Heated debates: the transformation of urban warming into an object of governance in the Netherlands
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New York : Springer
InBeunen, R.; Assche, K. van; Duineveld, M. (ed.), Evolutionary Governance Theory: Theory and Applications, pp. 185-203
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Assche, K. van
Beunen, R.; Assche, K. van; Duineveld, M. (ed.), Evolutionary Governance Theory: Theory and Applications
SubjectShaping and Changing of Places and Spaces
In the Netherlands climate adaptation policies and measures have been dominated by a strong water-centered discourse. However, the heat waves of 2003 and 2006 raised political and public awareness for adaptation to warmer temperatures. These events triggered the reification of a new object: urban warming. In this chapter, we use EGT to analyze the (re-)emergence and (de-)stabilization of new objects within governance and we follow them during distinct moments of transformation. We observed four moments of transformation of the object from science into governance, and will illustrate these transformations in two cities in the Netherlands: Arnhem and Rotterdam. Both cities jump on the bandwagon of climate change adaptation, introducing urban warming as an object of urban governance, while putting emphasis on different techniques of object stabilization. We show the transforming effects of attempts to objectify objects through connecting them to scientific discourses, and the destabilizing effects of these attempts. Stabilizing primarily through institutionalization risked stabilizing an object no-one cares to adapt to. While urban warming was quickly naturalized as a matter of fact in both cases, establishing it as a stable matter of concern proved far harder. Constructing the object into a legitimate concern for urban planning, public health or social policy affected the solidification and codification, transforming it into a multiple object.
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