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The most livable city

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Vienna has been ranked as the most livable city in the world, for several years in a row. Evidently, a wide range of stakeholders is involved in the development and implementation of initiatives that lead to this achievement. Despite the recognition of interactive governance as a core principle in the development of smart and livable cities, knowledge is still fragmented about how various complex stakeholder interactions are resulting in such public value outcomes.
By using a mixed-methods approach, this research project aims to document which actors are considered most influential regarding Vienna’s livability, and how their needs and preferences are traded-off against each other in a networked governance system. In the first phase of the project, stakeholders’ preferences and their involvement in the cities eco-system will be explored in a qualitative manner. This is followed by a second phase, where a quantitative conjoint analysis will be applied for a range of critical incidents identified and documented in the first phase.
The deeper understanding of stakeholders’ involvement, as well as their mutual trade-off dynamics, give not only insight into governance and management of livable cities, but also contribute to necessary insights regarding stakeholder cooperation and resistance. This enables theoretical development and practical recommendations with respect to in- and exclusion mechanisms of urban governance.

City of Vienna WU Jubilee Fund: The most livable city in the world – Who deserves the credit and who gets the benefit from it?

The Jubilee Fund of the City of Vienna supports the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) to conduct impactful and sustainable economic research. The core mission of the Jubilee Fund is to strengthen and improve knowledge transfer between the Viennese city administration and the Viennese economy. As such, its projects are closely related to the research areas of the Institute of Public Management and Governance, which conducts research on public value, prosocial behavior, and reputation management among many other topics. Angela Bounthong, Katharina Dinhof, and Jurgen Willems presented first results of their research project entitled “The most livable city in the world – Who deserves the credit and who gets the benefit from it?” at the annual event “Netzwerktreffen des WU-Jubiläumsfond der Stadt Wien”. Their research project consists of three studies that combines qualitative as well as quantitative data collection and provides concrete insights on which stakeholder criteria are considered relevant to participate in urban governance to keep cities livable. In their first study, a large-scale representative survey, they determined a broad range of stakeholders that are considered influential for Vienna's status as the most livable city. In their second study, they investigated the needs and preferences of the identified stakeholders as well as their participation in the urban ecosystem through a media analysis. Based on the findings from the first and second study, they conducted five conjoint experiments to test how specific stakeholder characteristics matter in the public opinion to actively participate in making cities more livable. Their findings contribute not only to the theoretical livability and urban governance discourse, but also have practical implications. For instance, it is important to understand that the governance of livable cities is centered on trade-offs between different stakeholder preferences and needs. Please click here for more information about the event.

Relevant Publications

  • Bounthong, A.L., Dinhof, K., & Willems, J. Who Contributes to Successful Urban Governance? Academy of Management Proceedings 2022 (1), 16692; DOI: 10.5465/AMBPP.2022.16692abstract