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Towards a neutral North : identifying factors that drive a municipality to actively propel a low carbon transition : a case study of Akureyri, Iceland

Kristjansdottir, Rakel LU (2017) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20171
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
Lowering global carbon emission is one of the most pressing issues of our time. A rising interest in
the role of cities in lowering emissions has been detected. Although urban areas are active entities in
the production of carbon emissions they are also potential hubs for designing and implementing
solutions. Such processes has been referred to as urban low carbon transitions (ULCT) by academics.
In this thesis I investigate the ULCT currently underway in Akureyri, Iceland. The main aspects of that
transition has been an emergence of a persistent niche and creation of an official municipal ‘carbon
neutral Akureyri strategy’ (CNAS). Analysing this I utilise transition theories, multilevel perspective
(MLP) framework as well as a... (More)
Lowering global carbon emission is one of the most pressing issues of our time. A rising interest in
the role of cities in lowering emissions has been detected. Although urban areas are active entities in
the production of carbon emissions they are also potential hubs for designing and implementing
solutions. Such processes has been referred to as urban low carbon transitions (ULCT) by academics.
In this thesis I investigate the ULCT currently underway in Akureyri, Iceland. The main aspects of that
transition has been an emergence of a persistent niche and creation of an official municipal ‘carbon
neutral Akureyri strategy’ (CNAS). Analysing this I utilise transition theories, multilevel perspective
(MLP) framework as well as a newer ULCT framework for further understanding of city transitions.
With empirical data from 19 interviews with relevant interdisciplinary actors I identify CNAS
precursors, transition trends as well as actors’ perceived driving forces and success factors.
Transitions are known to be driven by multitude of factors and causality is rarely simple and this
study is no exception. Results show the main driving forces are active and enthusiastic individuals
and municipal branding possibilities. Success factors being mainly close community connections,
strong public- private partnerships and stable local political support for green initiatives. The sociotechnical
system of carbon flows in Akureyri is has connected local waste management and transport
regimes through fuel production. A presence of an active intermediary, Vistorka Ltd. functions to
support niche innovations affecting carbon flows. The intermediary is propelled by two identified
‘transition champions’ in Akureyri. Some unique underlying factors were found, such as underlying
culture environmental surroundings, yet many aspects can be generalised and thus have some
instrumental value as a case to learn from and upscale for further transitions. (Less)
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author
Kristjansdottir, Rakel LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
political support, green image, change agents, agency, urban transition, sustainability science, community connection
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2017:013
language
English
id
8914878
date added to LUP
2017-06-18 16:13:35
date last changed
2017-06-18 16:13:35
@misc{8914878,
  abstract     = {Lowering global carbon emission is one of the most pressing issues of our time. A rising interest in
the role of cities in lowering emissions has been detected. Although urban areas are active entities in
the production of carbon emissions they are also potential hubs for designing and implementing
solutions. Such processes has been referred to as urban low carbon transitions (ULCT) by academics.
In this thesis I investigate the ULCT currently underway in Akureyri, Iceland. The main aspects of that
transition has been an emergence of a persistent niche and creation of an official municipal ‘carbon
neutral Akureyri strategy’ (CNAS). Analysing this I utilise transition theories, multilevel perspective
(MLP) framework as well as a newer ULCT framework for further understanding of city transitions.
With empirical data from 19 interviews with relevant interdisciplinary actors I identify CNAS
precursors, transition trends as well as actors’ perceived driving forces and success factors.
Transitions are known to be driven by multitude of factors and causality is rarely simple and this
study is no exception. Results show the main driving forces are active and enthusiastic individuals
and municipal branding possibilities. Success factors being mainly close community connections,
strong public- private partnerships and stable local political support for green initiatives. The sociotechnical
system of carbon flows in Akureyri is has connected local waste management and transport
regimes through fuel production. A presence of an active intermediary, Vistorka Ltd. functions to
support niche innovations affecting carbon flows. The intermediary is propelled by two identified
‘transition champions’ in Akureyri. Some unique underlying factors were found, such as underlying
culture environmental surroundings, yet many aspects can be generalised and thus have some
instrumental value as a case to learn from and upscale for further transitions.},
  author       = {Kristjansdottir, Rakel},
  keyword      = {political support,green image,change agents,agency,urban transition,sustainability science,community connection},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Towards a neutral North : identifying factors that drive a municipality to actively propel a low carbon transition : a case study of Akureyri, Iceland},
  year         = {2017},
}