“External forces and adaptive governance: The evolution of the 22@ Barcelona between regeneration and innovation” is a research about the influence of economic, politic and technological forces on the evolution of an urban regeneration project. The research focuses on the analysis of the impact of such forces and the suitability of adaptive governance theory for the analysis of the governance system. This research considers the main theories of Urban Regeneration, Innovation Districts and Adaptive Governance for the creation of the conceptual framework. The model is based on the influence of external forces on the achievement of pre-established targets that have been classified according to the triple transformation pursued: physical, economic and social. The adaptive governance theory has been concentrated in three main assumptions (complexity, conflict, uncertainty) and three main actions (anticipate, learn, adapt) obtained from adaptive socio-ecological systems. Thanks to the adaptability of the project, the final outcome is the result of the influence of the external forces and the consequent adaptation to such changes. A qualitative case study approach is used to collect information and catch the evolution of the project over more the 15 years. Semi-structured interviews and secondary data have been the main sources of information used for the analysis. After considering the positive and negative aspects of the different characteristics of the transformation, this study analysed the influence of the external factors, selected due to their connection with the three main actors of the Triple Helix approach: Public, private and academic sector. The results of this study suggest that political and economic changes have a more consistent influence in comparison of the technological aspects, mainly due the need of municipal willingness and private funding in order to materialize the transformation. The impact of technological aspect is partially influenced by the political (e.g. Smart City as a metropolitan strategy) and economic (e.g. public and private R&D and the creation of new markets) forces. The study also indicates the importance of having a bridging organization in order to deal with a multi-level and multi-scale reality. In this reality is necessary to react to changes and adapt, being crucial the communication and participation of all the stakeholders. Especially important is to include the weak stakeholders that might not have the power or the capital to determine the implementation of the project, but are main affected and need to have a feel of ownership of the new reality is being created. This need of adaptation suggests that further studies could focus on the cooperation among actor towards an adaptive governance system. Further research could be done expanding the system from a Triple Helix approach to a Quintuple Helix (civic, social, cognitive, public and private actors) and analysing the real issues in designing and implementing and adaptive governance system.

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Gianoli, A. (Alberto)
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies

Henkes, R.P. (Riccardo Palazzolo). (2016, September). External forces and adaptive governance. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/42257