Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: Administrative Capacity and Collaboration in Local Sustainability Initiatives

Friday, November 13, 2015 : 9:30 AM
Gautier (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Christopher Hawkins, University of Central Florida and Cali A Curley, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis
While sustainability has gained significant attention from local policy and governance researchers in recent years, studies on collaboration between city governments and other entities to help manage sustainability initiatives has largely been explored through case study research. Researchers and practitioners are thus limited in their ability to draw generalizable conclusions about the factors that influence collaboration.  In this paper we utilize the Integrated City Sustainability Database (ICSD), a comprehensive nation-wide database of municipal sustainability initiatives, to identify the types of organizations that cities collaborate with on sustainability management and the relative frequency of these collaborative partnerships. We further develop an empirical model that explains these relationships. This study particularly focuses on the impact that the locus of responsibility for sustainability – that is whether administrative responsibility for sustainability is headquartered in an executive or line department and whether it is structured as its own independent unit or integrated into the existing bureaucracy – has on the type and extent of external collaboration in which cities engage. The results offer evidence as to the effect of administrative apparatus and provide insight to how cities can manage sustainability efforts to more effectively achieve desired outcomes and goals.