Co-creating ambitious climate change mitigation goals: The Copenhagen experience

Eva Sørensen, Jacob Torfing*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Recent research argues that complex problems such as climate change are best tackled through co‐creation, which brings together public and private actors, including citizens, neighborhoods, and civil society organizations, in collaborative processes that define problems and design and implement solutions that produce innovative public value outcomes. This article explores the viability of co‐creation as a strategy for achieving ambitious CO2 emissions reductions in the City of Copenhagen, Denmark. It analyses the starting conditions, the co‐creation processes, the drivers and barriers, the positive results and outcomes, and the role of institutional design and leadership in an effort to understand the actual use of co‐creation in city‐level climate governance. The main finding is that institutional, discursive, and political barriers create a discrepancy between the commitment to and actual use of co‐creation, but also that a new focus on consumption and transport among citizens may lead to stronger future waves of co‐creation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRegulation & Governance
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)572-587
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • climate governance
  • co-creation
  • institutional design
  • leadership
  • network governance

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