Controlling the Valves: Dealing with Conflict in a Transition Initiative for Public–Private Water Governance in Amsterdam

E. A. Van Der Heijden, B. C. Van Mierlo, S. J. H. Majoor, P. J. Beers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

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Conflict lies at the core of urban sustainability transitions and the indispensable structural changes that accompany them. In this chapter we examine the RESILIO project, a multi-actor collaboration in Amsterdam aiming to transition towards a 'climate proof' city through smart water retention systems on urban roofs. The focus is on the conflict that emerged during discussions about controlling the smart valves on the rooftops which are designed to prevent urban flooding. Using a discourse analytical framework, the study analyses participant interactions, conflicting positions, and discursive strategies employed by the partners involved in the initiative. Participants utilised several discursive strategies, including identity, stake, and accountability management, to manage their positions in the conflict and influence the discourse. The study highlights the challenges of addressing conflict that involves redefining accountability and responsibility between public and private actors in the collaborative setting of transition initiatives. By doing so the findings contribute to a deeper understanding of how conflict can shape learning processes and foster sustainable urban transitions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Urban Transitions
Subtitle of host publicationResearch, Policy and Practice
EditorsZaheer Allam
Place of PublicationSingapore
ISBN (Electronic)9789819926954
ISBN (Print)9789819926947
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameUrban Sustainability
ISSN (Print)2731-6483
ISSN (Electronic)2731-6491


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