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October 2, 2014

Silo thinking is "super wicked"

Silo thinking is "super wicked"

The silo approach to urban policy making presents Europe with a "super wicked problem," according to Jonas Bylund, of JPI Urban Europe's management board.

Innovative, collaborative approaches are needed in urban research, Bylund writes in a document outlining challenges in the next decade.

"Somewhat surprisingly ... there is no real shortage of funds," he writes. "Rather, the wicked problem is the fragmentation of these funds and support measures that counter-act each other."

Byland and other higher-ups at JPI Urban Europe, a 14-country collaboration in urban research, met recently for a "visioning workshop" in which they discussed their goals in the next 10 years of work. Bylund reflected on the workshop in a paper called "JPI Urban Europe in 2024?"

Bylund noted that while cities have helped reduce global poverty by offering people new opportunities, they are following an "unsustainable model of urbanisation" that exacerbates climate change, squanders natural resources and widens economic inequality.

Cities should be engines of sustainable development, he said. But this will require "the building of knowledge infrastructure that facilitates the exchange between the broad and heterogeneous range of actors" in society.

Read the full paper here.