Open Metropolitan Design & IP-governance: Two Case Studies in Contemporary, Collaborative Urban Development

Sander Nysten, Esther van Zimmeren & Sigrid Pauwels, “Open Metropolitan Design & IP-governance: Two Case Studies in Contemporary, Collaborative Urban Development” 

Urban development and design processes are increasingly interdisciplinary and collaborative in order to provide appropriate solutions in modern cities for so-called “wicked” problems. Such processes, hence, require the input of various experts and stakeholders, such as urban planners, architects, economists, climatologists, biologists, medical doctors, engineers, and citizens. For the purpose of the proposed research project, the concept ‘Open Metropolitan Design’ (OMD) is introduced to refer to this trend. The concept of OMD is based on the literature on urban theory and the economic literature on “open innovation” (OI) and “co-creation” (CC). “Rebuild By Design” in New York, which focuses on providing a sustainable solution for the challenges of climate change, is an exemplary project for the increase of interdisciplinary, collaborative urban development projects. This paper will provide a first set of valuable insights on OMD and will elaborate on how parties are managing their IP in this collaborative and non-traditional environment. Ultimately, the proposed paper considers the need for an adapted regulatory framework as well as the formulation of a set of best practices (i.e. contractual arrangements on IP-ownership, conflict management and subsequent knowledge sharing) in the area of OMD. These findings will not only provide a valuable addition to the currently lacking body of legal research on OI/CC in general, but will also address specific IP-governance issues arising in the presented OMD-cases.