Community-led Solid Waste Management, Koregaon Bhima -India

Community-led Solid Waste Management, Koregaon Bhima -India

The non-profit CHF India has been operating in India for roughly 11 years. The organization primarily works with urban poor areas in several cities, enlisting locals in participatory waste management and sanitation initiatives. A business entity approached CHF for assistance in developing an innovative solid waste management initiative and this is where CHF’s community-led solid waste management spun off.  It took off in Pune, a slum neighborhood with available land, and hired women to lead the effort in solid-waste management. Fortunately, the approach has been replicated in three additional locations in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Koregaeon Bhima in Maharashtra. This story focuses on Koregaon Bhima and discusses its work, methodology, and the approach it applies to promote sustainable waste management in the city.


3 out of the 5 design principles of the Co-cities methodology are highlighted in Koregaon Bhima’s project.

Collective governance was rated strong in Koregaon because between 3-4 actors were involved in the initiative as the Quintuple helix suggests by scholar, Carayannis and later by Foster & Iaione in their study of polycentrism. The project was initiated and funded by a corporation and implemented by a non-profit organization.


The case of Koregaon Bhima represents an intriguing blend of urban and rural characteristics. It is officially recognized as a “census town” by the Census of India, implying urban features, but lacks formal government recognition as a town. As a result, the state government treats it as a village, maintaining a rural local government (panchayat) rather than a municipal board. This unique administrative status has proven advantageous for the CHF project. Working with the panchayat has been more accessible than dealing with municipal corporations, and it has allowed for changing local habits and educating officials about solid waste management in preparation for future municipal governance. Additionally, the project benefited from the federal Swachcha Bharat Abhiyan, which incentivizes corporate donations to sanitation efforts. Despite no public funds being invested, this project is classified as Moderate on the Enabling State principle.


Regarding social and economic pooling, the project demonstrates moderate pooling within the communities where it operates. CHF’s intention is to empower community residents to continue the project without direct involvement. While the success in Koregaon Bhima is still uncertain, Pune, where a similar approach was taken, has shown promise. Community residents took ownership and continued the project when corporate funding decreased, and CHF withdrew. Thus, the project rates as Moderate on the Pooling design principle.


In terms of experimentalism, the project is not particularly innovative on its own. Household-level recycling and composting have long been practiced in rural India. Although the community-led approach is commendable for urbanizing areas with limited local government resources, it is not considered highly experimental. This project is rated as Weak in Experimentalism.


Lastly, regarding tech justice, technology did not play a role in this project, as indicated in the interview with CHF.

The Co-City Design Principles

The Co-City Design Principles

The Co-city approach has been formulated at this stage considering the various developmental phases it has been through in each chapter and the cases that have been analyzed in different cities. The most recent chapter dubbed Urban Co-governance illustrated the 5P’s which are public-private-science-social-community partnerships. This refers to a legal and economic arrangement between communities, civil society organizations, science, or knowledge institutions, and the social, science, and community actors. The final chapter now offers a set of design principles extracted from the previous chapters and empirically acquired co-cities research projects.

They are: (1) co-governance; (2) enabling state; (3) pooling economies; (4) urban experimentalism; and (5) tech justice. These were also somewhat inspired by Elinor Ostrom’s 8 design principles in her book entitled “Governing the Commons” (Ostrom, 1990).


The co-cities examined case studies of community or city-level initiatives that represent horizons of cooperative or collaborative urban governance, inclusive and sustainable local economies, and social innovation in the provision of local goods and services. It surveyed over 200 cities and over 500 projects and policies within these cities, especially from countries within the Global North. It consisted of examples of public projects and policies from many kinds of cities. These were included in the data set, including some ground-breaking policy experiments were also discussed. The intention was for a larger effort to be explained in the dynamic process (or transition) from a city where urban commons were absent to one in which they were emerging, supported, and enabled by the state, both the community-led examples and those institutionalized in local government. This write-up focuses on the first design principle and will explain the other four design principles (Enabling State, Pooling Economies, Urban Experimentalism & Tech Justice).


Principle 1: Co-governance is the first principle developed for the co-city framework. Some scholars call it multi-actor governance while others also term it collective governance. Ostrom at a point called it polycentrism (Ansell & Gash, 2008; Wilson et al.  2003; Ostrom, 2010). Tine De Moor (2012) helpfully suggests that we think about the commons as consisting of three dimensions: a resource system, a collective property regime, and interactions between the resource and its users; these three come together to form a common-pool resource. From the lenses of Foster and Iaione, co-governance embraces and entails the collective management and ownership of urban assets that provide resources and critical services for the well-being of the most vulnerable urban residents. The co-governance principle simply focuses on collaboration or interaction amongst the various stakeholders in pursuit of a common goal or interest. Co-governance has the potential to evolve, and this helps to enable and recognize the development of urban commons throughout a city. For instance, policies in cities such as Bologna, Naples, Barcelona, and Madrid have enabled shared governance among urban actors and local authorities through collaborative efforts. Co-governance may be applied as a ladder to fabricate urban commons public policies and projects in a specific context by encouraging superiors in an institutional unit. Gathering definitions by other scholars and a thorough observation of case studies in various countries, Foster and Iaione came up with the definition of co-governance as a multistakeholder governance scheme whereby the community emerges as a key actor and partners with at least one of the other four actors or sectors in the quintuple helix governance scheme—the public sector, the civic sector, the private sector, and the knowledge sector. The five helices are first, the Knowledge / Academic helix: This helix depicts academic institutions and universities as the main forces behind knowledge generation, research, and education. By supplying intellectual capital, carrying out research, and providing training programs that promote entrepreneurial abilities, they support the growth of an intrapreneurial ecosystem. The second is the private sector/industrial helix which is made up of companies and sectors that promote economic expansion and open doors for entrepreneurship and innovation. They provide tools, market information, money, and industry-specific knowledge to help the growth and commercialization of innovative ideas. The third helix is the Public Sector helix which identifies the government’s role in establishing the laws, rules, and institutions that encourage innovation and entrepreneurship is crucial. They support the expansion of intrapreneurial ecosystems by providing resources such as money, infrastructure, enabling laws, and hospitable business environments. Civil society helix is the fourth helix and is made up of non-governmental organizations, neighborhood associations, the media, and citizens who take an active interest in social and environmental issues. By supporting social innovation, solving societal issues, and advocating for sustainable and socially responsible behaviors, civil society groups support the entrepreneurial environment. Finally, the last helix which was introduced by Carayannis and Campbell is the Environment Helix: The Environment Helix tackles the effects of entrepreneurship on the environment and underlines the significance of ecological sustainability. It acknowledges the necessity of eco-innovation, sustainable business practices, and ethical entrepreneurship to secure long-term profitability and reduce unfavorable environmental effects. This is referred to as the quintuple helix because a fifth actor is included, that is, the Environment. Carayannis and Campbell proposed the fifth helix because they found the Quadruple helix lacking especially at a point where Sustainability had become a global trend. The Quintuple Helix provides an analytical framework where knowledge and innovation are linked to the environment on the one hand, thus respecting social ecology (Carayannis, Barth &Campbell, 2012). This allows co-governance to respond to the extent of diversity among actors, ensures the distribution of power between them, and encourages responsibilities and benefits within the partnership. Under co-governance, Foster and Iaione classify this into three other forms, Shared governance, collaborative governance, and polycentrism.


Shared Governance includes cross-border contacts or alliances, such as those between public authorities and urban communities or citizens. It practically exists in the management and stewardship of small-scale resources such as neighborhood parks, and community gardens, just to name a few. Shared governance may be likened to Ostrom’s idea of self-governance. She explains it as a type of governance where resource users themselves establish and enforce regulations to protect or conserve common pool resources. This is viewed as a prerequisite for more complex and dynamic kinds of collective governance. Though others consider it as privatization, Foster and Iaione agree with Kooiman and van Vliet that it is a form of re-regulation. This is because it remains in the domain of the public, thus, the residents themselves who use and depend on the resources without having to wait on the central government’s efforts.


Collaborative governance transcends bilateral public-community partnerships and usually includes different types of stakeholders. They are involved in constructing and supporting institutional arrangements to support resource stewardship. They may be formal or informal, but they are the result of extensive contact and exchanges with various stakeholders (Kooiman 2003, 97). Collaborative governance is realized through the implementation of public policies that enable nongovernmental stakeholders to manage public resources collaboratively. These policies frequently stimulate cross-sector collaboration and alliances between for-profit and nonprofit players, depending on previous or new connections and social networks (Cepiku, Ferrari, and Greco 2006).


Polycentric governance is cooperative governance arrangements that eventually develop into a polycentric system, whether they are fueled by formal institutions or informal social norms at the city level. The book cites examples of policies that indicate forms of shared governance and self-governance that may lead to polycentrism. Such are in the cases of Turin, Reggio Emilia, Barcelona, or certain US towns where community land trusts are predominant.


Co-governance has evolved and progressed over time, it gives room to build authentic, power-sharing relationships among the actors, offering opportunities for transformative changes in cities and beyond.   The first principle has been elaborated upon in this paper, and the other four design principles will be critically analyzed and discussed in the next segment.

Co-governance covers both vertical and horizontal governance, self-governance, shared governance, and collaborative governance. It does not settle on one framework but considers the most suitable form for the city or community and how best it can solve the urban challenges they face today.



Ansell, Chris & Gash, Alison. (2008). Collaborative Governance in Theory. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. 18. 10.1093/jopart/mum032.

Carayannis, E.G., Barth, T.D. & Campbell, D.F. The Quintuple Helix innovation model: global warming as a challenge and driver for innovation. J Innov Entrep 1, 2 (2012).

Elinor Ostrom, Polycentric systems for coping with collective action and global environmental change, Global Environmental Change, Volume 20, Issue 4, 2010, Pages 550-557, ISSN 0959-3780,

Ostrom, E. (1990). Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action (Political Economy of Institutions and Decisions) Cambridge: Cambridge Press University.

The Case of Beirut Madinati of Lebanon

The Case of Beirut Madinati of Lebanon

In the wake of a severe crisis that engulfed downtown Beirut in 2015, a group of passionate academics from the American University in Beirut initiated a movement that would change the face of Lebanese politics forever, Thus, Beirut Madinati (BM) was born, a political campaign aligning to challenge the traditional political system and prioritize the livability of the city and its people.

Initially centered around addressing the garbage crisis through their “Municipal Solid Waste” policy based on the 4 R’s (Refusing, Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling), the movement quickly gathered momentum as it received overwhelming support from frustrated citizens. The Waste Management Coalition, a diverse group of NGOs, recycling factories, municipalities, and young political movements, joined forces with BM, pressuring the authorities to take action.

Despite the Municipality’s lack of interest in waste management, BM’s mission transcended its original cause. The movement transformed into a political force, encompassing volunteers from various backgrounds such as urban planning, transport engineering, waste management, and economics. Their ideology focused on achieving social, economic, and political rights for the population while preserving the environment and cultural heritage of Beirut.

The 10-point municipal program outlined by BM covered crucial aspects of city life, including mobility, public space, housing, waste disposal, social and economic development, urban security, green energy, and cultural heritage. Their ambitious goals included improving waste recycling rates, expanding green spaces , and fostering community services.

One of the defining features of Beirut Madinati was its commitment to independence. The movement financed its actions through crowdfunding, and to maintain transparency, they refused donations exceeding 10% of the budget. This independence allowed BM to stand apart from the entrenched political class in Beirut, who saw the movement as a threat to their grip on power.

Over the years, Beirut Madinati’s scope has expanded, driven by Lebanon’s widespread social unrest. Debates that were once limited to city matters have now expanded to address national issues, with discussions covering everything from banking policies to the demands of the revolution sweeping across the country.

Collective Governance Principle: Beirut Madinati’s strength lies in its collective governance model, embracing active citizens, civil society organizations, and partnerships with local businesses and universities. The movement’s collaborative approach empowers citizens and ensures that projects stem from community-driven ideas and debates. The project answers to the characteristics of “collaborative governance” involving all stakeholders; citizens, private actors, and civil society organizations.

Enabling State Principle: Although the government has shown resistance to BM’s initiatives, the movement garners informal support from progressive entities like the Ministry of Interior. Despite this, the enabling state principle remains relatively weak due to the lack of substantial financial or official backing.

Social & Economic Pooling Principle: Beirut Madinati’s commitment to “right to the city” and inclusive engagement across sectors further strengthens its standing in the Social and Economic pooling aspect. The project engages both engaged both NGOs, political parties, and citizens.

Experimentalism Principle: The efforts of Beirut Madinati have led to a number of experimental approaches. In actuality, they plan gatherings, discussions, and displays. Each event is announced on the Beirut Madinati Facebook page, and a recap is also provided there following it. Every follower on Facebook has access to information regarding debates, including the date, location, and primary themes, enabling them to take part. This level of experimentalism is moderate.

However, when it comes to Tech Justice, the movement faces some challenges which allows it to be rated as Weak. While BM effectively uses social media to disseminate information about projects and events, there remains a digital infrastructure divide in Lebanon. Not everyone has equal access to technology, potentially making some feel disconnected from the movement.

In summary, Beirut Madinati is a beacon of hope for Lebanon’s political landscape. Founded with a mission to transform the city of Beirut, it has evolved into a nationwide symbol of collective governance and social change. By encouraging citizen involvement, nurturing partnerships, and challenging the status quo, BM proves that a new era of inclusive politics and responsible governance is within reach for Lebanon.

The Case of the Chinese Urban Villages: Village shareholding companies in China’s urban villages

The Case of the Chinese Urban Villages: Village shareholding companies in China’s urban villages

“Urban villages” emerge when the previous villages have been geographically incorporated into cities and granted urban administrative status. However, they keep their village collective economies, which are managed by village shareholding companies. Chinese urban communities are usually governed by residents’ committees, which are part of the state governance system and responsible for delivering public services.


In these urban villages, village shareholding companies are established to continue to take care of the village collective properties, such as their collective landholdings, and/or manage the unallocated compensation funds from the government to the villagers. The shareholder companies are only permitted to engage in economic activities, such as investing in real estate or service companies or renting out local manufacturing land or buildings that are owned jointly. In actuality, though, they actively take part in local administration and care for the villages. They support neighborhood events planned by residents’ committees, run welfare programs and other community services, and resolve disputes among neighbors.


Depending on various elements such as the size and viability of the village collective economy, whether the villagers stay in their current homes or move to contemporary urban residential communities, and the power dynamics between the shareholding companies and the residents’ committees in each community, village shareholding companies’ governance and authority differ across different regions of China.


The village shareholding firms are set up to manage unallocated compensation monies for land expropriation as well as any remaining community common assets. Their establishment also brings the prior community government practiced in villages to the urban setting.

The companies are playing a leading role in community governance in the urban villages, enjoying higher authority among the villagers than the residents’ committees that are a part of the formal state governance system. This is due to the companies’ collective assets, such as land holdings, strong ties with the villagers, as well as their financial support for the residents’ committees.


The ability of the urban villages to sustain their common resources and grow their village economies will determine how long this government will last. The community is more likely to maintain its governance autonomy the stronger and more successful its communal economy is. Furthermore, the ability of the owning corporations to recruit educated, younger villagers to run the businesses will determine how successful this governance is in the future. The younger generation has a stronger sense of place in the city and favors employment in “urban” corporations over that in their “village” owned businesses.

Urban Co-Governance

Urban Co-Governance

As the previous chapter exposed us to the policies and regulatory instruments to enhance the city collectively and provided clear examples of cities that have learned from the Reggio Emilia Regulation which also brought forth Co-Bologna, this chapter seeks to build upon the abstraction of urban co-governance. This chapter is a build-up and spells out 3 tenets which are broken down into comprehensive units as it unfolds. These 3 tenets focus on firstly, communities as necessary but not self-sufficient actors: multistakeholder cooperation as essential for the long-term durability and effectiveness of urban commons. The second tenet is a consequence of tenet 1, legal recognition and legal tools (e.g., pacts of collaboration or civic uses) recognizing or granting governance rights to communities are not enough; what is required are policies and programs that provide a set of enabling conditions that structure complex forms of cooperation in the form of public-community and public-private-community partnerships; and the third views it as an addition to legal tools, creating a set of enabling conditions requires institutional, learning capacity-building, digital, and financial tools. The question to ponder over is: to enhance urban co-governance in cities, what is the unique significant role of multi actors and how are their individual and group roles beneficial? The chapter is vivisected to answer the question with examples. It is presented in six fractions, with each building upon another.


It Is Not Just About The Community

The main thing this chapter does is to vividly explore urban co-governance from a policy and communal perspective. It presents us with features of urban co-governance and the first feature identified is that it embraces the role of the enabling state, in which city officials and staff have a responsibility of providing resources and technical guidance to help create the conditions for co-governance, in the form of partnerships. The second feature is that urban co-governance develops a system that, at its core, redistributes power and influence in decision-making away from the center and toward a network of active urban players. This symbolizes the quintuple helix of innovation founded by Carayannis and Campbell in 2010. The quintuple helix evolved from the triple helix which was designed by Leydesdorff and Etzkowitz in the 1990s. Carayannis and Campbell found it insufficient and later formed the Quadruple helix but found that lacking certain components and added another helix to form the quintuple helix we have today (Carayannis et al 2012). It includes the government, private sector, university/research institutions, civic & media-based actors, and the environment. These actors exist to co-produce, co-design knowledge and new ideas. Foster and Iaione advise that cities choose the most suitable innovation helix as it arises from a matter of context, yet through both empirical and experiential observation, currently, the quintuple helix meets the rising needs of cities. The final feature the chapter proposes of co-governance is the capacity to build a bridge between science and society, thus citizen science theory. Urban citizen science frequently focuses on the creation of solutions to deal with pandemics and climate change, which require cities to mitigate and adapt to these kinds of existential and difficult problems, eg. City Science Initiative of the Joint Research Center of the European Commission.


From Government To Governance: Public-Private science-Social-Community Partnerships

The usual form of partnership is the Public Private Partnership (PPP or 3P’s), yet the chapter mentions a shift to another model known as the public-private people partnerships (4P’s). This partnership is a collaboration between private companies, public institutions, and citizens. The difference between the 3Ps and 4Ps is the element of city residents. One strong example of the 4Ps is the case of Manila, Philippines in the management and delivery of water services to residents who lacked. Collaboration was obvious among the public water utility and local government, two private concessionaires of the water utility, and local associations and nongovernmental organizations. Another model introduced by the authors is the 5Ps which is public-private-science-social-community partnerships. This refers to a legal and economic arrangement between communities, civil society organizations, science or knowledge institutions, and the social, science, and community actors. A co-city is built from the 5Ps model, a typical polycentric governance approach where each actor plays a unique role to improve the city. Concurrently, the 5Ps stress the role of knowledge institutions in building capacity, improving skills, and providing knowledge. An example is the Urban Collaboration Lab situated in London. However, if urban co-governance is to scale and enable the co-governance of massive, complex resources and infrastructure, the private sector is a frequent crucial actor.


Scaling The Ladder Of Citizen Participation

This section presents examples of cities in the US that through the establishment of distributed sub-local bodies, primarily advisory, offer chances for direct community input into local government decision-making about goods and services in their communities and facilitate communication with various stakeholders. A variety of participatory or collaborative governance models were made possible through boroughs, neighborhood councils, community boards, etc.  Community boards were founded in the 1960s and exist in cities such as New York, North Carolina, Seattle, and Washington DC. Advisory boards also have no binding authority in the city’s centralized decision-making process. Regardless of the positive outcomes that these sub-local bodies present, they are also faced with power struggles between elected officials, developers, and communities. Community Benefits Agreements (CBA) also come up, which benefit large-scale urban development. CBAs are confidential agreements made between developers and the areas affected by a project the most. It began in Los Angeles in the early 2000s as a private agreement between developers and community groups. (Gross et al 2005). Both developers and communities have incentives to participate in and negotiate with one another, it becomes a win-win situation for both parties.


Enabling The Community In Co-Governance

In the context of urban or living labs, the passage discusses the idea of collaborative hubs. These hubs act as meeting places for stakeholders, community members, and municipal officials to collaborate and co-design projects. They operate outside of the established structures of government and promote collaboration and mutual learning. An example of a city that has developed collaborative hubs at the neighborhood level, Reggio Emilia in Italy is used. Reggio Emilia develops institutional spaces where public, corporate, community, and civic representatives can collaborate to construct community-based institutions and enterprises through neighborhood-as-a-commons programs and citizenship agreements. These agreements cover tasks including repurposing and revitalizing urban areas, helping small enterprises, and developing digital services. By assisting urban communities in drafting and concluding citizenship agreements, the neighborhood architect plays a crucial part in the collaborative process. They collaborate with groups of people to establish a shared vision and include other parties in developing solutions. The main objective of collaborative hubs, like urban or living laboratories, is to provide areas where local populations may actively take part in the design and management of solutions to regional problems, promoting social, economic, and technological innovation at the neighborhood level.


Urban Co-Governance as A Driver For Neighborhood Pooling Economies

Urban co-governance’s framework places a strong emphasis on the value of public-private-science social-community (5P) partnerships in fostering collaboration between the public sector and locally based social innovators. This entails building platforms for group action and funding collaborative ecosystems throughout the city. Turin is used as an illustration of how municipal co-governance might encourage cooperative economies for urban people who are at risk. Turin has experienced financial difficulties as a result of the demise of its automobile manufacturing sector. Diversifying the economy, encouraging social entrepreneurship, and regenerating urban areas have all been attempted as ways to rejuvenate the city. The Turin Neighborhood Houses are essential in fostering cooperative economies. They serve as development organizations that pool economies and bring together a variety of urban players to provide goods and services for the local community. Partnerships between the local government, people, and the innovation ecosystem are used in the residences, which concentrate on rehabilitating abandoned urban assets. Pacts for cooperation have been put in place in Turin to combat poverty and promote neighborhood-based pooled economies. These agreements cover efforts like turning vacant buildings into community centers, starting culinary and culture-related enterprises, offering childcare and support services, and setting up teen art studios. The Turin examples demonstrate how neighborhood-level cooperation and institutional structures can create collaborative economies by transforming resources and services into jointly controlled ones.


Financing Urban Co-Governance

Two encouraging strategies for funding the Commons are discussed; the first entails project financing strategies designed to support the objectives of local communities, such as the creation of an Urban Commons Foundation. The Turin Regulation established this foundation, which enables a city to transfer assets to a foundation in charge of administering shared municipal resources for the benefit of the public. The foundation performs tasks that the community would ordinarily perform, maximizing the value of the assets for future generations. The second strategy makes use of the corporate finance strategy known as green or sustainable finance, known as the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) approach. Reevaluating public and private investment indicators are part of this strategy’s effort to assess the effectiveness of cooperative neighborhood-based business models. The New Turin Regulation offers financing options like tax exemptions, fee waivers, support for co-governance, and management of pooled resources. The rule also highlights how crucial monitoring and assessment are to determining the social and economic effects of the civic deal’s actions. The Community Interest Company (CIC), which reinvests income solely for social objectives, is another alternative for financing (Cho, 2016). Community-based integrated approaches to urban development are further supported by the European Urban Initiative and the EU Cohesion Policy framework. The rate of vulnerable communities can be capped if the strategy for funding commons in the most vulnerable states is adopted and more resilient communities will be built, and Urban Co-Governance will be enhanced.


To conclude, the 5 P’s are relevant to build resilient communities and cities such as Bologna, Turin, and Rome and many others have tried it out and can sincerely testify to how helpful the concept has been. Both local and international development agencies as well as local and national authorities in conjunction with research institutions, citizens, and the media in both Global South and North countries can effectively apply it. Ongoing projects in Rome such as Co-Roma, the Agenda Tevere project, and the Caserta project are recently applying the 5Ps. This proves the relevance of urban co-governance.


In the next post, we will return to the principles underlying this paradigm, further exploring the Co-city book.



Samuel R. Gross, Kristen Jacoby, Daniel J. Matheson, Nicholas Montgomery, Exonerations in the United States 1989 through 2003, 95 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 523 (2004-2005).

Carayannis, E.G., Barth, T.D. & Campbell, D.F. The Quintuple Helix innovation model: global warming as a challenge and driver for innovation. J Innov Entrep 1, 2 (2012).

Cho, E. (2016). Making Reliability Reliable: A Systematic Approach to Reliability Coefficients. Organizational Research Methods, 19(4), 651–682.


Author: Benedicta Quarcoo