An experimental urban-agriculture (UA) project was started in 2018 with multiple stakeholders in Lisbon, Portugal. The project involved setting up an indoor vertical farm in a university building. Early on, there were promising outcomes across the environmental, social and economic pillars of sustainability. However, the project was closed in 2022. Here, we carried out an analysis of the sustainability-governance pillar that aimed to provide some understanding of why the project did not proceed. We used role-constellation mapping of the 27 stakeholder groups engaged. We also carried out force-field analysis of the stakeholders and their desirable or problematic interactions across seven factors of governance. Results showed that although the parties engaged represented various
project aims and dimensions, there was a failure to establish a network of stakeholders consistently engaged in governance practices at the outset and in an ongoing way. Inadequate project culture and a lack of critical governance factors led to a failure in conveying a strong sense of ownership of the project to the stakeholders. This case study raises the need for future UA projects to invest in good governance structures, the promotion of dialogue between the parties, and a shared culture, in order to become sustainable.
Parkes, M.G.; O’Rourke, R.; Domingos, T.; Teixeira, R.F.M. (2023). An Experimental Portuguese Social-Enterprise Project in Urban Agriculture: A Case Study on the Influence of the Interaction of Stakeholder Roles on Sustainable
Governance. Sustainability 15, 3817. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15043817.