Horizontal Networks

How do horizontal networks foster the transformative capacity of cities?

As cities are increasingly recognized as players on the global stage, so are the horizontal networks through which they collaborate. Recent years have seen a wide proliferation of networks that bring together cities from various parts of the world, to work together on a range of issues. Well-known examples include C40, ICLEI and Eurocities.

Horizontal networks play a vital role in enhancing the transformative capacity of cities. They help cities to mobilize towards common goals, encourage ‘intercity learning’ and advance the interests of cities on various levels. All in all, they constitute a new form of governance to be reckoned with.

Still, a lot of questions about these networks remain unanswered. What defines the governance that is taking place in horizontal networks? To what extent and how do they reach their aims? How does their particular set up influence the urban imagination that they represent? And, how could their transformative impact be strengthened?

The Urban Futures Studio investigates these questions by doing empirical research and by designing practical interventions. In this, our focus lies especially on understanding and enhancing processes of intercity learning. Also, we draw attention towards the futuring-work of these networks, by studying how they give way to new practices and power relations that shape our urban future. 

Are you interested to know more? Please contact Suzanne Potjer.