City/science intersections: A scoping review of science for policy in urban contexts


Science is essential for cities to understand and intervene on the increasing global risks. However, challenges in effectively utilizing scientific knowledge in decision-making processes limit cities’ abilities to address these risks. This scoping review examines the development of science for urban policy, exploring the contextual factors, organizational structures, and mechanisms that facilitate or hinder the integration of science and policy. It investigates the challenges faced and the outcomes achieved. The findings reveal that science has gained influence in United Nations (UN) policy discourses related to sustainable development, and climate change and different disciplines have developed research on science for urban policy, leading to the expansion of international, regional, and national networks connecting science and policy. Boundary-spanning organizations and collaborative research initiatives with stakeholders have emerged, creating platforms for dialogue, knowledge sharing, and experimentation. However, cultural differences between the science and policy realms and power imbalances in research processes impede the effective utilization of scientific knowledge in decision-making. While efforts are being made to develop methods and tools for knowledge co-production, translation, and mobilization, more attention is needed to establish systemic science-for-policy organizational structures and address power imbalances in research processes that give rise to ethical challenges.

File Type: 105132
Categories: Academic Papers
Tags: 2024, Academic, Cities, Urban
Author: Gabriela Manrique Rueda, Marie-Christine Therrien, Zoé Poirier Stephens