Project development at the Gothenburg Platform – From ideas to implemented projects
Here you can find the main features of project development at the Gothenburg platform. The process for developing new projects aims to be transparent, this information is one part of that goal. Here you can find information about what areas project are developed within, responsibilites, the decision-making processes, the rationale behind funding, the day-to-day maintanace of projects and much more.
There is a reoccuring question, what is a Mistra Urban Futures project and what is not? Basically, if the partners agree that it is a project within the Gothenburg platform, it is a Mistra Urban Futures project.
Offer - a broker
Mistra Urban Futures provides an arena for projects and processes to generate and enable implementation of knowledge that promotes sustainable urbanization, not least through an international network, Local Interaction Platforms (LIPs), local and national networks, trans-disciplinary research capacity and experience – a unique setting. The aim is to find the good ideas and then match them to the appropriate funding, internal or external – or rather in suitable combinations. We are a broker, an intermediate between ideas and resources, quite unlike research funders. Hence, we do not do ‘calls’.
Mistra Urban Futures projects are about sustainable urban development and urban transformation, of high scientific quality, with the objective of Realising Just Cities. Just cities are described as Fair, Green and Accessible.
The four basic principles for Mistra Urban Futures projects are that they should be trans-disciplinary, be based co-creation, build on broad co-funding and include international collaboration or comparison. In relation to ‘Just Cities’, a cross-cutting perspective in all projects and processes is to address the gender dimension in a relevant and systematic way.
Taken together, this means that projects should:
- be able to contribute to debates and understandings on co-creation and co-production of knowledge (this does not mean to apply a single method),
- involve academics and practitioners,
- make contributions to theory AND policy/practice,
- constitute a ‘case’ for meta-analysis around the themes of governance, knowledge and urban change processes,
- relate to core characteristics of a just city which we have framed as fair, green and accessible,
- include at least 2 Mistra Urban Futures partners, and
- have a comparative element.
As a guideline, projects could be about:
- Formulating problems, pathways and futures
- New concepts and models
- New knowledge and tangible solutions
- New methods and ways of working
- Impact evaluation and assessment
International comparison should, as far as possible, be embedded in the projects. Comparison is to be carried out by the project actors themselves. Five modes of comparison could be used
- Local projects compared internationally: similar project criteria with comparative components/instructions
- Locally or trans-locally clustered projects: clustering projects by topic to produce new knowledge and insights. Clustering could take place within one LIP or across LIPs.
- Internationally-initiated project with local co-production
- Fully international projects: initiated and carried out by international project groups.
- PhD studies
Who can start a project?
The initiative can come from several sources:
- International partners
- Partners at the LIPs, within research and practice
- Calls by research funders, EU funds, etc.
- Stakeholders, civil society and business
All partners can launch ideas for new projects. We are also open for ideas from outside the partnership. The process to generate new projects should be inclusive, but is based on the Gothenburg Local Interaction Platform (GOLIP) partnership.
Ideas can be presented to all the partners of GOLIP and to the GOLIP Director. For idea to be developed as a Mistra Urban Futures project, the initiative must be supported by the partners concerned and the GOLIP Director. The idea will then be presented to the co-ordinators’ group which meets monthly. It advises on if and how to take the idea forward. All partners will be invited to participate. The decision to support projects within the yearly GOLIP Project Development budget is taken by the GOLIP Director within the framework of operational plans and the annual budget. The main budget allocation is made in the annual Centre budget which is approved by the Centre Board.
Funding - seed money
Where possible, project funding is spread over several sources. The aim is to attract co-funding and seek external resources, in order to gain as much added value as possible. If needed, the Centre can be the main funder of projects that are essential to our aim and that cannot attract sufficient funding. But the aim is to step down support once the area matures and can attract external funding.
Normally, the Centre would provide seed money to start up the project process, and then if needed, a certain part of the cash funding for the actual projects. The share of the Centre depends on several parameters, such as the external funding available and the amount of in kind financing by the partners. Additional funds are available for dissemination, communication and implementation that would not naturally be covered by the projects’ budgets.