Case study narratives act as a functional and attractive tool for awareness-raising, exchange of ideas and capacity-building. However, recent literature has highlighted problems with the ways that case studies present concepts or information. Various authors note an imbalance in the presentation of "developed" and "developing" world narratives in academic literature, leading to over-representation of cases from Europe and North America. Recent work suggests that the increasing volume of case studies in academic literature on urban sustainability may contribute to an over-representation of certain kinds of municipalities – e.g. cities of a certain size or in certain locations – at the expense of others.
This paper shows that this trend is observed not only in academic literature, but also in practical settings, e.g. the preponderance and domination of certain cities within international municipal associations. The paper studies the continents, countries, municipalities and themes represented in six collections of case studies published by an international municipal association. The paper will assess the possible ways in which the case study collections, by representing certain types of activities in particular locations, influence the framing of the practice and study of sustainable development in municipalities. By doing so, the paper aims to contribute to literature on comparative urbanism, urban governance, knowledge production, municipalities, sustainable development, and international organisations.
Linköping, 2014. , 38 p.
ICLEI, transnational municipal networks, sustainable development, municipalities, case studies