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Enhancing Meso Level Research in Sustainability Science—Challenges and Research Needs

Author

Listed:
  • Keishiro Hara

    () (Center for Environmental Innovation Design for Sustainability, Osaka University, 2-1 Yamada-oka, Suita, 565-0871 Osaka, Japan)

  • Michinori Uwasu

    () (Center for Environmental Innovation Design for Sustainability, Osaka University, 2-1 Yamada-oka, Suita, 565-0871 Osaka, Japan)

  • Hideki Kobayashi

    () (Center for Environmental Innovation Design for Sustainability, Osaka University, 2-1 Yamada-oka, Suita, 565-0871 Osaka, Japan)

  • Shuji Kurimoto

    () (Center for Environmental Innovation Design for Sustainability, Osaka University, 2-1 Yamada-oka, Suita, 565-0871 Osaka, Japan)

  • Shinsuke Yamanaka

    () (Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, 2-1 Yamada-oka, Suita, 565-0871 Osaka, Japan)

  • Yoshiyuki Shimoda

    () (Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, 2-1 Yamada-oka, Suita, 565-0871 Osaka, Japan)

  • Yasushi Umeda

    () (Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, 2-1 Yamada-oka, Suita, 565-0871 Osaka, Japan)

Abstract

Growing numbers of promising visions of the future and scenarios that may lead toward building sustainable societies are being developed. At the same time, advanced technologies and research seeds that could increase the likelihood of achieving such visions are also being rigorously conceived. Even so, we face challenges and barriers in achieving these visions due to large gaps between individual technology seeds and shared visions. In this paper we propose a “vision-meso-seeds” model as a practical framework for addressing sustainability transition and demonstrate meso level research whose primary aim is to design a matching of promising seeds at the micro level and societal visions at the macro level, facilitating an achievement of the set visions with quantified targets. In particular we highlight the importance of matching various strategies and measures derived from the top-down (vision-oriented) approach and bottom-up (seeds-oriented) approach in the meso level research. We argue that the meso level research shall constitute one of the emerging core fields in sustainability science and suggest that accumulation of knowledge through case studies be needed to enhance and verify theory, specific methods and approach necessary for advancing the meso level research in the context of sustainability science.

Suggested Citation

  • Keishiro Hara & Michinori Uwasu & Hideki Kobayashi & Shuji Kurimoto & Shinsuke Yamanaka & Yoshiyuki Shimoda & Yasushi Umeda, 2012. "Enhancing Meso Level Research in Sustainability Science—Challenges and Research Needs," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(8), pages 1-15, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:4:y:2012:i:8:p:1833-1847:d:19479
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fischer, Carolyn & Parry, Ian W. H. & Pizer, William A., 2003. "Instrument choice for environmental protection when technological innovation is endogenous," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 523-545, May.
    2. Popp, David, 2005. "Lessons from patents: Using patents to measure technological change in environmental models," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2-3), pages 209-226, August.
    3. Foxon, Timothy J., 2011. "A coevolutionary framework for analysing a transition to a sustainable low carbon economy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(12), pages 2258-2267.
    4. Downing, Paul B. & White, Lawrence J., 1986. "Innovation in pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 18-29, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Keishiro Hara & Michinori Uwasu & Shuji Kurimoto & Shinsuke Yamanaka & Yasushi Umeda & Yoshiyuki Shimoda, 2013. "Mapping research activities and technologies for sustainability and environmental studies—a case study at university level," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 3(1), pages 42-48, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bottom-up-approach; technology seeds; top-down approach; vision-meso-seeds model;

    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

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