Knowledge management in urban governance; building adaptive capacity through ICT-GIS-based systems in the global South

  • Isa Baud University of Amsterdam
  • Karin Pfeffer University of Amsterdam
  • John Sydenstricker-Neto CEBRAP
  • Eric DEnis CNRS
  • Dianne Scott University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Luz Consuelo Muguruza Minaya Regional Government of Callao


Knowledge management (KM) in local governance processes is being transformed through digitization (ICT), spatialization (GIS), and participatory processes; the question is whether this increases the potential for building adaptive capacity and inclusivity. The question is linked to discussions on how knowledge construction and circulation can improve competences in local government, make urban planning more knowledge-based, and provide greater recognition of citizens’ knowledge (accountability). Local governance networks need such instruments in building adaptive capacity, and in dealing with in-creasing complexity and uncertainty. By utilizing the results from extended case studies in six medium-sized cities in India, South Africa, Brazil, and Peru, all participating in the Chance2Sustain research network, we examine how uneven technological and organisa-tional changes are transforming the ways in which local government works. Knowledge management in urban governance is configured through several issues: 1) discourses for digitizing KM in local urban development; 2) actor networks producing socio-spatial knowledge; 3) embedding KM in decision-making processes (power struggles, exclusion); and 4) influences of KM on work practices, interfaces with citizens, and organisational outcomes.The results show that 1) KM discourses concerned four issues: strategic urban planning and integrated land use planning; geographic boundaries in urban development discours-es; streamlining work processes, and mapping needs assessments; 2) initiatives mainly link government with the private sector; 3) codified and technical knowledge remain dominant in discussions on urban development; and 4) although efficiency is improved, transparency and accountability to citizens remain limited. Generally, KM is not used strategically for dealing with future complexity and uncertainty.
May 2, 2016
How to Cite
BAUD, Isa et al. Knowledge management in urban governance; building adaptive capacity through ICT-GIS-based systems in the global South. Development, Environment and Foresight, [S.l.], v. 2, n. 1, p. 7-22, may 2016. ISSN 2336-6621. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 28 oct. 2020.


knowledge management; urban governance; digital systems; cities