1st Edition

Urban Sustainability Transitions

    404 Pages
    by Routledge

    402 Pages 39 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The world’s population is currently undergoing a significant transition towards urbanisation, with the UN expecting that 70% of people globally will live in cities by 2050. Urbanisation has multiple political, cultural, environmental and economic dimensions that profoundly influence social development and innovation. This fundamental long-term transformation will involve the realignment of urban society’s technologies and infrastructures, culture and lifestyles, as well as governance and institutional frameworks. Such structural systemic realignments can be referred to as urban sustainability transitions: fundamental and structural changes in urban systems through which persistent societal challenges are addressed, such as shifts towards urban farming, renewable decentralised energy systems, and social economies.

    This book provides new insights into how sustainability transitions unfold in different types of cities across the world and explores possible strategies for governing urban transitions, emphasising the co-evolution of material and institutional transformations in socio-technical and socio-ecological systems. With case studies of mega-cities such as Seoul, Tokyo, New York and Adelaide, medium-sized cities such as Copenhagen, Cape Town and Portland, and nonmetropolitan cities such as Freiburg, Ghent and Brighton, the book provides an opportunity to reflect upon the comparability and transferability of theoretical/conceptual constructs and governance approaches across geographical contexts.

    Urban Sustainability Transitions is key reading for students and scholars working in Environmental Sciences, Geography, Urban Studies, Urban Policy and Planning.

    1. Urban Sustainability Transitions: The Dynamics and Opportunities of Sustainability Transitions in Cities

    Niki Frantzeskaki, Vanesa Castàn Broto, Lars Coenen and Derk Loorbach

    2. Anchoring Global Networks in Urban Niches: How On-site Water Recycling Emerged in Three Chinese Cities

    Christian Binz and Bernhard Truffer

    3. Understanding the Policy Realities of Urban Transitions

    Yvette Bettini, Tracey Arklay and Brian W. Head

    4. The Governance of Transformative Change: Tracing the Pathway of the Sustainability Transition in Vancouver, Canada

    Sarah Burch

    5. Transitioning Complex Urban Systems: The Importance of Urban Ecology for Sustainability in New York City

    Timon McPhearson and Katinka Wijsman

    6. The Role of Place-specific Dynamics in the Destabilization of the Danish Water Regime: An Actor–Network View on Urban Sustainability Transitions

    C. F. Fratini and J. S. Jensen

    7. Village Communities and Social Innovation Policies in Seoul: Exploring the Urban Dimension of Grassroots Niches

    Marc Wolfram

    8 Spatialising Urban Sustainability Transitions: Eco-cities, Multilevel Perspectives and the Political Ecology of Scale in the Bohai Rim, China

    Federico Caprotti and Nichola Harmer

    9. Urban Sustainability Transitions: Opportunities and Challenges for Institutional ChangeLea Fuenfschilling

    10. The Rise, Fall and Resurrection of Waste-to-Energy Technologies in Berlin’s Infrastructure History

    Timothy Moss

    11. The Spatial Complexity of Sustainability Transitions in the ‘Cities of the East’

    Anne Maassen

    12. From Building Small Urban Spaces for a Car-free Life to Challenging the Global Regime of Automobility: Cases from Vienna and Freiburg

    Philipp Spath and Michael Ornetzeder

    13. Multiple Transitions: Energy Precariousness and ‘Transient’ Urban Tenants

    Saska Petrova

    14. Worth the Trouble?! An Evaluative Scheme for Urban Sustainability Transition Labs (USTLs) and an Application to the USTL in Phoenix, Arizona

    Arnim Wiek, Braden Kay and Nigel Forrest

    15. Change and Persistency: Understanding Social-ecological Transition in a Post-socialist City – the Example of Leipzig, Germany

    Dagmar Haase, Annegret Haase and Dieter Rink

    16. A Multi-Actor Perspective on Urban Sustainability Transitions

    Flor Avelino and Julia Wittmayer

    17. Cities as Arenas of Low-carbon Transitions: Friction Zones in the Negotiation of Low-carbon Futures

    Harald Rohracher and Philipp Spath

    18. Mediators Acting in Urban Transition Processes: Carlsberg City District and Cycle Superhighways

    Andrés Felipe Valderrama Pineda, Anne Katrine Braagaard Harders and Morten Elle

    19. Flows, Infrastructures and the African Urban Transition

    Mark Swilling, Josephine Musango, Blake Robinson and Camaren Peter

    20. Focusing on Ecosystem Services in the Multiple Social-ecological Transitions of Lodz

    Jakub Kronenberg, Kinga Krauze and Iwona Wagner

    21. The Politics of Urban Sustainability Transitions

    Thaddeus R. Miller and Anthony M. Levenda

    22. Sustainability Transitions and the City: Linking to Transition Studies and Looking Forward

    John Grin, Niki Frantzeskaki, Vanesa Casàn Broto and Lars Coenen


    Niki Frantzeskaki is Associate Professor of Sustainability Transitions Governance at the Dutch Research Institute For Transitions (DRIFT), Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

    Vanesa Castán Broto is Senior Lecturer at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit, University College London, UK.

    Lars Coenen is City of Melbourne Chair in Resilient Cities at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, Australia.

    Derk Loorbach is Professor of Socio-economic Transitions and Director of the Dutch Research Institute For Transitions (DRIFT), Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.