1st Edition

The Politics of Urban Sustainability Transitions Knowledge, Power and Governance

    196 Pages
    by Routledge

    196 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Cities, the world over, are increasingly recognised to be both a principal source of the environmental and social sustainability challenges facing contemporary society and a critical site for addressing these challenges. Socio-technical systems are at the heart of these challenges as they configure central aspects of urban life: from mobility and energy infrastructures to leisure activities and patterns of mobility. This observation has led to substantial interest in how societies might initiate and actively steer radical transitions in these systems in the pursuit of sustainable urban futures.

    This book contributes to emerging debates on the politics of urban transitions by examining the intimate interlinkages between knowledge, power and governance. Drawing upon real-world examples of urban governance, the authors explore the strategies, struggles and controversies involved in configuring knowledge and how knowledge constructions influence governance by rendering some concerns and issues visible and valuable, while obscuring others. The book draws attention to how novel ways of conceptualising, knowing and observing socio-technical systems may be harnessed productively in redefining the power relationships underpinning unsustainable practices. Understanding these dynamics can ultimately inform and enable new approaches to support much-needed urban transitions.

    This book provides a compelling examination of urban knowledge politics for the twenty-first century that will be of great value to academics, policy-makers and practitioners working in the social sciences, urban studies, geography, urban governance or sustainability transitions.

    1. Introduction : the knowledge politics of urban sustainability transitions Matthew Cashmore, Jens Stissing Jensen and Philipp Späth  2. Governing radical societal change: politics, power and knowledge Matthew Cashmore 3. Smart urbanism in Barcelona: a knowledge-politics perspective Evelien de Hoop, Adrian Smith, Wouter Boon, Rachel Macrorie, Simon Marvin and Rob Raven  4. The professional knowledge politics of urban transport transitions in the greater Copenhagen region Jens Stissing Jensen and Ulrik Jørgensen  5. The power-knowledge of best practice: governing climate change in German municipalities Nanja Christina Nagorny-Koring  6. Competing knowledge assemblages in Danish heat governance Jens Stissing Jensen and Peter Karnøe  7. Urban metabolism as governmentality: governing the city of flows Vanesa Castan Broto and Louise Guibrunet  8. Exploring the epistemic politics of urban niche wxperiments Matthew Cook, Ralph Horne, Stephen Potter and Alan-Miguel Valdez  9. It’s the complexity stupid! How transition management politicises and reimagines Rotterdam’s mobility system Shivant Jhagroe and Derk Loorbach  10. Conclusions and perspectives Jens Stissing Jensen, Philipp Späth and Matthew Cashmore


    Jens Stissing Jensen is Assistant Professor, Department of Development and Planning, Aalborg University, Denmark.

    Matthew Cashmore is Professor in Environmental Planning at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway.

    Philipp Späth is Senior Scientist / Research Group Coordinator at the Institute of Environmental Social Sciences and Geography, Albert-Ludwigs-University, Freiburg, Germany.


    "Getting to the heart of the key dynamics of knowledge and power configuring the possibilities for urban sustainability transitions, this fantastic edited collection brings new insights into how the ways in which we come to know the city shape its futures."Harriet Bulkeley, Professor in the Department of Geography, Durham University, UK

    "Cities are at the forefront of the effort to transition to a more sustainable society. Without knowledge, no direction, but without debate, no legitimacy. This volume is full of insights in the intricacies of how knowledge features in real world urban politics. It contains many fresh ideas and is of interest to academics, policy makers and other urban agents of change."Maarten Hajer, Professor of Urban Futures, Utrecht University, The Netherlands