IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/gam/jsusta/v10y2018i3p840-d136638.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Sustainability Transitions at the Frontline. Lock-in and Potential for Change in the Local Planning Arena

Author

Listed:
  • Karolina Isaksson

    () (VTI, the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, 10215 Stockholm, Sweden
    KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 10044 Stockholm, Sweden)

  • Satu Heikkinen

    () (Department of Social and Psychological Studies, Karlstad University, 65188 Karlstad, Sweden)

Abstract

This paper explores challenges and possibilities for integrating goals of long-term sustainable development into urban planning practice, with a specific focus on local institutional conditions for sustainability transitions. The analysis is based on a qualitative single case study of a large urban development process: the development of a new city district in Hyllie in the city of Malmö, Sweden. Hyllie was branded as a flagship project for sustainable urban development, with particularly high ambitions on climate neutrality and sustainable energy consumption. Several innovative elements were initiated in the development process, for instance the “climate contract” between the municipality and large energy companies. In the paper, this climate contract is discussed as an initiative with a promising potential for sustainability transitions. In practice, however, the outcome of the development in Hyllie in terms of sustainable development is ambiguous, since the district is also framed around luxury shopping, entertainment, and an ambition to attract visitors from a long distance. The Hyllie development illustrates pre-requisites for work on sustainable development in a decentralized and market-oriented planning context. Theoretically, the analysis is inspired by the multi-level perspective (MLP) and institutional theory. The results illustrate how the development process was shaped by a complex interplay between actors with differing agendas and targets at different stages in the process. These results are applied in a general discussion of challenges and possibilities for urban planning to contribute substantially to a transition to long-term sustainable development. Overall, the analysis demonstrates the importance of considering specific local institutional conditions in strategic work for long-term sustainability.

Suggested Citation

  • Karolina Isaksson & Satu Heikkinen, 2018. "Sustainability Transitions at the Frontline. Lock-in and Potential for Change in the Local Planning Arena," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(3), pages 1-17, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:3:p:840-:d:136638
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/10/3/840/pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/10/3/840/
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Yvonne Rydin & Nancy Holman & Vicky Hands & Florian Sommer, 2003. "Incorporating sustainable development concerns into an urban regeneration project: how politics can defeat procedures," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(4), pages 545-561.
    2. Harriet Bulkeley & Vanesa Castán Broto & Anne Maassen, 2014. "Low-carbon Transitions and the Reconfiguration of Urban Infrastructure," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 51(7), pages 1471-1486, May.
    3. ., 1998. "Technological Change," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Classical Economics, chapter 127 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Geels, Frank W., 2010. "Ontologies, socio-technical transitions (to sustainability), and the multi-level perspective," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 495-510, May.
    5. repec:eee:jotrge:v:24:y:2012:i:c:p:483-487 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Kern, Florian, 2012. "Using the multi-level perspective on socio-technical transitions to assess innovation policy," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 298-310.
    7. Markard, Jochen & Raven, Rob & Truffer, Bernhard, 2012. "Sustainability transitions: An emerging field of research and its prospects," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 955-967.
    8. Mike Hodson & Simon Marvin, 2009. "'Urban Ecological Security': A New Urban Paradigm?," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(1), pages 193-215, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    urban; sustainability; transition; planning; institutional capacity; multi-level perspective; local conditions; Malmö;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:3:p:840-:d:136638. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (XML Conversion Team). General contact details of provider: https://www.mdpi.com/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.