Knowledge transfer and policy learning in the context of urban resilience: A case study of water management in Mexico City and Rotterdam.
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Urbanisation is a global multidimensional process paired with migration of people, changes in the capacity to sustain ecosystem services, and increasing uncertainty due to climate change. A consequence is water scarcity and floods. Urban water reforms should result in resilient water resource management that explicitly takes into account complexity, uncertainty and immediate and long term change. In order to increase the process of resilient solutions, global and local connections are necessary to exchange knowledge for the development of policies within cities. Policy will not move without the process of knowledge transfer and learning across cities. This resulted in the main focus of this research, namely, how knowledge transfer and policy learning between cities could be facilitated to promote urban water resilience in which a case study of Mexico City and Rotterdam was used. To understand the process of knowledge transfer and policy learning between cities a knowledge transfer model was developed to address this process to promote urban water resilience. The model was divided in four phases, namely, the exploration and marketing phase (1), the contact phase (2), the adoption phase (3), and the process of reflecting and internalization (4). Phase one stands for marketing on strengths of own system or exploring complementary knowledge for weaknesses of own system. Phase two stands for the first meetings between the actors in which creating a shared vision on the project is central. Phase three is the implementation of the innovation. Phase four stands for internalization of the transfer and reflecting on the process. A qualitative research is performed to study the model that existed of interviews and the method participant observer. According to the case and interviewees the mechanisms of phase one and two of the knowledge transfer model are crucial for preventing most obstacles that can arise within the implementation phase. A mutual understanding on struggles and histories helps with building trust especially with a lack of geographical proximity. A shared vision and committed local leaders are important requirements to secure and strengthen the process of implementation in the long term. Lastly, in the reflecting and internalization part, both cities gained knowledge and can use this knowledge in the next policy learning process. This process extends by creating networks of cities that allow a faster learning experience due to knowledge transfers and combining the existing and new knowledge to promote the development of urban water resilience.