Robert Boyer

Robert Boyer
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden · Sustainable Business

Ph.D. Regional Planning

About

27
Publications
9,293
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
445
Citations
Introduction
Robert Boyer is a Senior Researcher in Sustainable Business at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden. He earned his PhD in Regional Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2013. Boyer has published research in diverse areas, connected by an overarching theme of sharing and other cooperative strategies for sustainability. His focus at RISE is on Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and the Circular Economy. Before moving to Sweden, he served on the faculty of Geography & Earth Sciences at University of North Carolina-Charlotte, where his research focused primarily on sustainable community development, grassroots innovation, and urban bicycling.
Additional affiliations
February 2019 - present
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden
Position
  • Senior Researcher
August 2013 - December 2018
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Description
  • My research uses multiple methods to understand transitions in the built environment. I primarily employ theories of sociotechnical transition and social practice.

Publications

Publications (27)
Article
Full-text available
The number and diversity of product-level circularity metrics have expanded rapidly in recent years, however, there remains a lack of tools that objectively assess products’ ability to retain their value over time. This paper proposes a simple arithmetic metric—called the Market Endurance (ME) metric—that partially fills this gap by relying on econ...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding consumer preferences in the circular economy can help producers develop profitable strategies, lowering the risk involved in transitioning to circular business models and circular product design. This study uses a choice experiment to identify customer segments for mobile phones and robot vacuum cleaners at different levels of circula...
Article
Full-text available
Designing products that can adapt to changes over time is crucial for managing product-related business risks in circular business models. However, there is limited circular economy research on how product adaptivity can contribute to more circular products and business models, especially in the early phases of business development and design. To a...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report was composed as part of Stronger Combined – an international R&I project funded by Interreg to explore the role of combined mobility, primarily within rural regions and areas. As such, this report examines the academic literature on Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) to investigate the geographical and conceptual areas that are covered by exi...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding product circularity as “three‐dimensional” could anchor the Circular Economy to common principles while affording its followers flexibility about how to measure it in their specific sectors and disciplines and within their organization's means. Inspired by a heuristic developed for the urban planning profession to cope with the inhere...
Article
Full-text available
While existing research has probed consumer responses to products of different recirculation pathways (recycling, reuse, refurbishment, etc), little work has examined consumer responses to an explicit “circular economy” product label or how willingness to pay is influenced by a continuum of circularity levels. This paper reports on the results of a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Understanding product circularity as “three-dimensional” could anchor the Circular Economy to common principles while affording its followers flexibility about how to measure it in their specific contexts. The following position paper explains the three dimensions, and how researchers at RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden AB) are working with indu...
Article
Circular Economy scholarship has developed multiple metrics for assessing product-level circularity. To date, however, many product-level indicators either conflate circularity and environmental impact, or have been validated using a very limited sample of products. This study applies a single metric, “C”, to a sample of 18 products in the Swedish...
Article
Full-text available
Conserving biodiversity is critical to the sustainability of human settlements, and stands to benefit from collaboration between ecologists focused on understanding natural systems and planners balancing social, environmental, and economic priorities. Drawing from the socially-situated definition of ‘sustainability’, we sought to understand the rel...
Article
Full-text available
In Charlotte, North Carolina less than one half of 1% of commuters ride a bicycle to work despite several decades of public investment in bicycle infrastructure and planning. Like many fast-growing cities of North America, Charlotte’s rapid physical growth in the past half-century has left its residents little option but to navigate the city by car...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Seamless mobility, using modes of transportation other than the personal motor vehicle, across the Nordics and the rest of Europe, will require deliberate planning among multiple organizations and actors. We are encouraged by several parallel developments in ICT and business model innovation that, together, increase the likelihood of seamless trans...
Article
Team-based learning (TBL) is a pedagogical technique that structures most lessons of a semester around work in permanent teams of five to six students. Drawing from the author’s experience using TBL plus a survey administered to students in an introductory undergraduate urban planning class, this paper illustrates how TBL enacts a nonhierarchical m...
Article
Cohousing is a resident-led neighborhood development model that clusters private dwelling units around collectively owned and managed spaces, with potential to address long-term social and environmental challenges in American metropolitan regions. To date, however, the cohousing model has been slow to diffuse beyond a demographically narrow followi...
Article
Full-text available
Riding a bicycle for utility purposes in US cities is rare, especially in historically automobile-dominated cities. Using data from a transportation survey administered to 406 residents of Charlotte, NC, this paper reports on the results of a logistic regression model that predicts the influence of an individual's recreational cycling frequency on...
Article
Grassroots innovations (GIs) diffuse by three pathways: replication, up-scaling, and translation. To date, a small body of research illustrates that niche-to-regime translation occurs under conditions of intermediacy: when a niche shares some, but not all, properties of a regime it prefigures. There has been less focus on the dynamics of niche repl...
Presentation
Full-text available
An analysis of survey data collected by the Charlotte Department of Transportation in 2016. The data illuminates racial, ethnic, age, and income disparities in recreational and utility cycling, and challenges approaches to bicycle planning based on data collected from the American Community Survey. Logistic regression modelling suggests that a resp...
Article
Full-text available
Sustainability is often conceived of as an attempt to balance competing economic, environmental and social priorities. Over the course of three decades of scholarship, however, the meaning and appropriate application of the 'social pillar' continues to inspire confusion. In this paper, we posit that the inherent challenge of understanding social su...
Article
Actors in complex urban environments cope with uncertainties and interdependencies by using each other’s plans, subscribing to pre-existing decision-making frameworks, and building relationships with other actors over long periods of time. Improvisational comedians employ similar strategies to create coherent and meaningful multi-actor stories with...
Article
Full-text available
The per capita resource consumption for inhabitants of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage (DR) is less than ten percent of the average American in most major categories, approximating “one planet” living in a nation that contributes disproportionately to global resource consumption. This article examines DR’s extraordinary energy and resource savings throug...
Article
Full-text available
Grassroots innovation literature proposes that ‘intermediately’ situated community-based projects—those which are neither too radical, nor too embedded in the mainstream—play an important cross-contextual bridging role in processes of innovation for sustainable development. This paper explores this intermediacy claim by comparing how three establis...
Article
The sociotechnical transitions framework describes how novel practice emerges from marginal “niche” contexts to the mainstream. Scholars of various fields have used sociotechnical transitions to explain processes of structural change for sustainability, yet little research examines the role of local plans or planners in transition processes. The au...
Article
In this article, we present an empirical analysis of the relationship between zoning restrictiveness and the risk of foreclosure in six metropolitan areas of varying regulatory frameworks across the United States. We measure zoning restrictiveness using the diversity of housing units allowed by right under different density types and by the proport...

Questions

Questions (2)
Question
Hello! I'm curious whether anyone has used sectoral input-output modelling to test or identify circular (as in Circular Economy) patterns in the economy. My impression is that most publicly available economic data is very "linear" in nature, reporting income, output, and flows among sectors. I'd be curious if anyone in the economics or regional economics fields have applied these methods with an eye toward circular patterns like resource recirculation, re-use, durability, adaptability, value retention, etc.
Question
Hi fellow researchers. I'm beginning the process of writing a research agenda. I'm looking for some good examples, especially in social science and sustainability fields. Thanks!

Network

Cited By

Projects

Project (1)
Project
To understand the changes in daily social practice associated with an individual's transition from 'recreational cyclist' to 'utility cyclist" in a city built for automobiles.