The article examines how processes of decentralizing governance over the past decade have affected planning for Low Carbon mobility in the Philippines, China, India and Viet Nam. It analyses the challenges of cooperative governance and policy integration when governments are in a decentralizing process.
The authors argue that cooperative relationships function best when administrative, fiscal, and political procedures decentralize at the same time. Their research shows however, that decentralization instead occurs in a disjunct manner. The dimensions of decentralization can be understood as: (1) Administrative– empowering more local levels of government to enact policies, previously only under the authority of national government, (2) Fiscal– empowering more local levels of government to raise and spend income, and (3) Political– empowering more local levels of government to hold elections and keep leaders accountable of their actions to their voters.
These findings indicate that SUMP processes are negatively impacted by governments that do not decentralize in a cohesive way. Particularly for participation processes where co-creation (the design of a measure by all stakeholders) is simply not possible if actors do not have the same amount of power.
The paper provides recommendations regarding budgeting mechanisms and the powerful roles that transportation stakeholders can play in delivering cooperative governance between multiple levels of government with strong delineations of powers.