Conclusions: The dynamic and fluid world of partnerships

Cor van Montfort, A.M.B. Michels

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


The conclusions in this chapter summarize the main patterns that we have distilled from the various chapters of the book. We start with a number of observations about the variation in partnerships. Second, the role of context and the characteristics of partnerships with respect to livability are analyzed. Third, we focus on the question of who benefits in terms of livability and who is excluded. Fourth, we discuss the different roles that the government may play in developing and sustaining partnerships that contribute to livability.
We develop a ‘toolbox’ that can help practitioners and academics to systematically pose the relevant design- or evaluation questions. This toolbox can help to stimulate what we call realistic learning. In realistic learning, good practices are not copied as a whole; instead, only those elements that will work in the specific context are adopted. Every partnership requires a specific set of optimal conditions to make it work. Hence, readers can learn from the case studies described in this book, without copying the practices in full.
And, fifth, we draw several general conclusions and return to the central question of this book. We conclude that partnerships between public and private actors can contribute to the livability of cities if form follows function, if we accept that government matters and we take into account the contingent nature of success.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPartnerships for livable cities
EditorsCor van Montfort, Ank Michels
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-40060-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-40059-0
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Partnerships
  • public-private parterships
  • toolbox


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