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Knowledge co-creation processes for urban transitions

M. García Sánchez

39th EGOS Colloquium, Cagliari (Italia). 06-08 julio 2023


This systematic literature review explores knowledge co-creation processes, the role of knowledge theory, and its contribution to the sustainability transition of cities. The purpose is related to societal and urban challenges. For instance, overpopulation, gentrification and diminishing natural spaces. The analytical framework is influenced by the Multi-Level Perspective (MLP). The literature review presents knowledge creation theory findings through organisational and community-based lenses. The paper applies a PRISMA checklist for the review of n=120 publications concerned with the research question. This is, what barriers are present in knowledge co-creation while researching social innovation communities? The findings have been summarised by thematic coding analysis, grouping findings into axial codes. The patterns found in the literature indicate that knowledge management can provide with new lenses to understand knowledge co-creation in urban settings. The creation, sharing, and diffusion of knowledge have also been researched transdisciplinary. Highlighting the benefits of using knowledge theories to investigate complex social phenomena. The tacit dimension has been referred to as essential to understanding how the physical environment also plays a role in the co-creation of knowledge in urban communities. The studies concerned with social innovation embedded in community-based initiatives in urban areas have indicated the transformative capacity or agency. The role of policy has been identified as a limitation for the adoption of social innovation solutions at the municipality level.  However, the co-creation of knowledge can provide sustainable solutions for urban transitions. Grassroots and bottom-up approaches have been reported to increase innovativeness and resilience for urban transitions. This systematic literature review has gathered findings and grouped them into themes to conceptualise the different streams of knowledge-based research related to social innovation for sustainable urban transitions. The originality of this review aims to integrate knowledge creation theory, urban transitions literature, and social innovation research from findings across multiple disciplines. Bridging theoretical contributions across domains and arguing for the research of knowledge creation outside organisational contexts. The conclusion indicates that knowledge management should be implemented at municipality level to foster sustainable urban solutions. Thus, the study of knowledge can enhance resilience through collective innovation, and community learning dynamics. Lastly, a future research agenda is proposed to analyse different dimensions and delve deeper into tacit and explicit knowledge relationships in urban context. Further empirical research is suggested to explore the co-creation of knowledge across sectors, institutions, and community-based initiatives. 

Palabras clave: Knowledge Management, Co-creation, Social Innovation, Sustainability Transitions

Fecha de publicación: julio 2023.

García Sánchez, M., Knowledge co-creation processes for urban transitions, 39th EGOS Colloquium, Cagliari (Italia). 06-08 julio 2023.

    Líneas de investigación:
  • Clientes, edificios y distritos inteligentes
  • Gestión de las transiciones hacia la sostenibilidad (ODS) y modelos de negocio disruptivos
  • Inclusión social, vulnerabilidad, envejecimiento y bienestar
  • Gestión y evaluación de la satisfacción de los stakeholders
  • Adopción de tecnologías verdes por parte del consumidor


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