Social ideals and climate development

ایده‌آل‌های اجتماعی و توسعه‌ اقلیمی

ایده‌آل‌های اجتماعی و توسعه‌ اقلیمی

Social ideals and climate development
In the 1980s, in Europe and Canada, the ideas of social innovation were rediscovered as a scientific concept and slogan to analyze and guide climate development, especially in urban areas. This article points to two paths of practical research in this field; One related to Europe and the other related to Canada (Quebec City). The main purpose of the article is to explain the development of local communities using the ideas of social innovation. It also explains why local governments play a vital role in creating sustainable urban commons and lasting social innovations, and why neighborhoods are effective environments for creating social innovations.

From urban studies to climate development
Social innovations refer to social changes and developments, and its beginning goes back to the 17th and 18th centuries, but it was only in the 1960s that with the emergence of social movements, the importance of social innovations in social economy and corporate social responsibility increased. Today, the concept of social innovations has various meanings and is linked to macro-scale ideologies, such as benevolent neoliberalism, and socio-politically transformative social innovations.

With respect to social innovation, neoliberalism seeks a greater balance between citizens and social groups and wants to “socialize” market mechanisms. In other words, markets should be regulated in a way that helps society and supports, among others, weaker workers and social economic enterprises.

But the second ideology has a different view on social innovations. This view believes that social innovations can be used as a strategy and process to meet individual and group needs that are exploited by the market. Also, these innovations can strengthen social connections between people and raise these connections as triggers for strengthening political and social power.

Urban studies is closer to the nature of the second ideology, because due to the material, social and political conditions of a region that seeks new human development, the ideal of social innovations is naturally transferred to it.

In general, this approach believes that each region contains different spatial forms in which people, organisms and natural materials live and are interdependent. These forms can be physical, natural or social. One useful way to describe the area is to use a system example. For example, in the integrated climate development approach, the city is divided into different parts, which are known as social and ecological functions. These parts combine or conflict with each other through different types of performance.

In this example, three main strategies are observed:

Actors’ strategies: People seek to satisfy their material, economic, ecological, political and cultural needs.
Improving spatial social relations: trying to improve social relations between people and relations between spaces and ecology.
Construction of returned social relations: building new governance systems based on experiences in the fields of social innovations with the cooperation of individuals and organizations.
This approach leads to the construction and formation of a region and a society based on the interaction between these strategies, social relations and political empowerment. Research and practice are also related to each other, which not only helps to understand and form social innovations but also transforms into social innovative operations and encourages researchers to explore the intersecting roles between research and practice.

This approach examines two paths of practical research rooted in social innovations in urban areas. Both routes started in the 1980s and have been implemented in different geographical areas of the world. It is also emphasized that research and practice are close to each other and that the various practical roles that are often shared by individuals enable participation and collaboration between individuals and organizations.

Integrated climate development in European cities
In the 1980s and 1990s, an action research track called “Poverty III” was started by the European Commission and continued until 2005. This track included seven research projects with specific objectives, which focused on combating social exclusion in cities and local areas, and whose structural and institutional features that represented present or future social innovations were examined. Most of these research projects have been funded by the framework programs of the European Commission.

This line of research has been based on the Integrated Climate Development (IAD) model, described above. This model was developed by observing innovative social development paths, especially in stagnant urban neighborhoods, such as the cities of Bilbao, Antwerp, Athens, Charleroi, Milan, etc. This model provided a reliable way forward for local social development by connecting (integrating) strategies, agents, assets, social dynamics and neighborhoods.

To implement this model, cooperation between institutions and scheduled policies such as the urban programs of the European Commission, the Spanish national government, the municipalities of Bilbao and Charleroi, the universities of Athens and Milan, and other economic, social, cultural, climatic, planning, political, theoretical and theoretical sectors. And the modeling of the projects continued.

This research path has many advantages, including the empowerment of social governance systems, employment creation, economic, social and ecological development, and the synthesis of qualitative data and descriptions. Also, this path deals with how to strengthen social, cultural and political decision-making in the field of social innovations and more roles for

It defines the creation of new environments and workshops for the exchange of ideas and experiences among all related factors. Also, this research path has more roles to create new social ideals in scientific, architectural, environmental, local, economic, political, cultural, welfare and local civic fields.

Social innovation and Canadian climate development
Since the 1960s, applied research involving scientists, activists, union members, associations, and politicians has played an important role in the development of Quebec’s urban areas. Since the 1980s, the role of civil society associations in these developments has become more clear. Quebec, as one of the francophone provinces and the only francophone in Canada, has had a positive interaction between different governments (federal, provincial and Quebec) and civil society organizations during the last half century. These interactions reflect the important social interdependence that has emerged with social innovations since the 1960s in various fields, including work, living conditions, and climate development. Researchers describe this type of social innovation as interaction between governments and civil society institutions, co-production (production of social services), co-construction (public policies) and multiple economic type. In the field of climate development, these factors have taken special climate forms.

Regarding governance and implementation of laws, due to various economic crises, an approach to endogenous and endogenous development has been chosen. This attitude along with focusing on regions and creating cooperation and co-production between civil society institutions in specific regions are considered as strategic solutions. Due to economic needs, social movements have initiated more economic actions, fully respecting the principles of economic democracy. In the city of Montreal, for example, these changes in governance led to the creation of local cooperative economic development corporations. The main goals of these companies are to encourage cooperation between associations at the neighborhood level to launch joint development projects, support local entrepreneurship to create jobs, and improve the employability of the unemployed. This approach has led to the creation of local development centers in Quebec, which act as “multi-service organizations that combine local economic, social and cultural centers”. These centers operate throughout Quebec, even in rural areas. In the neighbourhoods, these governance changes have provided spaces for influential roles from social movements, particularly in Montreal’s community-based development enterprises. These companies can be considered institutional examples of successful experiments at the neighborhood level. These government-civil society collaborations have created opportunities for co-production and multiple economic development. The multiple economic model is based on the agreement between economic, social, cultural and political factors and their cooperation is coordinated in the fields of education, culture, social services (especially health services), labor market training and the creation of companies in different sectors. In Montreal’s community-oriented development companies, hard and soft economic issues are no longer seen as opposites, but rather mutually reinforcing.

Changing spaces for action and research in the field of social innovation
In the following, we examine two different paths of social innovation that focus on a specific territory. These trajectories show that the interaction between new social innovation initiatives (such as housing experiments, person-centered training, solidarity-based workspaces, action-oriented networks, etc.) and governance and institutional processes is important.

The involvement of civil society organizations in creating new forms of territorial cooperation strengthens more democratic forms of governance (especially partial-to-whole governance). These actions cause the development of economic services to social and cultural services and stimulate an entrepreneurial attitude to the forms of companies (social and solidarity companies), innovative social forms in the organization of work and solidarity relations between citizens and agents inside and outside the territories.

One of the strengths of the Quebec model compared to many European countries is the effective cooperation between the government and civil society, which has led to institutional sharing. In other words, in this model, the government and the private sector do not hinder the interaction of civil society organizations and do not weaken their role. This is against the European context where the government and the private market have limited civil society organizations to a secondary role. Nevertheless, civil society organizations play an innovative role in these fields and launch innovative social initiatives and governance reforms.

In Western European countries, neoliberalism policies tend to use social innovations as tools to optimize the welfare sector and direct socially innovative enterprises to economic markets. This tendency reduces the attitude towards other dimensions of social innovation, such as creating solidarity connections in neighborhoods and democratizing urban governance. But fortunately, innovative social initiatives outside the role of government continue to expand, and this causes new ideas and practices to be tested in the field of social innovation. Also, it is encouraging that the people of Europe in general have a strong negative opinion of neoliberal policies and the election shows that they care about local development and care for their territories.

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