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Toward a spatial perspective on sustainability transitions

Coenen, Lars LU ; Benneworth, Paul and Truffer, Bernhard (2012) In Research Policy 41(6). p.968-979
Abstract
In the past decade, the literature on transitions toward sustainable socio-technical systems has made a considerable contribution in understanding the complex and multi-dimensional shifts considered necessary to adapt societies and economies to sustainable modes of production and consumption. However, transition analyses have often neglected where transitions take place, and the spatial configurations and dynamics of the networks within which transitions evolve. A more explicit spatial perspective on sustainability transitions contributes to the extant transitions literature in three ways. Firstly it provides a contextualization on the limited territorial sensitivity of existing literature. Secondly, it explicitly acknowledges and... (More)
In the past decade, the literature on transitions toward sustainable socio-technical systems has made a considerable contribution in understanding the complex and multi-dimensional shifts considered necessary to adapt societies and economies to sustainable modes of production and consumption. However, transition analyses have often neglected where transitions take place, and the spatial configurations and dynamics of the networks within which transitions evolve. A more explicit spatial perspective on sustainability transitions contributes to the extant transitions literature in three ways. Firstly it provides a contextualization on the limited territorial sensitivity of existing literature. Secondly, it explicitly acknowledges and investigates diversity in transition processes, which follows from a 'natural' variety in institutional conditions, networks, actor strategies and resources across space. Thirdly, it encompasses not only greater emphasis but also an opportunity to connect to a body of literature geared to understanding the international, trans-local nature of transition dynamics. Concerned with the prevalent lack of attention for the spatial dimensions of sustainability transitions in most studies, this paper seeks to unpick and make explicit sustainability transition geographies from the vantage point of economic geography. The paper argues that there are two interrelated problems requiring attention: the institutional embeddedness of socio-technical development processes within specific territorial spaces, and an explicit multi-scalar conception of socio-technical trajectories. Following these arguments, the paper concludes that transitions research would do well to take a closer look at the geographical unevenness of transition processes from the perspective of global networks and local nodes. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Geographies of transitions, Multi-level perspective, Technological, innovation systems, Economic geography
in
Research Policy
volume
41
issue
6
pages
968 - 979
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000304340000002
  • scopus:84860218185
ISSN
0048-7333
DOI
10.1016/j.respol.2012.02.014
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e17a1e0c-c1b5-44dd-934b-e57203799736 (old id 2799589)
date added to LUP
2012-06-25 10:55:37
date last changed
2017-11-19 03:52:10
@article{e17a1e0c-c1b5-44dd-934b-e57203799736,
  abstract     = {In the past decade, the literature on transitions toward sustainable socio-technical systems has made a considerable contribution in understanding the complex and multi-dimensional shifts considered necessary to adapt societies and economies to sustainable modes of production and consumption. However, transition analyses have often neglected where transitions take place, and the spatial configurations and dynamics of the networks within which transitions evolve. A more explicit spatial perspective on sustainability transitions contributes to the extant transitions literature in three ways. Firstly it provides a contextualization on the limited territorial sensitivity of existing literature. Secondly, it explicitly acknowledges and investigates diversity in transition processes, which follows from a 'natural' variety in institutional conditions, networks, actor strategies and resources across space. Thirdly, it encompasses not only greater emphasis but also an opportunity to connect to a body of literature geared to understanding the international, trans-local nature of transition dynamics. Concerned with the prevalent lack of attention for the spatial dimensions of sustainability transitions in most studies, this paper seeks to unpick and make explicit sustainability transition geographies from the vantage point of economic geography. The paper argues that there are two interrelated problems requiring attention: the institutional embeddedness of socio-technical development processes within specific territorial spaces, and an explicit multi-scalar conception of socio-technical trajectories. Following these arguments, the paper concludes that transitions research would do well to take a closer look at the geographical unevenness of transition processes from the perspective of global networks and local nodes. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Coenen, Lars and Benneworth, Paul and Truffer, Bernhard},
  issn         = {0048-7333},
  keyword      = {Geographies of transitions,Multi-level perspective,Technological,innovation systems,Economic geography},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {968--979},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Research Policy},
  title        = {Toward a spatial perspective on sustainability transitions},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2012.02.014},
  volume       = {41},
  year         = {2012},
}