Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The urban governance of climate change : a comparative socio-institutional analysis of transformative… Aylett, Alexander C.E. 2011

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Notice for Google Chrome users:
If you are having trouble viewing or searching the PDF with Google Chrome, please download it here instead.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
24-ubc_2012_spring_aylett_alexander.pdf [ 6.95MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 24-1.0058214.json
JSON-LD: 24-1.0058214-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 24-1.0058214-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 24-1.0058214-rdf.json
Turtle: 24-1.0058214-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 24-1.0058214-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 24-1.0058214-source.json
Full Text
24-1.0058214-fulltext.txt
Citation
24-1.0058214.ris

Full Text

THE URBAN GOVERNANCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE: A COMPARATIVE SOCIO-INSTITUTIONAL ANALYSIS OF TRANSFORMATIVE URBAN RESPONSES TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN DURBAN (SOUTH AFRICA) AND PORTLAND (OR, USA) by Alexander C.E. Aylett A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Geography) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) December 2011 © Alexander C.E. Aylett, 2011 ii Abstract This dissertation investigates the socio-political dynamics of urban attempts to address climate change in a systemic, rather than project-based or piecemeal, fashion. It focuses on the actions of both municipal and civil-society actors, as well as their interactions through formal and informal processes of participation and collaboration. It contributes to the larger re-theorization of the urban scale  as  a  potentially  powerful  locus  for  action  on climate  change that  has  arisen  as international climate negotiations have faltered (Betsill 2001, Bulkeley Betsill 2003, 2005, Burch 2009, Bulkeley et al. 2003, Kousky & Schneider 2003). Focusing on two exceptional cities at the forefront  of  urban  climate  policy,  this  dissertation  looks  more  closely  at  the  difficult  work involved in relocalizing meaningful climate action to the urban scale. Based  on  comparative  qualitative  research  conducted  in  Durban  (KZN,  South  Africa)  and Portland (OR, USA) this dissertation investigates how cities can make a transition from a limited project-based approach to more integrated and transformative responses to climate change. As I will show, systemic responses to climate change require, above all,  a transition from climate government to climate governance (Bridge & Perreault 2009, Gonzalez and Healey 2006, Hajer 2003  Brownill  &  Carpenter  2009;  Bulkeley  2010;  Bulkely  et  al.  2011). Far-reaching transformations of urban systems lie beyond what any one actor can impose or direct. Effective climate  responses  therefore  depend  on  the  diffusion  of  policy  making,  management,  and implementation along networks that draw together government actors traditionally isolated by bureaucratic silos, as well as private companies, civil-society groups, and citizens. Contributing to a clearer understanding of networks of urban climate governance, this dissertation focuses on two key facets of the creation of networks of urban climate governance.  First it examines the institutional dynamics that take place within municipal bureaucracies, as policy leaders build support for integrated and ambitious climate policies. This contributes to the broad literature on organizational behaviour and change (Weber 1922, Veblen 1914, Merton 1940, March and Olsen 1989, Schoenberger 1997, Latour 1987, Haraway 1991). Second, contributing to the literature on public  participation  and  governance  (Arnstein  1969,  Taylor  &  Fransman  2004,  Holmes  & Scoones 2000, Abrahamsen 2000, McGee et al. 2003 , Habermas 1987 , Foucault 1979, Silver et al. 2010 , de Souza 2006 ) it analyses the role of civil-society actors in shaping and even leading ambitious urban responses to climate change. iii Preface Portions of Chapter 4 have been published in: • Aylett,  A. (2011) "Bureaucracies and Low Carbon Transitions." In Cities and Low Carbon Transitions eds. Harriet Bulkeley & Simon Marvin. (Routledge) Portions of Chapter 7 have been in: • Aylett,  A.  (2010)  “Participatory  Planning,  Justice  and  Climate  Change  in  Durban,  South Africa.” Environment and Planning A. 42(1) 99 – 115 • Aylett, A. (2010) “Conflict, Collaboration, and Climate Change: Participatory Democracy and Urban Environmental Struggles in Durban, South Africa.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 34(3) 478–9 Research for this dissertation was conducted with ethics approuval from the  UBC Research Human Ethics Board, Certificate Number H07-03185. iv Table of Contents Abstract...................................................................................................................................ii Preface....................................................................................................................................iii Table of Contents...................................................................................................................iv List of Tables...........................................................................................................................x List of Figures........................................................................................................................xi Acknowledgements...............................................................................................................xii Dedication.............................................................................................................................xiii 1. Introduction: New Perspectives on Urban Climate Change Policy......................................1  1.1 Introduction: Climate Change Today, Where We Stand....................................1    1.2 Urban Climate Change Governance: a Research Agenda..................................3   1.2.1 (Don't) Blame Us!...............................................................................9   1.3 Integrated Urban Responses to Climate Change: Governance vs.   Government................................................................................................12 1.4 Global Approaches to Climate Change: the Initial Global Scientific  Framing and Subsequent Integrated Approaches.......................................21  1.4.1 Global Scientific Approaches to Climate Change.............................22  1.4.2 Reframing Climate Change: Integrating the Socio-Political   and Economic Dimensions of Global Climate Change..................24 1.5 Cities and Climate Change: Scientific, Integrated, and Deeply Democratic  Critiques.....................................................................................................26  1.5.1 Local Scientific Approaches to Urban Climate Policy......................28  1.5.2 Local Integrated Approaches to Urban Climate Policy.....................29  1.5.3 Urban Political Ecological Approaches to Urban Climate Policy.....32   1.5.3.1 UPE Core Concepts...........................................................33   1.6 Urban Climate Change: a Typology of Theory and Practice...........................38   1.7 Dissertation Road Map....................................................................................43 2. Methodology and Study Sites.................................................................................................48 2.1 Introduction: the Case for Selecting Durban and Portland..............................48 2.2 Methodology....................................................................................................52 2.2.1 Interview Methodology: Profile of Respondents..............................54    2.2.2 Interview Methodology, Follow-up, and Triangulation...................56 v  2.3 Durban: Introduction........................................................................................57    2.3.1 Durban: Emissions Profile and Early Climate Policies and     Projects..........................................................................................63    2.3.2 Key Adaptive and Mitigative Measures............................................65    2.3.3 Institutional History of Climate Change Policies and Programs in     Durban............................................................................................67    2.4 Portland: Introduction......................................................................................74    2.4.1 Portland: Emissions Profile and Early Climate Policies and     Projects...........................................................................................78    2.4.2 Institutional History and Context of Portland's Engagement with     CC...................................................................................................83   2.5 Conclusions: Making Climate Policy Their Own............................................87 3. A Cultural Approach to Understanding Organisational Change........................................90   3.1 Introduction......................................................................................................90   3.2 Weber and the Modern Bureaucracy................................................................94    3.2.1 Weber's Nightmare: the Cultural Costs of Bureaucratization...........96   3.3 Veblen and Merton: beyond Rationality to Trained Incapacity and    Organizational Culture...............................................................................98    3.3.1 Merton: Instrumentalizing Trained Incapacity and the Creation of     Organizational Culture..................................................................100   3.4 Steering Change (i): the Logic of Appropriateness and Path Dependency....103    3.4.1 Path Dependency and Lock in.........................................................105   3.5 Steering Change (ii): Elite Dominance and Self-preservation vs.    Innovation.................................................................................................108   3.6 Empowering Change: Strategic Interventions and Decentralizing    Empowered Creativity..............................................................................111    3.6.1 Strategic Interventions (i): Bridging...............................................112    3.6.2 Strategic Interventions (ii): Translation...........................................113    3.6.3 Organizational Reform: Situated Knowledge and     Decentralizing Empowered Creativity..........................................117   3.7 Conclusions....................................................................................................119 vi 4. Durban from Path Dependency to Innovation...................................................................122   4.1 Introduction and Overview of Case Studies..................................................122   4.2 Translating Climate Change: Attempts to Establish Institutional    Legitimacy................................................................................................124    4.2.1 Durban's Municipal Energy Strategy: an Attempt to Reconcile                                          Mitigation and Development..............................................................127   4.3 Path Dependency in the Electricity Sector.....................................................132    4.3.1 Local Renewables: “It just isn't what we do!”................................135    4.3.2 Responses One Year Later...............................................................140    4.3.3 Discussion: eThekwini Electricity and the Costs of Institutional     Path Dependency..........................................................................143   4.4 Water and Sanitation: beyond Departmental “Business as Usual”................146   4.5 Institutionalizing Climate Change Mitigation: Institutional Reform.............153    4.5.1 Mainstreaming Climate Mitigation.................................................154   4.6 Conclusions....................................................................................................156 5. Portland from Path Dependency to Innovation..................................................................160    5.1 Introduction....................................................................................................160    5.2 Early Challenges to Integrated Climate Change Policies: Green Streets    vs. Big Pipes.............................................................................................162    5.2.1 Beyond Climate Change: Integrated Planning vs. Silos.................164   5.3 Mainstreaming Climate Action across a Municipality...................................165    5.3.1 The Strengths and Weaknesses of Leading Decentralized     Innovation....................................................................................167    5.3.2  Green Building: a Failed Attempt at Leading the Charge..............169    5.4 Mainstreaming Climate Change: the 2009 Climate Action Plan...................173    5.4.1 Portland's 2009 Climate Action Plan...............................................174    5.4.2 The Value of Internal Conflict.........................................................177    5.5 Institutionalizing Climate Change Mitigation: Development Planning and    Institutional Reform.................................................................................179    5.5.1 The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.....................................180 vii    5.6 Creating Change from the Middle.................................................................182    5.7 Managing for Innovation...............................................................................185    5.8 Conclusions....................................................................................................187 6. Climate Change and Participatory Planning......................................................................195    6.1 Introduction....................................................................................................195   6.2 Mixed Visions of Public Participation, Democracy, and Sustainable    Development............................................................................................198    6.2.1 Hopes and Fears about Participatory Democracy: a Survey     of Recent Literature......................................................................198    6.2.2 The Practice of Public Participation................................................199   6.3 Habermas and Foucault: the Influence of Process and Power on                             Participation.............................................................................................202    6.3.1 Foucault: Power and Struggle.........................................................204   6.4 Participation and Climate Change: a Survey of the IPCC Assessment    Reports (2001 and 2007)..........................................................................209    6.4.1 The IPCC and Participation.............................................................210    6.4.2 Beyond Institutional Participation: Pushing the Boundaries     of the IPCC...................................................................................213   6.5 Synergies Between Invited and Invented Participation.................................215   6.6 Conclusions....................................................................................................218 7.  Durban – Conflict, Collaboration, and Climate Change..................................................221   7.1 Introduction: Consensus, Conflict, and the Synergies of Local Climate    Governance...............................................................................................221    7.1.1 Background to Participation and Protest in Durban........................222    7.1.2 Civil-Society Mobilization and the Fight against                                          Apartheid: 1955-1994.........................................................................224    7.1.3 Public Participation in the Post-Apartheid Political Order..............225   7.2 Case Study 1 – Institutionalized Participation and Climate Planning    within the IDP..........................................................................................227    7.2.1 Early Participatory Planning: the First Integrated Development     Plan...............................................................................................228    viii     7.2.2 Strategic Thinking: Bridging the Gap.............................................231    7.2.3 Participation and the Environment (i): Big Mama's Shifts in     High-Level Policies......................................................................232    7.2.4 Participation and the Environment (ii): the Limitations of     Ward-Level Consultations............................................................234   7.3 Case Study 2 – The Confrontational Contribution of Civil Society...............238    7.3.1 Industrial Development vs. Environmental Justice: a Short     History of Community Struggles in the South Durban Basin......238    7.3.2 Conflict’s Positive Contributions (i): “Klupping” and     Counter-Balancing Local NeoLiberalism.....................................241    7.3.3 Conflict’s Positive Contributions (ii): the Collaborative     Science of Confrontation..............................................................244    7.3.4 Localizing Climate Change in the SDB (i): from Air Quality to     the Global Climate.......................................................................246    7.3.5 Localizing Climate Change in the SDB (ii): from Understanding     to Action.......................................................................................250    7.4 Conclusions....................................................................................................253 8. Portland –  Managed Participation and Autonomous Action............................................258    8.1 Introduction....................................................................................................258   8.2 History of Participatory Processes in Portland..............................................262    8.2.1 Institution Building and Decline: the Arc of the Neighbourhood     Association System.......................................................................263    8.2.2  Early Successes, Decline, and Marginalization: 1970s - 1990s.....264    8.2.3 Civic Environmentalism: Expanding Engagement beyond NAs....266   8.3 Case Study 1 – The 2009 Climate Action Plan..............................................268    8.3.1 Public Input to the CAP from the Municipality's Perspective........271    8.3.2 TPDX and Portland’s Climate Action Plan: a Companion in     Uncharted Waters.........................................................................273    8.3.3 Transition PDX and the 2009 CAP..................................................275    8.3.4 TPDX and Sustainable Local Food Systems...................................276    8.3.5 TPDX's Impact on the CAP Process and the Final Plan.................278    8.3.6 The Green Civic Dialectic (i): Synergies between Municipal     Structures and Civil-Society Mobilization..................................280   8.4 Limitations of Consultation and Individual Action........................................282  ix    8.4.1 “Community Engagement” beyond Consultation to     Implementation.............................................................................284   8.5 Case Study 2 – Solarize Portland and the Challenge of Local Renewable    Energy.......................................................................................................287    8.5.1 Solarize: Early Days........................................................................289    8.5.2 Solarize Phase Two (i): Background to Municipal Involvement.....291    8.5.3 Solarize Phase Two (ii): Community-Led, Municipally Supported...293    8.5.4 The Challenges of Scale, Politics, and Bureaucracy.......................294    8.5.5 Culture, Structure, and Positionality...............................................295    8.5.6 The Green Civic Dialectic (ii): Solarize and the Relay-Race of     Urban Climate Governance..........................................................297   8.6 Conclusions....................................................................................................300 9. Conclusion: a Stronger Foundation for Hope....................................................................306   9.1 Introduction....................................................................................................306   9.2 Section 1: Summary of Key Findings............................................................310   9.3 Section 2: Summary of Key Findings............................................................317   9.4 Cross-Cutting Findings..................................................................................322   9.5 Limitations and Lacunae................................................................................326   9.6 Future Research..............................................................................................327   9.7 Conclusions....................................................................................................331 Figures and Tables.....................................................................................................................334 Bibliography...............................................................................................................................356 Appendix A:  Interviewees, Durban 2008-2009 .....................................................................388 Appendix B:  Interviewees, Portland 2008-2010 ....................................................................390 xList of Tables Table 1.1 A Typology of the Localization of Approaches to Climate Change............................336 Table 2.1 Multnomah County GHG Emissions by Sector...........................................................342 Table 7.1 Timeline of Public Participation Relevant Legislation and Policy in South Africa.....350 Table 7.2 eThekwini Ward Profile for Ward 18 – Pinetown Centre..…......................................351 Table 7.3 eThekwini Ward Profile for Ward 18 – Pinetown Centre (cnt'd).................................352 Table 8.1 Portland 2009 Climate Action Plan, Individual Actions..............................................355 xi List of Figures Figure 1.1 The Evolution of the IPCC Reports...........................................................................334 Figure 1.2 An Integrated Approach to Climate Change..............................................................335 Figure 2.1 Estimated Annual Carbon Emissions for the eThekwini Municipality by Sector......338 Figure 2.2 eThekwini Annual CO2 Emissions by Energy Type..................................................339 Figure 2.3 2008 Multnomah County GHG Emissions by Sector................................................340 Figure 2.4 2008 Multnomah County GHG Emissions by Energy Type......................................341 Figure 3.1 A Simplified Weberian Bureaucratic Structure..........................................................343 Figure 3.2 Department of Water and Sanitation, Organigram.....................................................344 Figure 4.1 A Networked and Integrated Bureaucratic Structure..................................................345 Figure 7.1 Industrial / Residential Mix in the South Durban Basin............................................346 Figure 7.2 Nelson Mandela Addressing Protesters in Front of Expanded SAPREF Refinery,  1995..................................................................................................................................347 Figure 7.3 SDCEA Protest in Front of Shell Refinery, South Durban Basin..............................348 Figure 7.4 SDCEA Bucket Sampling Materials..........................................................................349 Figure 8.1 Portland 2009 Climate Action Plan, Emissions Reduction Targets by Sector...........353 Figure 8.2 Map of Solarize Portland installations.......................................................................354 xii Acknowledgements Completing a doctoral degree is a long and difficult journey, and not one that you can travel on alone. I would like to thank Dr. Trevor Barnes, as well as all the members of my committee, Drs. Karen Bakker, Jim Glassman, and John Robinson, for their support in input all along this process. I would also like to thank the current and former heads of Sustainable Cities International, Dr. Nola-Kate Seymour and Jane McRae as well as all the Staff and Members of the SCI network. Their ideas and guidance had a significant impact on the course of my research. This research would have been impossible without generous financial support from both SSHRC and the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation. To the Trudeau Foundation, in particular, I owe a huge debt of gratitude. Their provided far more than financial support and I deeply appreciated being part of the Trudeau community. But beyond all these, I need to thank all the people close to me, friends and family, who put up with the arduous and cloistered habits of a graduate students. To my parents, thank you for being such wonderful supports through the long and bumpy road that has gotten me to this point. To my wonderful wife Luna, thank you for keeping me smiling and helping me to keep believing that this project was possible. To little Inara, your buoyant smiles were a lifeline on days of endless writing and rewriting. To Luna and Inara 1Chapter 1, Introduction: New Perspectives on Urban Climate Change Policy 1.1 Introduction: Climate Change Today, Where We Stand This dissertation is about urban responses to climate change. When I set out on this thesis in 2005,  a  growing  number  of  municipalities  worldwide  were  beginning  to  enact  programs  to improve energy efficiency under the banner of “climate action.” It was the era of picking the “low-hanging  fruit:”  energy  efficient  cross-walk  signals,  electric  park  maintenance  vehicles, building efficiency programs. These projects were uninspiring. Their reach also fell far short of the scale of the challenge. Even though its impacts were still considered to be far in the future, climate  change  clearly  posed  a  fundamental  threat  to  the  ecological,  social,  and  economic conditions that make large cities viable.  But at the same time, a handful of cities were beginning to seek out more ambitious action.  It was these I wanted to make the focus of my dissertation, to examine the social and political dynamics involved in engaging in truly transformative urban climate responses. It  was to be a study of “policy in motion” in two leading cities:  Durban 1 (KZN, South Africa) and Portland (Oregon, USA). Both cities were attempting to move from a scattered project-based response to climate change to an integrated and coordinated strategy that cut across the municipality as a whole. My goal was to capture the dynamics involved as this process took place. As we will see, there were twists and surprises along the way that I recorded and attempted to tease out. This was the material I had hoped to gather. What I had not expected was that climate change itself (and our understanding of it) would also 1 Following a merger with its extended metropolitan area, Durban became officially known as the municipality of eThekwini. ‘Durban’, however, is still the name most commonly used to refer to the city, while eThekwini is used for official municipal documents. This dissertation follows those conventions. 2move into a period of rapid evolution. Things now are much worse than they were when I began. When I started this research, climate change was still a distant threat the impacts of which would only begin to be felt near the end of the century. This chronology was still widely held to be accurate when I landed in Durban to start my first case study in 2008. Two months later, as I prepared to leave,  the World Health Organization released calculations  showing that  climate change had already begun to increase mortality in the Global South (WHO 2008). My initial reaction was scepticism; but these grim reports have since begun to arrive more frequently. Most recently, in May of 2011, a new paper published in Science has shown that changes in global temperatures between 1980-2008 have caused a drop in the total production levels of key crops like maize and wheat of up to 5.5 percent (Lobell et. al. 2011). One month later, at the end of June, the U.S. government released its 2010 “State of the Climate Report.” Its headline findings were: Greenland ice sheets were retreating at the fastest rate in recorded history; 2010 had tied 2005 as the warmest year on record: global sea surface temperatures in 2009 were the third warmest on record; and Arctic summer sea ice was at the third lowest level in recorded history (NOAA 2011). Climate change had gone from distant danger to a present reality. Coinciding with reports about the present impacts of climate change were measurements of our total  failure to  reduce or even slow our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  In May of 2011, estimates by the International Energy Agency (IEA) showed that during 2010 global emission increased by a record amount and now stood at the highest carbon output in history. Commenting on  the  implications  of  those  figures,  the  IEA's  chief  economist  described  the  prospects  of keeping temperature increases within a safe range below 2°C as “a nice Utopia” (Harvey 2011). In  June,  BP published its  2010 “Statistical  Review of  World  Energy.”  By their  calculations during that year the world consumed more energy than ever before. 2010 energy consumption was up 5.6% compared to  2009,  a  rate  of  increase not  seen since  1973.  Despite  growth in renewable energies, fossil fuels (the source of most anthropogenic GHG emissions) accounted for 88% of that consumption, increasing their share slightly from the year before. Coal, at 30% of the world's energy use, had reached its highest share of global energy consumption since 1970 (BP 2011). Following a small dip due to the economic crisis, these sharp increases represented a rapid return  to  a  pattern  of  voracious   energy consumption that  has  seen global  energy use increase  by  320% since  1965.  Carbon  emissions  follow  a  similar  pattern,  increasing  325% 3between 1960 and 20072. At precisely the time when the effects of climate change were becoming clear and tangible, humankind was rapidly moving in the most hazardous direction possible. If we are to meet the emissions reduction targets experts indicate are required to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” (Dessai et al. 2004, Hoegh-Guldberg 1999,  Meehl et al. 2007, O'Neill & Oppenheimer  2002, Oppenheimer 1998, Ramathan & Feng 2008, UNFCCC 1992,) then industrialized countries3 will have to reduce emissions by 25%-40% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80%-90% by 2050, with substantial reductions in all other regions of the world (den Elzen & Höhne 2008, Gupta et al. 2007). This will require a transformation of energy systems at an unprecedented scale and speed. If cities are going to play any significant part in changing the course we are on, we need to have a better understanding of the dynamics of moving from small-scale to transformative urban climate policies. 1.2 Urban Climate Governance: a Research Agenda Over the past two decades cities have attracted an increasing amount of attention in discussions of climate change. With international climate negotiations faltering, cities have become sites of hope;  places  where  climate  change  mitigation  strategies  can  be  mobilised.  Increasingly,  the urban scale  is  being  theorized  as  a  potentially  powerful  locus  for  action  on climate  change (Betsill  2001, Bulkeley & Betsill  2003, 2005, Burch 2009, Bulkeley et  al.  2003, Kousky & Schneider 2003). Cities hold the promise of being able to act where countries have failed (IC