Bottrop2018plus 2 - Towards a Sustainable and Resilient Economic Structure / Bottrop2018plus2
Goal and task
In times of continuous economic structural change processes, the city of Bottrop, like many other cities in the Ruhr region, faces the challenge of organizing a process for developing the local economy sustainably and resiliently. The Bottrop 2018plus project tested a participatory governance approach to local economic development for three years. In addition to the Agency for Local Economic Development and City Management, the project actively involved stakeholders from business, politics, high education and civil society in the local economic development practices. Based on the knowledge gained during the first funding phase, the follow-up project outlined here aims to modify and consolidate the tried-and-tested approach to participatory local economic development in Bottrop and systematically develop transfer potentials and concepts for other municipalities. With this in mind, firstly, the piloted structures that were set up during the current funding phase, such as
- the Economic Alliance (EA) as a cross-sector network,
- the real-world laboratories as an operative thematic implementation level and
- the strategic plan »The future of the economic location Bottrop - Attractive. Sustainable. Resilient.« as a medium to the long-term strategic framework for cooperation between the Office and local economic actors
be consolidated and further developed to establish a long-term viable governance structure.
At the same time, the experience shows that establishing such governance structures is only promising if parallel structures (between the Agency for Economic Development and EA) can be avoided and a sensible division of labour can be designed. In this respect, the existing networks and routines of the Agency for Economic Development and City Management should be modified to reflect the character of participatory governance already being lived in the piloted structures. The aim is to create a uniform set of instruments that forms the orientation framework for the economic development activities of all employees of the Agency and thus realigns them in the sense of participatory governance. In addition, an economic structural transition geared toward sustainability and resilience requires a broad commitment from the whole city. Therefore, developing and implementing a communication strategy that considers both internal communication in the city administration and the civil society in Bottrop and external communication forms an integral part of the second funding phase. Thirdly, the necessary framework conditions for participatory economic development should be further scientifically substantiated to determine the transfer potential and a transfer concept tailored to it. The goal is to decontextualize the governance approach, i.e. to detach it from the Bottrop context and to transfer the core elements and activities, structural requirements and functionalities into a handbook for practical application in other municipalities.
As shown in Figure 1, the follow-up project Bottrop 2018+ is divided into seven work packages that are iteratively related.
The three work packages, AP1 to AP3, address the strategic-organizational level of the project and focus on the further development of the EA (AP1) and the Agency for local economic development (LDA) (AP2) as well as the directly related stakeholder management (AP3). The results of these work packages, in particular from AP1 and AP3, flow into AP4, which includes the development of a monitoring instrument for sustainability and stakeholder and evaluation of the overall process. The results from AP4 are fed back into the stakeholder management (AP3) and the further development of the LDA (AP2) and serve as input for the further development of the EA and the overall project management (AP7). Furthermore, the developed set of instruments forms an element of the transfer and utilization concept to be developed (AP5). Selected municipalities will be included in the transfer concept's development and the monitoring instruments' reflection. Again, the results will be fed back in AP4.
Internal and external communication (AP6) and project management (AP7) lie across the work packages described above.
The results from the first funding phase of Bottrop 2018+ are available
- in English: Rabadjieva, M. & Terstriep, J. (2021a). Ambition Meets Reality: Mission-Oriented Innovation Policy as a Driver for Participa-tive Governance. Sustainability, 13, 231. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010231.
- in German online (wirtschaftsstruktur.de) and in printed form: Merten, Thomas / Terstriep, Judith / Seipel, Nils / Rabadjieva, Maria (Hrsg.): Lokale Wirtschaftsstrukturen transformieren – gemeinsam Zukunft gestalten. Bottrop: Amt für Wirtschaftsförderung und Standortmanagement, 2019