The involvement of citizens and communities in processes that affect their lives and livelihoods through co-production methods has gained currency in recent years as a method to deliver place-based action capable of advancing the Sustainable Development Goals. Co-production represents a promising approach that addresses criticisms leveraged against community-oriented and participatory planning approaches. In this paper, we investigate the potential of co-production methods to advance different dimensions of urban equality in urban environments, including progress towards equitable distribution of resources and services, the reciprocal recognition of communities and institutions, the access to political and decision-making processes, and the recognition of multiple forms of knowledge and perspectives. First, the paper reviews what is unique about co-production as a method in urban development planning. Co-production is distinct because it focuses on delivering a shared outcome. In doing so, it challenges epistemic injustices. Second, the paper presents a collective assessment of the outcomes of co-production practices in six different cities. The comparative analysis of these experiences shows that multiple co-production practices can help to establish long-term, adaptable partnerships to deliver urban equality. However, such a process requires constant adjustment and trade-offs to achieve equality gains in different domains. For that reason, the transformative impacts of co-production are not always measurable, even when its role in social change is evident.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the project Knowledges in Action for Urban Equality (KNOW) (project reference: ES/P011225/1 ) funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). The authors wish to thank all the members of the project KNOW for their encouragement and support.