Transferring sustainability solutions across contexts through city-university partnerships

Lauren Keeler, Fletcher D. Beaudoin, Amy M. Lerner, Beatrice John, Richard Beecroft, Kaidi Tamm, Arnim Wiek, Daniel J. Lang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The urgency of climate change and other sustainability challenges makes transferring and scaling solutions between cities a necessity. However, solutions are deeply contextual. To accelerate solution efforts, there is a need to understand how context shapes the development of solutions. Universities are well positioned to work with cities on transferring solutions from and to other cities. This paper analyses five case studies of city-university partnerships in three countries on transferring solutions. Our analysis suggests that understanding the interest, the action on sustainability, and the individual and collective sustainability competences on the part of the city administration and the university can help facilitate the transfer of sustainability solutions across contexts. We conclude that the nature of the city-university partnership is essential to solution transfer and that new and existing networks can be used to accelerate progress on the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2966
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 21 2018


  • Capacity-building
  • Cities
  • City-university partnerships
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainability solutions
  • Universities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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