Page 34 - Final Report-8 NO TRANSPARENCY

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Resilient urban systems:
a socio-technical study of community scale climate change adaptation initiatives
Institutional governance and management enablers
Formal governance arrangements as well as informal relationships between stakeholders support on-
going system functions. Many governance and management enablers were not created specifically to
support system resilience but have evolved with the systems. In some cases their role in system resilience
has become evident only after faults or disturbances occur. For this reason, institutional and governance
enablers of resilience and adaptation are more difficult to identify than technical enablers. The institutional
and governance arrangements that played a role in supporting system resilience can be categorised in five
Cross-scale learning and information exchange
– allowing knowledge gained by stakeholders at
one level of system function to be passed to stakeholders at another;
Clear lines of responsibility
– ensuring the scope of stakeholder responsibility for system
governance is clear and understood by all stakeholders;
Cross-scale influence
– allowing stakeholders existing at one scale to directly influence those
operating at another;
Feedback mechanisms
– ensuring faults are detected early and affect a rapid response; and
Embedded learning and experience
– ensuring stakeholders responsible for system functions
have the depth of knowledge about system operation to understand and manage its vulnerabilities
and have the capacity to respond to novel shocks.
Cross-scale learning and information exchange:
The level of learning and exchange of information
between system stakeholders was positively correlated to on-going system function and the capacity of
systems to respond positively to system shocks. At
, stakeholders saw learning about system
function as an on-going process, linked to a constant improvement of the systems operating on-site in a
process that everyone could contribute to. As one stakeholder noted:
“[System adjustments are] a bit related to the innovative nature of the technology… these
guys [the service contractors] are learning as they go and I think WestWyck provides them
a laboratory in a sense. ‘Yes we’ve installed a system for you but we’re working out the
best ways to make this system work’.” (S3)
Thus, the process of learning and system adjustment at WestWyck was seen as contributing improvements
in long term system resilience:
“The next installation they [the contractors] do somewhere else will probably be a little bit
better, bit more efficient, a bit more robust…than the one we’ve got. But over time we’d
expect many of those technological developments to be incorporated into our system. So
it gets upgraded as the guys perfect the technology.” (S3)
The process of learning about the energy and water systems was commonly seen as something the
developers, residents, contractors and the Owners Corporation management could all assist with.
Community cohesion and information sharing amongst all stakeholders was therefore highly valued.
, learning and information exchange within the community and between the community and other
organisations was less evident. The formation of the Aurora Community Association (ACA) was seen as a
significant development by some, but by others it was viewed with shortcomings:
“…the association works well for people who are prepared to be part of their community
and to interact … but … there are a lot of people who are really disengaged…” (S16)
“it comes down to people paying off mortgages and spending a lot of time at work … and
not feeling like they have a lot of energy and stuff left over at the end of the day… which is
hard in these kinds of places [suburbs].” (S16)