Fundação Getulio Vargas (Brazil). In addition, the research is embedded in the international cooperation between the cities of Utrecht (the Netherlands), Glasgow (UK, Scotland) and Curitiba (Brazil). The cross-country comparison helps to reveal the contextualized, place-specific influences on governance models and their societal results. The research will not produce a one-size-fits all approach to smart governance but the basis for learning between cities around the world.


This research is funded by NWO, ESRC and FAPESP.


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