Collaborative governance is an emerging form of public administration; it can be defined as formal consensus-driven arrangements between government and non-government actors in order to tackle systemic urban challenges. Municipal governments may embark upon a network governance initiative for a variety of reasons such as recruiting expertise, increasing inclusion, or securing public buy-in. How a municipality understands an issue is necessarily tied to the method it selects to address it with. In choosing a collaborative method, the process convener will make preliminary decisions which will have effects on the ensuing proceedings. This research is focused on the City of Vancouver's 2014-2017 35-member collaborative leadership table for its Healthy City Strategy & Action Plan (the municipality's social sustainability plan). It examines the City's reasons for choosing to initiate a participatory process, and the ways in which those strategic aims influenced the configuration and therefore the unfolding of the process. The research conducted as part of this case study was qualitative, multi-method, and involved three sources of data collection: online participant surveys, semi-structured participant interviews, and a document analysis.
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Thesis advisor: Hall, Peter
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