Jam and Justice: Co-Producing Urban Governance for Social Innovation

Cities are sites of crisis and opportunity. In a context of rapid social change and austerity, the effectiveness of traditional systems of urban governance is in doubt.

Jam and Justice brought together academics, practitioners, citizens and political leaders through an Action Research Collective (ARC) in Greater Manchester. Together, we exchanged knowledge and developed creative responses to emerging urban governance challenges. In 2017-2018, the ARC co-initiated action research projects to generate data to test and learn from different approaches to citizen engagement. In 2019, we focused on sharing our learning and forging city-regional coalitions for change.

Together, we published more than a dozen reports including "How can we govern cities differently? The promise and practices of co-production" (July 2019).

Why "Jam and Justice"? As a research project, our aim was to create space for social innovation to co-produce, test and learn from new ways of governing cities. ‘Jam’ represents bringing together different partners in the city to experiment and innovate to address shared problems. ‘Justice’ is about re-connecting with those who have been disenfranchised and excluded from the search for solutions.

The Jam and Justice ethos also promotes networking, debates and learning within the UK and internationally. This approach enables critical reflection on how to organise knowledge better to make positive urban transformations happen that are inclusive and equitable.

Visit our publications page to access reports and resources. Read reports about our wider activities on the News page, and get in-depth reflections via the Jam & Justice blog.

The Jam and Justice project was funded by a grant from the UK Economic and Social Research Council and Mistra Urban Futures.