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One Planet Living: A Tale of Three UK Urban Sustainabity Initiatives



The One Planet Living (OPL) framework is among a growing number of replicable schemes on offer internationally to facilitate urban sustainability initiatives. It is based on the principle of ecological footprint and related socio-economic sustainability dimensions, and aims to guide the design, planning and assessment of a range of sustainable urban developments, from in-fill projects to city-region initiatives. Using the innovation perspective, this paper considers OPL‘s potential as an innovation tool and process. It does so using a comparative case analysis of OPL‘s application in three UK urban settings: Brighton & Hove; NW Bicester; and Sutton. The findings overall highlight the critical importance of governance as a driver of innovation; specific issues identified include: (i) aligning the open innovation process with focused policy and project development; (ii) enabling effective stakeholder engagement; (iii) facilitating partnership between the OPL champion and local users; and (iv) ensuring the robustness of implementation and assessment.
Sustainable Innovation 2014
Smart & Sustainable Cities as Drivers for Innovation - Martin Gertz Anderson ................................................ 6
Sustainable Governance Setting Direction and Inspiring Change in a City Development Corporation - Stefan
Book, Magnus Marmgren, Björn Gustafsson .................................................................................................... 7
Circular Economy Innovation in the Netherlands - Guido Braam, Anna van der Plas ...................................... 13
Driving Behavioural Change Towards Ecodesign Integration: Nudging Experiment in Industry - Fabien Brones,
Morten Gyldendal-Melberg, Marly Monteiro de Carvalho, Daniela Pigosso, Tim McAloone .......................... 15
Architectural Approach towards Innovative Renewable Energy Infrastructure in Kapisillit, Greenland - Susan
Carruth, Peter Gall Krogh ............................................................................................................................... 24
What Value Do Consumers Really Expect of Product Service Systems? Reflections On How A Different
Conception Of Value Could Facilitate The Implementation Of PSS In Consumer Markets - Maurizio Catulli,
Matthew Cook, Stephen Potter ...................................................................................................................... 31
Cities as Drivers for Sustainable Innovation - Martin Charter ......................................................................... 39
Implementing Product/ Service-Systems in Urban Environments: Toward the Co-evolution of the Universal
and Contingent - Matthew Cook, Tim McAloone ............................................................................................ 43
Do Smart Solutions Help Create Sustainable Cities? - Matthew Cook, Stephen Potter, Per-Anders Langendahl
....................................................................................................................................................................... 50
Smart & Sustainable Cities Driving Innovation - Trevor Davis ......................................................................... 57
Transgressing Plastic Waste: Designedisposal Strategic Scenarios - Katarina Dimitrijevic .............................. 60
Textile Seam Separation Technology: Urban Area Disassembly and Sorting - Elaine Durham, Andrew Hewitt,
Rob Bell, Stephen Russell ............................................................................................................................... 67
The Transformative Role of Calculative Devices in the Appraisal of a Large Scale System: Re-inventing the
Bicycle as an Instrument of Public Health - Morten Elle, Jens Stissing Jensen ................................................. 73
The Next City - Gil Friend ................................................................................................................................ 79
The Fuzzy Front End of Sustainable Innovation: Findings Based on a Case Study on the Paper and Pulp
Industry - Magdalena Gabriel, Elke Perl-Vorbach, Alfred Posch ..................................................................... 81
Innovative Development in the Northern Region, Case of Yakutia, Russia - Tuyara Gavrilyeva, Nadezhda
Stepanova ...................................................................................................................................................... 89
From Individual Ideation to Collective Incubation: Time for Cities To Move From Transactional Intervention
To Transformational Initiatives - Raz Godelnik, Jonatan Jelen ........................................................................ 97
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Typology of Sky Gardens for High-rise Urban Living - Tony Ip ....................................................................... 102
Islands as Innovative Playgrounds for Sustainable Solutions - Søren Femmer Jensen .................................. 111
One Planet Living: A Tale of Three UK Urban Sustainabity Initiatives - Simon Joss ....................................... 114
Development of Sustainable Cities: Sequences, Stakeholders and Interaction - Thomas Kalling, Jessica
Lagerstedt Wadin ......................................................................................................................................... 119
A Study of Member Motivations and Activities in Hackerspaces and Repair Cafés - Scott Keiler, Martin
Charter ......................................................................................................................................................... 125
Improving Sustainability Through Material Design - Päivi Kivikytö-Reponen, Marjaana Karhu, Olli Salmi .... 138
Criticality of Resources from a Business Perspective: Extending Existing Approaches - Sandra Link, Hermann
Kloberdanz, Naemi Denz .............................................................................................................................. 145
Cleanweb: How ICT Creates Environmental, User, and Market Value - Oriol Pascual Moya-Angeler ............ 153
R20 And The Green Growth Best Practice Report - Christophe Nuttall ......................................................... 160
Design for Resource Effectiveness: Developing Sustainability Considerations for Small Household Appliances -
Dilruba Oğur, Çağla Doğan ........................................................................................................................... 162
Accelerating the Shift to a Low Carbon Economy: What Kind of Local Leadership Do We Need? - Fred
Paterson ....................................................................................................................................................... 172
Environmental Impacts of Production-consumption Systems in Europe - Almut Reichel, Lars Fogh Mortensen,
Jasmina Bogdanovic, Mike Asquith .............................................................................................................. 181
The Catalonia Ecodesign Award: a Tool for Sustainability - Yolanda Morcillo Ripoll, Alfred Vara Blanco, Pilar
Chiva Rodríguez ........................................................................................................................................... 185
City of Copenhagen: Involving Users in the Transformation of a Nice City to a Sustainable City - Tina Saaby191
Sustainable Innovation & Regions: Challenges & Opportunities - Gianluca Salvatori ................................... 195
Sustainable Innovation of Developing Smart Grids: a Socio-Economic Approach - Sabina Scarpellini, Juan
Aranda, A. Aranda-Usón, Eva Llera, A. Ortego .............................................................................................. 198
Adapting Sustainable Product Development to Different Industries and Considering a Regional Context -
Josef-Peter Schöggl, Rupert J. Baumgartner ................................................................................................. 214
Academic Social Responsibility: “Urban Revitalization of Mass Housing” International Think - Local Learn-
Global Development Competition - Mohamed El Sioufi ............................................................................... 221
Sustainable Innovation of Glass Design and Craft - Maria Sparre-Petersen .................................................. 229
Sustainable Innovation 2014
Transition to Sustainable Cities a Socio-technical Approach for Transformative Innovation- Fred Steward . 235
Individual Upcycling Practice: Exploring the Possible Determinants of Upcycling Based on a Literature Review
- Kyungeun Sung .......................................................................................................................................... 237
Macro to Micro, Mature to Emergent the Information Flow from Innovators in Fashion Hubs; Can Micro
Entrepreneurial Innovators in Sustainability Hubs Inform Bite Sized Sustainability Solutions in Globalised
Fashion Industry Supply Chains? - Mo Tomaney .......................................................................................... 245
Green Development and Innovation in China - Yi Wang ............................................................................... 249
Sustaining Bike-Sharing Systems in China: Case Studies - Lihong Zhang, Jun Zhang, Zhengyu Duan, David
Bryde ........................................................................................................................................................... 251
Sustainable Innovation 2014
Sustainable Innovation 2014
Smart & Sustainable Cities as Drivers for Innovation - Martin Gertz
Martin Gertz Andersen
Green Seminars
Many cities and towns now face a significant number of difficult challenges. For example, many are
seeking to mitigate the effects of significant cut backs in costly, labour-intensive services such as care
for the elderly, children and health. In addition, many cities and towns find themselves in an
ambiguous situation where on the one hand they endeavour to promote green issues, like climate
change adaption, whilst on the other they are being forced to defer the fulfilment of, for example,
carbon reduction targets.
The more the political and economic elite revolve around the so called "green growth" agenda the
more they tend to shift away from the daily issues dominating people's lives. This mismatch of
agendas makes it particularly difficult for a community to try to pursue the long-term goal of becoming
a 'smart city'.
Since the financial crisis and the drastic drop in energy prices, it has become even harder to ensure
that renewable energy remains high on the political agenda. This has only been exacerbated by the
emergence of controversial alternatives such as shale gas and increasing concerns with notions like
carbon leakage and greenwashing. Energy pover       
suffering from European Central Bank (ECB) bail-outs, has also become a growing social issue. In
addition, 'green growth' policies that combine job creation with carbon reduction have encountered
multiple challenges and impediments. Cities and towns have found themselves in dilemmas in setting
the 'green growth' agenda whilst ensuring the financial and organisational backing to move towards
sustainable economic growth.
After 2009 and the emergence of the 'green growth' era many cities and towns embarked on different
regimes where the local governing boards strived to over-bid for carbon reduction targets. During the
financial crisis many cities and towns tended to cool down their own carbon reduction expectations
making severe or incremental cut-backs in the financial budgets supporting such carbon measures.
The result has been a lack of a clear plans and trajectories on how to achieve these targets and
realise the good intentions set for 2020 and beyond.
As a pioneer who brought the 'smart city' concept to Denmark, I am confident that those cities and
towns, who held such good intentions, will achieve their expected gains albeit over a bit longer time
period than originally foreseen. Perversely, the financial crisis has generated many opportunities. A
new 'smart city' Klondyke, has become a reality to those who have dared and have been capable of
deploying both seed funding and investment. But it does take leadership, and one may ask whether
cities and towns are prepared to look beyond their next elections?
Sustainable Innovation 2014
Sustainable Governance Setting Direction and Inspiring Change
in a City Development Corporation - Stefan Book, Magnus
Marmgren, Björn Gustafsson
Stefan Book
CEO, Partner and Senior Management Consultant
Effort Consulting
Magnus Marmgren
Partner, Senior Management Consultant and PhD Student
Effort Consulting
Björn Gustafsson
Technical Manager
In the spring of 2013 a decision was taken on corporate level at Förvaltnings AB Framtiden
(Framtiden), a group of seven companies managing 70600 apartments
, fully owned by the City of
              
concerned the development of a sustainability framework for the group, and the work has gained
recognition among the top politicians in Gothenburg as well as industry representatives. There is an
ongoing process where a documented sustainability guide is influencing corporate governance.
The central ideas of Corporate Governance evolve over time, and today CSR/Sustainability has
become a major concern in many companies (Tricker, 2012). Porter and Cramer (2006) show that
 n be a strategic advantage. The Global
            
strengthening, with a growing number of companies taking action. Turning a blind eye to sustainability
issues is a ticking time bomb, and hiding missteps no matter how deep down the supply chain is
The purpose of this paper is to explore the process at Framtiden leading to a situation today where
corporate governance is changing into a more conscious sustainability focus. The paper discusses
The largest municipality owned public housing corporation in Sweden
Sustainable Innovation 2014
central mechanisms that can influence the long term ability to govern the corporation in a sustainable
The work at Framtiden is conducted as part of an action research approach aiming at developing the
the corporation, as well as creating knowledge. It is a matter of applying both first hand understanding
via own experiences and second hand understanding facilitated by theories forming an analytical
framework (Gummesson, 1991). One guiding idea is that theories in use will stimulate the productive
learning and outcome of this research process (Schön, 1983).
Analytical framework
The analytical framework is founded on theories and experiences that can help in clarifying the
interaction between ideas and behavior in organizations. We use the framework to organize and make
sense of data and experiences from Framtiden in order to understand mechanisms influencing long
term success (Weick, 1979, 1995). In line with Czarniawska and Joerges (1996) this is partly a matter
of understanding the travels of ideas within and among organizations.
A central theme in the framework is based on Nonaka (1994) explaining how productive learning takes
place through dialogue between tacit and explicit knowledge. While individuals develop knowledge,
organizations play a critical role in shaping conditions for a process of knowledge creation. This
knowledge guide action and influence our capability.
Figure 1 (developed from Marmgren, Clancy, Alänge 2013) visualize a structure that guides our
analysis. A central idea is to use it as a reflective tool rather than focusing on it. In focus are the
patterns (Book, 2006) in the organization and the knowledge produced as we use it in action. One key
aspect is the nature of learning within the organization which can be stimulated by conscious
development of learning alliances between key persons (Frischer et al. 2000).
Figure 1: A structure facilitating productive learning, focusing explicit and tacit guiding knowledge and
its relation to action producing results for stakeholders.
Tacit guiding             
actions in a specific situation whether it is riding a bike, operating a production line or running a
complex project. Tacit guiding knowledge cannot be directly observed but inferred by looking at action
or approached by interviewing
. This is in line with system 1 patterns of thinking (more intuitive) as
described by Kahneman (2011) whereas the system 2 type of thinking (more conscious) takes place
as part of explicit thoughts and ideas.
This requires going beyond the first response to go in depth with the interviewee
Sustainable Innovation 2014
Sustainability as a concept can create good conditions for innovation and drive success on several
levels (Nidumolu et al., 2009). Different and often contradictory thoughts and ideas can create tension
among individuals and stimulate ideas and innovation (Fonseca, 2002). This however, is dependent
on the conditions for innovation. Contradictory thoughts can also lead to conflict, power struggles and
problematic patterns. The ability to understand organizational patterns in the specific context and
adapt external ideas to make them more compatible is central (Book, 2006, Marmgren, Clancy,
Alänge, 2013), as is the process of implementation (Lewin, 1948).
Setting Direction for Sustainable Governance
To explore the process at Framtiden we describe three parts: the starting point for the work, the
sustainability ideas brought into the organization and the situation now.
Starting point
Framtiden is engaged in work intuitively associated with sustainability. It is within their purpose, as a
municipally owned company, to do good and contribute to society. Employees are proud of the
contributions to society in the daily work. A vision also exists to  
future but there is a lack of guidance on how to actually fulfill this vision. This can be problematic in a
municipality owned company like Framtiden which has a complex situation in the governance
structure. The board of directors on all levels of the corporation consist of politicians with varying
agendas based on different political ideas and budgets. The positive side of having politicians in the
board is that, in line with the vision, the good society and cultural values are in focus instead of a
narrower financial perspective.
A problem exists in a situation where employees are afraid to make mistakes. Some perceive a
negative stress related to expected achievements and measurements of leadership. A risk prevails
that this inhibits innovation and productive stakeholder dialogue. This is due to the fact that media and
other stakeholders have observed problems in several municipality owned companies. Serious
criticism are brought forward in media, and problems in Gothenburg gain much more attention than
the success stories that are also part of reality.
In the beginning of 2013, at the starting point of the sustainability initiative, there were questions
regarding the interpretation of CSR and sustainability in the context of Framtiden. The documented
vision, owner directives for the mother and daughter companies, documented business plans and the
city budget were not aligned in a clear and explicit direction for sustainable governance. A balanced
scorecard logic existed but it did not guide behavior and action in a clear and intuitive way, given the
purpose of the organization. Furthermore a reporting culture, with clear directives to report in different
systems did not lead to feedback guiding action.
One company within the group had used GRI3 for Sustainability Reporting, and this had also been
praised, but the contents of this report did not gain any momentum. In fact, the sense was that this
was still another report following certain demands. The structure did not produce creative tensions
driving innovation and improvement. Instead, it summarized what was already going on, within an
external structure that was not natural to the company.
Sustainability ideas inspiring change
A central idea was to build a strong sense of what sustainability means in practice The ambition was
to build momentum around a sustainability idea that could stimulate the organization´s development
with the focus on core issues. A threat against this ambition was that the corporate initiative would be
seen as still another top-down reporting initiative creating conformity oriented ways of organizing.
Another threat would be that this idea would challenge assumptions among professionals with an
auditing and inspection focus.
It was considered essential to build from what already existed within the organization and not
implement a predefined management model. External models and theories could serve as inspiration
but not as the central guiding mechanism. The intention was instead to create a sustainability guide
that Framtiden would be proud of. Something they felt ownership of. Referring to Book (2006) we
wanted to understand underlying patterns and adapt the work accordingly. Central theoretical
standpoints can still be used, but with respect for patterns that may influence the effects of the work.
Sustainable Innovation 2014
Another key was to use attractive visualization that could call attention and stimulate communication of
the sustainability ideas being developed.
    responsibility
and strive for long-term success by creating value for and with stakeholders
, and balancing their
n                
through successive understanding of the organization understood as a system. This system is formed
by several sub systems, which relate to external levels of interrelated systems. The systems view can
also be used on a higher system lever, addressing global development as done in Brundtland (1987)
pointing at several systems that need to function in order to reach a sustainable society. Finally, three
central questions, in line with ISO 26000, was proposed to guide the work:
Who are our stakeholders?
What focus areas should be prioritized to satisfy the needs of our stakeholders?
Which principles
should guide?
Today there is a shared view of sustainability in Framtiden on corporate level, among board of
directors and among CEOs in the daughter companies. A sustainability guide exists that can guide
coordinated thought and action. The ideas in the guide facilitated the work on the first sustainability
report developed on corporate level. The sustainability report is used for communicating, internally and
to external stakeholders, what sustainability is at Framtiden, how they work, the results they have
achieved and their aspirations. Central in the guide and report are eight defined focus areas
(prioritized areas) that define the type of results to strive for. In each area a number of aspects have
been identified to clarify the meaning in practice. These areas are related to needs that the identified
prioritized stakeholder groups have.
Figure 2: Prioritized focus areas and stakeholder groups
New ideas regarding sustainable governance at Framtiden have been developed. These ideas are
now also enacted in meetings and when writing key documents like the business plans. At a larger
system level they have started to spread inside and outside the group, both through spoken
communication and actions. Two key tools in communication are the sustainability report and
sustainability guide. A central part of the strategy is to integrate sustainability into the tacit guiding
knowledge that each person is carrying as they are fulfilling their role in the organization. So far, the
The nature and future generations are considered stakeholders
These principles has so far been tacit guiding through the work on the eight focus areas, but the plan is to define them
thoroughly, bringing the tacit into explicit knowledge.
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integration into tacit knowledge has mostly taken place on a governance level, but it is inspiring the
           
their own way of addressing sustainability as a consequence of the work at the corporate level. The
sustainability guide helped the daughter company more clearly define their role within the groups
sustainability oriented mission.
The sustainability report and guide have so far gained positive recognition. A lot of work remains
however, and the sustainability report clarifies that this is a learning journey. One important test is
coming now when stakeholders are raising issues and questions. What is happening in action as a
consequence of communication relating to the transparent sustainability work? A group of
stakeholders senior citizens symbolize this moment of truth as they communicate certain issues
and questions in a letter to Framtiden. They used the sustainability report to communicate regarding
living options for senior citizens. Hence, the report has in this case facilitated stakeholder
What are the central mechanisms influencing the long term ability to reach a natural and intuitive way
of governing and driving a corporation in a sustainable way? Certainly we had some ideas going into
the work at Framtiden. One central part of the sustainability initiative has been to build guiding ideas
and document these, in an inspiring way, so that they can stimulate dialogue and further development.
As explicit thoughts and ideas are related to what is going on in action, creative tension can drive
innovation, development and emergence of tacit knowledge. At Framtiden we are forming guiding
ideas anchored in the core operations to gain ownership, rather than directing attention to external
influences. Naturally, external influences are important over time and also during internal learning
A question is how the explicit ideas concerning sustainability are integrated in action relating to
stakeholder needs.The situation where senior citizens take contact is an opportunity for learning, what
the sustainability ideas mean in action on corporate level. Many such situations will occur and their
consequences in action will naturally influence the learning journey ahead.
So far, it is reasonable to believe that a few key persons having taken part in the work have integrated
the guiding ideas into the tacit guiding knowledge influencing behavior and action directly. Other
persons are relating to the ideas, but not as part of their natural way of thinking. In line with Lewin
(1948), it takes more conscious actions to stimulate group processes and development of shared
The transparency regarding the way of thinking that is promoted from corporate level has been greatly
improved. In fact, regarding sustainability, the only guiding idea was related to the generic model of
the triple bottom line: Economic, Environmental and Social dimensions of development and results. In
practice, this structure of thought did not lead to an integration of sustainability. It resulted in efforts to
package what existed in an external and generic structure. This raise questions regarding the more
normative suggested ways of addressing challenges of sustainability.
Today, as a consequence of the history, outside scrutiny and feedback may easily be taken as
criticism not leading to honest reflections that can guide actions to improve. Instead of a situation
where stakeholders mobilize together and act on shared interests, we have a situation influenced by
mistrust. One example is the scrutiny of stakeholders like media or representatives of those living in
apartments. It seems like the consequence is negative tension instead of creative tension driving
innovation (Fonseca, 2002).
To stimulate a climate of creative tension that can drive innovation and development should be
central. In the operations such tension seems to exist between stakeholders and employees with a
common interest to satisfy certain needs or desires. The question is how work on corporate level can
benefit from similar creative tension to promote a long term development of a sustainable governance.
The intuitive answer could be to further clarify the processes and roles of the persons working on
corporate level to promote a sense of urgency relating to concrete needs that require action. The risk
is that a perception of success and lack of action strikes back and creates problems in line with
Keating et al. (1999) discussing improvement paradoxes from reality. It seems like the progress at
Framtiden continuously will lead to concrete action and learning however. The future will tell us more
about this.
Sustainable Innovation 2014
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Book, S. (2006). Naturalizing Quality Management: A problem of organizing in processes of change.
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Sustainable Innovation 2014
Circular Economy Innovation in the Netherlands - Guido Braam,
Anna van der Plas
Guido Braam
Executive Director
Circle Economy
The Netherlands
Arjanna van der Plas
Communications Director
Circle Economy
The Netherlands
The paper gives an overview of a circular economy innovation initiative being driven by Circle
Economy in the Netherlands. The approach advocates a systems driven approach to circular economy
that includes multi-stakeholder collaboration utilising a smarter government policy strategies that
stimulates and incentives grassroots innovation.
We live in turbulent times. It has never been tougher to predict - even - the short-term future.
Extrapolating the past is no longer a good enough option because disruptions and oscillations seem to
have become a daily happening. Everything industry, finance, people and nations is ever more
inter-connected. A minor change on one side of the world can lead to turmoil on the other.
predict when or how the transition towards a circular economy will happen, and there are no rules yet
for how to accelerate that transition. Over recent years are a number of individuals and organisations
have emerged that are starting to act as catalysts and facilitators of change towards circular economy.
However, in the Netherlands it has been recognised that it is important to combine both a strong vision
with a facilitating mindset.
th the Dutch government that
jointly committed it, along with the Dutch Social Economic Council, De Groene Zaak, MVO Nederland
and the Amsterdam Economic Board, to the creation of a national programme aimed at positioning the
Netherlands as a circular hotspot. This challenges the Netherlands to accelerate its transition towards
a circular economy but is also designed to encourage other countries to follow suit. If the circular
economy is to become a reality, all stakeholders need on be actively involved in thinking and doing -
from business and science, to finance and government.
„Top down‟ and „Bottom up‟
The UK-         
Lynda Gratton have both provided inspiration for the emerging circular economy thinking in the
   
the source of the radical, trail-blazing types of innovation through their funding of highly risky research.
She cites the rise of Silicon Valley, highlighting that the U.S. federal government rather than venture
capitalists laid the foundations for the booming internet hub through pre-competitive seed-funding.
Sustainable Innovation 2014
In parallel, Gratton, advocates a more bottom-
from others miraculously combine with your own in a process of synthesis from which springs novelty,
  ratton believes that you must create the right conditions with a vision
      
become a circular hotspot. This requires Dutch (and other governments) to be visionary and inspiring
             
developments. These initiatives must fit real needs, rather than perceived ones, and the conditions
must be created for collaboration between hotspot stakeholders.
Systems thinking and stakeholder collaboration
              
creating inspiring examples and paving the way for others. However, a key lesson learnt is that it is not
doing lots of projects, but more about completing effective projects, which may mean reframing the
problem. Helping a dairy factory to make better use of manure is a good idea, but it might have more
impact to discuss whether intensive livestock is the best way to use scarce land. To create a more
    
leverage points in a system. This has allowed the identification of projects that are genuine system
             
government to build a shared vision of what the Netherlands would look like as a circular hotspot, and
what is needed to get there. To support -
makers at a national and organisational level. Integral to this is a mapping exercise that is being
undertaken to identify bottom-up initiatives that are already active in the Netherlands, so that the
government can support them by creating the right conditions.
A systems-driven circular economy strategy engaging multiple stakeholders 
a whole. In an economy,
as in nature, we can only grow by creating the right conditions. The right incentives for boosting
bottom-up circular economy initiatives need to be created and implemented, and this may mean
replacing old policy instruments with new unfamiliar ones that have been co-designed with
Sustainable Innovation 2014
Driving Behavioural Change Towards Ecodesign Integration:
Nudging Experiment in Industry - Fabien Brones, Morten Gyldendal-
Melberg, Marly Monteiro de Carvalho, Daniela Pigosso, Tim
Fabien Brones
Scientific Manager
Ecodesign and Environmental Impact
Natura Inovação e Tecnologia de Produtos Ltda.
São Paulo
Morten Gyldendal Melberg
Research Assistant
Technical University of Denmark
Marly Monteiro de Carvalho
Associate Professor
Production Engineering Department
Polytechnic School - University of São Paulo
São Paulo
Daniela C. A. Pigosso
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Technical University of Denmark
Sustainable Innovation 2014
Tim C. McAloone
Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Technical University of Denmark
This paper describes a research study conducted at Natura, a large Brazilian cosmetic company, in
order to stimulate more systematic sustainable innovation practices by means of behavioural change.
sciences and policy making. An empirical experiment identified and tested employee motivations in
combination with behavioural influences, in order to positively affect employees intention to practice
ecodesign. This original experience of green nudging in a private company context supported the
diffusion of the current ecodesign programme, which may contribute to turn change strategies more
effectively in complex business and human organisational situations, where management styles
evolve and rely on more autonomous individuals and teams. Further research and application on
sustainable changes should systemically consider individuals engagement, including behavioural
aspects, interaction with project teams and higher level business organisations.
Introduction: new explorations into ecodesign integration
Although the evolution to more environmentally sustainable business operations has gained increased
recognition in corporations and academia (Sterman, 2012, Lubin and Esty, 2010), companies still face
various challenges when dealing with the effective implementation of ecodesign into their product
development and related processes, towards an increased environmental performance, from an
organisational to a personal perspective (Brones & Carvalho, 2014; Pigosso et. al, 2013).
Despite the existence of relatively consolidated research on the technical and management aspects,
                 
   ling with human aspects of integrating ecodesign
(Boks 2006, Stevels 2007, Verhust & Boks 2012). Within this stream, besides organisational
approaches, detailed individual and behavioural aspects that have not yet been fully developed
(Szeler & Melberg, 2014).
The research presented in this paper is embedded in a Research and Development programme
conducted since 2011 by Natura, one of the largest cosmetics manufacturers in Brazil. In collaboration
with external specialists, this programme aims at a broader integration of ecodesign within the product
      - , stimulating voluntary adoption. This
paper details a research study to experimentally use new principles in order to leverage individual
change, and in particular a wider adoption of new ecodesign tools and practices (Brones et al, 2013).
Section 2 presents the methodology used in the project, based on insights from a literature review.
Section 3 exposes a summary of the main results of a field study, evaluating attitudes inside the
company, related to ecodesign practice. The results of the experiments are discussed in Section 4,
including final considerations for broader applications and future research.
From literature review to experimental methodologies
The methodological approach was developed within the Action-Research (AR) perspective, within the
second cycle of an ecodesign programme, held by Natura in collaboration with the University of São
Paulo and the Technical University of Denmark. The general AR framework (Brones et al., 2013), is
based on Lewin´s principles (1946), as a way of learning about organisations through trying to change
This article exposes a set of social experiments, conducted to explore the potential drivers of
behavioural change associated with ecodesign integration into product development. The
Sustainable Innovation 2014
experimental work was preceded and based on a review of existing literature on change management
issues and behavioural theory associated with ecodesign implementation.
Emergence and need for the “soft side of ecodesign”
Whereas the (technical) principles of ecodesign were consolidated in the late 1990s, new insights on
ecodesign management and organisation emerged in the same period.
Lenox & Ehrenfeld (1997) explored 
  
-kill, and
In an exploratory study on implementing eco-design principles in companies, McAloone & Evans
(1999) introduced the overall concept of an observed sequence of change and change management
issues. Lofthouse (2003) proposed the Information-Inspiration source and process to promote
ecodesign tools for industrial designers.
Charter & Tischner (2001) featured that it is 
structure, systems          , aimed at gaining
involvement from business functions are essential to address.
     
more consistently by Boks (2006):
with an engineering attitude and/or background, addressed as the soft side of ecodesign, referring to a
variety of sociological, ps
(Stevels, 2007, p.161).
Nevertheless, this trend has progressed relatively slowly. According to Zahari & Thurasamy (2012),
firms are still ambiguous to embark on green product innovation, because they lack technical and
human resources capabilities. Kerga et al. (2011) observed similar challenges. More broadly, human
Ecodesign integration can follow top-down approaches driven by management leadership or
alternatively bottom-up initiatives - technical projects emerging from the field (Charter and Tischner,
2001; Fiksel, 2001; May et al., 2012; Stevels, 2007; Zhang et al., 2013). Complementary knowledge
could be brought from social sciences on wider change management perspectives to give rise to a
novel approach on ecodesign integration.
Knowledge from change management and behavioural theories
A review of previous literature explored knowledge from social science, linking organisational and
behavioural theories to ecodesign management, as represented in Figure 3.
Figure 1: Overview of change management approaches for ecodesign (adapted from Szeler & Melberg,
Sustainable Innovation 2014
The review showed that the behavioural dimension (e.g. expectations, intuition and judgment,
individual decision-making processes, biases, power conflicts) has been only scarcely studied for
d on organisational issues (Szeler
& Melberg, 2014).
Recent works have highlighted opportunities of using behavioural theory for policy-making, in order to
encourage lifestyle change considering sustainability requirements. A new approach  green
Nudging refers to new types of incentive strategies, capable of leading individuals to make choices in
the collective interest, without being prescriptive or guilt-inducing (Thaler & Sunstein, 2008; Selinger &
Whyte; 2010; Oullier et al., 2011). This approach makes use of shortcomings or biases in human
decision-making or non-rational choices. A wide range of influences can affect decision-making and
guide behaviour, but there is no formal guide on how to apply the influences and the execution.
No previous study has been found using nudging techniques to influence professional attitudes and
choices in the direction of sustainable innovation. Such an approach of using behavioural knowledge,
including green nudges, could be an original experience towards encouraging ecodesign integration at
individual level.
Experimental methodologies
The experimental motivational study was conceived to experiment new scientific inspiration to foster
ecodesign integration within Natura Product Development teams.
In this work, the methodological approach was rooted in Design Research Methodology (Blessing &
Chakrabarti, 2009). Figure 2 summarises the practical aspects of the empirical research phase. The
field work was conducted at Cajamar, Brazil, in November 2013.
Figure 2: Nudging empirical research overview
In order to identify the most significant motivators for employees involved in the PDP at Natura, two
workshops were facilitated, involving employees from different areas and completed with individual
Based on literature on behavioural change theory, experiments were designed, aimed at exploring the
combined effect of behavioural influences and motivation on behavioural intention, to achieve a
desired behaviour: Practicing ecodesign, including the use of ecodesign tools.
Two sets of experimental sessions were conducted, both initiated by a pre-baseline question, to
establish a point of reference, as seen in figure 2. The baseline experimental session tested the
isolated effect of four behavioural influences, while the actual experimental session tested the
combined effect of behavioural influences and selected motivators.
The experimental sessions involved 27 employees (11 from product development and 16 from
marketing) through individual interviews, including quantitative questions, where the intention to
practice ecodesign was measured using a five-level Likert-scale, plus open-end questions. The data
analysis comprehends qualitative and quantitative approaches.
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Experimental results Identified motivations
The workshops identified the motivating factors for practicing ecodesign at Natura, as indicated in
Table 1.
Table 1: Summary of main motivations identified and ranked in the workshop sessions and interviews
(by overall perceived importance)
Identified motivations
Add innovative quality to the products
Visualization of the results of using Ecodesign
I learned something new and increased my knowledge and skills
Could increase brand value and image
Natura had ambitious and clear goals within sustainability
It adds a competitive advantage (like innovation, brand value etc.) to the end-product
It will provide experience that will improve my CV
Behavioural motivation can be extrinsic (engaging in a behaviour in order to obtain some goal that is
apart from the behaviour itself) or intrinsic (engaging in a behaviour because of personal satisfaction
and inherent interest in the activity itself). All but one of the identified motivations to practice ecodesign
were extrinsically motivating, meaning that a personal interest in practicing ecodesign is not expected.
More than half of the identified motivations related to the associated company benefits. The identified
motivations and their origin give an important insight into what drives the employees in doing their
Results of the nudging experiments
The experimental interviews intended to test the effect of various behavioural influences and
motivators on the behavioural intention to engage in the target behaviour (to practice ecodesign).
A first interesting result was the very high declared intention to practice ecodesign that was obtained in
the pre-baseline phase, with 80% of the interviewed people, as can be seen in figure 3.
Figure 3: Distribution of pre-baseline scores on the five steps of the Likert scale (26 answers from
Marketing and Product Development).
As for the experimental sessions, the design of the questionnaire and number of respondents led to
very small cells for each combination of influences and motivators to be tested (two to five
participants), which led to non-statistically conclusive results. For this reason, the results from the
experimental sessions can only be used as an indication of tendencies for the behavioural change
effect of the influences and identified motivators.
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While the results are not statistically conclusive, in most instances the measured intention remains
either unchanged or increased. Only a few individuals expressed a decrease in intention. Hence the
potentially negative effects of conducting the experimental sessions in terms of employees
behavioural intention can be considered as relatively faint.
Four behavioural influences were tested during the experimental sessions: Messenger influence,
Norm influence, Priming influence and Commitment influence. Table 2 summarises the observed
Table 2: Summary of collective tendencies of the nudging experiments
3 potential sponsors for the
ecodesign tools from the top
management were proposed for
each public (director, innovation
VP or business VP).
Highest influences among the four tested influences.
A strong connection between employees and their directors is
Combining the messenger influence with motivation had only
limited effect.
Adding motivation had the greatest effect on employees from
The participants were informed
that a survey had been performed
at Natura, showing that 86% of
development teams intended to
practice ecodesign.
Limited effect.
Combining the norm influence with motivation double the effect
compared to using the influence on its own.
Adding motivation had the greatest effect on employees from
Several potential motivating
arguments were proposed
(selected from the previous
workshops, for both publics).
Limited effect.
The only motivation that was successfully primed, and showed an
competitive advantage to the end-
Participants were told that
information about ecodesign
would be sent to them by e-mail
as a follow-up on the interview.
Their intention, if positive, was
then captured by having them tick
a box on their hand-out material.
No effect on its own.
Combining the commitment influence with priming increased the
effect, for product developers.
The motivation with the 
quality to the end-
Also, it was observed that the participants comprehension of ecodesign was fair and they also stated
the relevs strategy to lower CO2
          .
(Product develope2
emissions, more eco-friendly pro
and the product committee value sustainable products.
However, the overall knowledge about ecodesign and the new ecodesign tools proved to be partial, as
illustrated by the following 
                    
           om Marketing
provided the following elaboration on the pre-
            Several
interviewees from marketing presumed that ecodesign tools would be mainly used by product
developers, just as the Carbon Calculator is. This comment confirms a lack of knowledge about the
new tools to be used in the early stages of the PDP by multifunctional teams.
The interviewees  intention for practicing ecodesign is difficult to assume. Most participants
expressed that practicing ecodesign was important for Natura, both in regard to competitive advantage
Sustainable Innovation 2014
and the environment, which might suggest that the intention they stated related more to the
importance for Natura, rather than their actual individual intention.
Discussion and conclusions
The experiences described highlighted new kinds of challenges for implementing ecodesign in a real
life organisational context and brought additional insights. This is one of the first reported experiences
of green nudging in a professional company context to promote more sustainable innovation practices,
as a promising change strategy.
The nudging experiments revealed a somehow paradoxical situation, where a large majority of people
involved in product development declared a very high intention to practice ecodesign but seemed to
have a relatively superficial knowledge of the concept and not to be connected with the new tools
developed within the last years.
This situation, coupled with challenges faced in the application of a complex questionnaire design, led
to non-statistically conclusive results. Such risk was assumed by the research team, knowing that this
experience on nudging was quite new, with high uncertainty on the applicability of experience
patterns, particularly in a company context.
Another limitation was the use 
experiments, due to the difficulty to observe such a complex behaviour more effectively.
In future research, the questionnaire design should be improved, considering the sample size and
number of factors to be tested, as well as the definition of observed behaviour.
Nevertheless, such exploratory research brought a series of new insights that have been applied to
reinforce ecodesign dissemination at Natura.
The observed paradox led to Natura question the chosen bottom-up approach for integrating
ecodesign, and to consider the necessity of a more directive top-down support, as commonly
recommended (ISO 14062, 2002; ISO 14006, 2011). It was also noticed that Marketing leaders, who
have a key role in the current innovation projects, particularly in the early phases, are being evaluated
based on many parameters, but the use of ecodesign is not one of them.
Hence, one of the actions that emerged stands in seeking for stronger endorsement from top
management, both in the Innovation Department and in the Business Units (marketing teams). The
results of the nudging experiments have been used in such debate with innovation management
Besides the continuation of collective motivation and initiations to ecodesign principles, it appeared as
necessary to more clearly formalise the recommended use of ecodesign tools in the formal PDP
guidelines. However, in continuity with the previous strategy, the new practices and tools are still
presented as recommended and not compulsory.
This relatively indulgent form of promoting the evolution of the working process may be surprising,
depending on the cultural company context. In the case of Natura, it sounds adequate since the
proliferation of formal procedures and norms tends to produce more rejection than adhesion.
It is worth relating this perception to observations from new business change management strategies,
as proposed by Groysberg & Slind (2012):
-and-control approach to management has in recent years become less and less viable.
Globalisation, new technologies, and changes in how companies create value and interact with customers
have sharply reduced the efficacy of a purely directive, top-
in value creating work, lateral and bottom-up communication has achieved the importance of top-down
Another potential effective concept that emerged from the nudging experiment and behavioural
background was to look at the company organisation from a different perspective, considering each
target group (marketing leaders, product development, internal and external designers groups etc.)
with the following question: through whom and how could this group be positively influenced to adopt
new ecodesign practices?
Sustainable Innovation 2014
A new action plan was designed with this new mind-set, acknowledging the way Groysberg & Slind,
            Employees engage in a
bottom-up exchange of ideas        d engage the target
groups of marketing and product development, involving intermediary management and giving priority
to direct contacts and participative flexible interactions, which must be compatible with each groups
priorities and busy agendas. It includes different media such as e-learning, diffusion of video material,
face to face and group meetings.
Such research, bringing knowledge from social science, tries to consider the real complexity of
business and human organisations, and evolving management styles that nowadays give more space
to individual and team autonomy, versus directive processes. Nudges and associated strategies can
 
central authority.
The diverse specific organisational contexts will certainly modulate how such observations and
strategies may apply to different companies, sectors and countries, considering their own cultures. In
this sense, this study is limited by the single company context, acknowledging that it is the condition to
access a business organisation from inside and to have the possibility to really experiment new
       
that can adapt to different contexts and that appears quite meaningful for the purpose of more
sustainable organisations. As Ehrenfeld argued (2008), the sustainability challenge for business is to
adopt a new set of values and beliefs, which has to face inhere
Future research should further explore the possibilities of including behavioural aspects during an
organisational change process, considering the involvement of the individual and its complex and
systemic interaction with the projects teams and higher level business organisations.
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Architectural Approach towards Innovative Renewable Energy
Infrastructure in Kapisillit, Greenland - Susan Carruth, Peter Gall
Susan Carruth
PhD Candidate
Aarhus School of Architecture
Peter Gall Krogh
Aarhus School of Architecture
This paper claims that an architectural approach to the planning of renewable energy infrastructures -
        e characteristic of a place and
community beyond the boundaries of a site - can underwrite development that is more culturally
sustainable. Greater cultural sustainability is particularly relevant in peripheral regions where both
cultural and economic sustainability is contested. The concept of material practices is introduced to
form a conceptual framework for making culturally informed design choices when proposing initiatives
on sustainable development. Building upon a research-through-design case situated in Kapisillit in
West Greenland, this paper presents selected results from a design workshop with architecture
students who were asked to create conceptual strategies, driven by distributed, community-controlled
renewable energy, for the future of the village. It culminates in a discussion on how this empirical work
contributes towards the construction of a vocabulary of material practices indigenous to communities
in Greenland, and how such a vocabulary can play a role in developing culturally sustainable planning.
Many peripheral, isolated regions face challenges in supplying clean, reliable, affordable renewable
energy due to lack of infrastructure, capital and political motivation. Subject to increasing levels of
environmental, socio-political and economic volatility, their future is under threat, and energy
infrastructure plays a key role in making such places more viable and resilient. How can renewable
energy systems be planned in a way that supports the broader sustainability challenges of
marginalised regions and, rather than seeing peripherality as problematic, harness the cultural
particularities of a place as a means towards innovative, original solutions?
This research, supported by workshops with architectural students, suggests that cultural sustainability
- the fourth pillar of Sustainable Development (McDonough 2002) - is key, even in a techno-
economically dominated field such as infrastructure planning. The need for cultural sustainability is
asserted in two ways - firstly in order to support marginalised, and often previously colonised, places
and promote cultural diversity, and secondly, in the belief that it is only through tying new technologies
to the existing culture of a specific place that they can be successfully adopted by the local
Sustainable Innovation 2014
community. In doing so the techno-economics of renewable energy in peripheral regions is in turn
reviewed, suggesting a different scheme of value assets.
The central thesis of the research is that architects can play a part in the cultural sustainability of
renewable energy planning through the disciplinary skills of site analysis, thematic analysis and the
construction of conceptual strategies that give as much weight to the aesthetic-cultural as the techno-
economical. Such an architectural approach is not about mimicking styles or beautifying artefacts, but
a method of engaging with the specific material practices of places and communities, to push for more
innovative approaches to renewable energy planning; a field usually dominated by linear, context-less
thinking and engineered quantities. The work presented here has identified 6 particular material
The concept of material practices has a rich heritage including in archaeology (Tarlow 1997). In
archaeology the concept, and its foundational theories, describes how otherwise hitherto discretely
identified human practices connect to domestic activities - farming, dwelling, production etc. - and
therefore share central characteristics and similarities. This points to how people and culture are
connected beyond the place and domain specific. Furthermore the concept aims to understand the
on the role of completed artefacts 
            
                
practices, materials, environments and identities. We claim that understanding and respecting material
practices are central for community engagement and that as a discipline dominantly occupied with
how things materialise, architects have an advantage in designing for that.
Site and site-thinking are central in architectural practice: registering, surveying, measuring,
determining orientation and so on, of course, but also understanding the character of a site, beyond
the legal boundary, analysing the socio-cultural context of which it is part. While there has been
             
Norberg-Schulz 1980 and Yi-Fu Tuan 1977) this research instead asserts that places are continually
constructed through on-going material practices, informed by the socio-culture of both the local and
               
understanding of the material practices of Kapisillit is based upon fieldwork carried out in the village,
and the broader region, in September 2013. This fieldwork, consisting of 1st person phenomenological
 
o             
1973). This thick description concentrates on the material practices carried out in every day life that
characterise the relationship between people and infrastructure. It is not intended as an objective or
exhaustive account of place, rather it is dialogical in nature (Bakhtin 1981) drawing upon the
          
recurrent material practices of the village and region. In May 2014 a one-month long design workshop
was carried out by a group of 38 2nd year students at the Aarhus Architecture School. The students
were asked to construct conceptual planning and architectural strategies for the future of Kapisillit that
were driven by transitioning the village to renewable energy technology, and were introduced to the
emerging vocabulary of material practices, tasked to draw on them for their design strategies. In turn,
the results of the student workshop contributed further notions and nuances to the vocabulary of
material practices, a process repeated in subsequent design workshops, working with other sites in
the region.
This short paper describes the research-through-design case study in the village of Kapisillit in west
Greenland, a declining village in a peripheral region of the Arctic. Illustrating this case with two
selected student projects, the paper discusses how such creative works contribute to the generation of
a vocabulary of material practices native to this region: bricolage; collectivity; coupling; seasonality;
wait-and-see; and loose modularity; and how this vocabulary can be employed to shape renewable
energy planning.
Kapisillit, Greenland
Kapisillit lies approxi              
close to the edge of the ice sheet at the Kangersuneq fjord. Like many Greenlandic settlements, the
village has over the years experienced a significant decline in population, especially in young people
Sustainable Innovation 2014
and women, following the collapse of commercial fish stocks in the 1980s and 90s. The village has a
shop, a church, a public wash-house, a small community and crafting space, a school that is now
supplied with electricity from a diesel generator, at a high cost. The diesel is delivered by ship to the
generator sitting in the centre of the village. Due to the geology of the region all electrical cabling is
laid over-ground, visible on the surface everywhere, protected in brightly coloured insulated plastic
tubing. A few houses, especially summer-houses, have installed private solar panels. The village has
no water mains; instead there are three tap houses where one collects water by bucket of by
connecting a plastic hose between home and the tap house. Grey and black water is disposed of
directly into the sea. The settlement is served by boat once a week by a commuter boat from Nuuk
and all goods, groceries and materials are imported, the majority of them from overseas. The shop is
only intermittently open with a small and unreliable selection of highly priced goods. It takes
approximately 2-4 hours to travel to Nuuk, depending on weather conditions. There is no helicopter
pad or airstrip, and, like all of Greenland, there are no roads connecting the village to any other
settlement. The settlement has mobile phone reception, and internet coverage. Internet is very
expensive in Greenland and not wholly reliable. It is rare to have digital infrastructure in a settlement in
Greenland, and Kapisillit is the only beneficiary of free internet access and a pilot remote-learning
scheme. The village is notable also for having a paved road most settlements do not have such a
luxury. The other roads in the village are very simple gravel tracks
The municipality identifies the district demands a comprehensive plan and wishes to encourage
tourism through expanding and upgrading the sewing workshop facilities that already exist for local
people, with a view to this being accessible to visiting recreational tourists and artists. The
municipality also plans to extend the quay and add a heliport, as well as create a snowmobile/hiking
connection between the village and Nuuk.
Selected Research-Through-Design Experiment Results
The 38 students who took part in the workshop were split into 9 groups and the results from 2 of these
groups are sketched below.
Generating a Greenhouse
Visualisation of the proposed interior of the greenhouse
Initially interested in simply introducing a bio-gas digestor a plant that processes organic waste
transforming it into energy these students recognised that to simply jettison a new closed
  in the village would not have any cultural, civic or aesthetic benefits to the
community, beyond the environmental benefits of reducing waste and fossil fuel consumption. Upon
investigation they realised that both the existing diesel generator and the proposed bio-gas generator
Sustainable Innovation 2014
produce waste heat as a by-product. Heating represents a large percentage of energy consumption in
Kapisillit, due to the extreme climate. Thermal energy is a lower grade of energy than electricity, and
so the transformation of electrical energy into heat is inefficient and wasteful. Despite these facts the
waste heat from the diesel generator is not captured in any way.
The students responded to this technical side effect and opportunity with a proposal for a bio-gas
generator immediately adjacent to the existing diesel generator. They proposed enveloping both
structures in a glass skin, constructed of simple, modular components in order to create a community
greenhouse. This greenhouse, to be collectively owned and managed, is heated by both generators,
allowing residents to grow vegetables, and thereby reducing reliance upon expensive and energy-
intensive imports. The new bio-gas generator is placed underneath the terraced floor of the
greenhouse, visible and legible in its functions. In winter, when plants will not grow, it is suggested that
the heated space could be used for communal bathing or other activity that benefits from a thermal
buffer zone.
Visualisation of greenhouse exterior, with new bio gas generator visible underneath greenhouse
structure and existing diesel generator (blue building) on the left
Weaving Energy
Conceptual diagram explaining the coupling of traditional and digital technologies and skills
Sustainable Innovation 2014
Another group focused on the development of the existing fur and skin craft workshop in Kapisillit, and
particularly how this cultural practice could be linked to clean energy production. Currently there is a
small and unobtrusive workshop used by around 10 local residents to prepare skins, mostly seal, and
transform them into clothing and other textiles. This is a very traditional craft in Greenland, seen all
over the country, and it is an important skill, usually performed by women and passed down through
generations. The municipality wish to extend this workshop, both for community reasons but also in
order to make it more visible and accessible for tourists who visit and want to witness this traditional
activity, perhaps even taking part themselves. The students recognised this as an opportunity to
and building on its existing experience with digital technologies via remote learning. Their scheme
proposed the introduction of micro-energy technology woven into the skins to create hybrid textiles.
           
piezoelectric and solar energy production into clothing anoraks, over-trousers, boots etc. Such
clothing could then be sold to tourists and locals both on-site and in Nuuk, slowly building a new brand
and skillbase. The electricity generated is not intended to supply homes but would be enough for small
devices like mobile phones and lights while out hiking or hunting, as well as potentially recording
devices for the monitoring of environmental conditions. They further extrapolated this idea into the
future by imagining that these energy-textiles could also be used as part of the urban fabric of
Kapisillit, through the creation of woven urban balustrades. These balustrades would define paths
without necessitating formal paving, creating a new visual identity for the village. But crucially the
woven balustrades would also house and protect the electricity conduits, currently loosely laid over the
surface of the village and prone to damage.
Visualisation of woven urban balustrades as blended urban design and energy infrastructure
Reflections and discussion
The above design projects aim at reducing fossil fuel energy, introducing new forms of renewable
energy, reducing pollution and waste dumping, and conserving transport energy. But they go beyond
these measures of sustainability by promoting the cultural habits, qualities and assets of Kapisillit,
embedding material practices already in existence, building upon and developing them. While not
generating large amounts of renewable energy, the projects instigate new renewable energy
typologies and habits, building upon existing knowledge, skills and social meeting places. They
           -tech,
sophisticated, contemporary development, and in a way that does not just mimic European strategies.
They do so by building upon existing materials and skills and exploring how development could be
phased, enabling change to happen in incremental steps and allowing for small modular elements to
be gradually built. The strategies are particularly notable in the way that they conflate the pragmatic
and the poetic, indicating that energy infrastructures are more than utilitarian solutions.
The design strategies employed by the students resonate with the material practices we have
recorded during fieldwork in Kapisillit and its vicinity. The 6 specific material practices identified are
summarised below:
Sustainable Innovation 2014
of both skills and materials, for example outbuildings are constructed from scrap materials, and paths
are made passable by patching them with discarding packaging materials. We term such creative
reapproriation of existing materials Bricolage. There is no private land ownership land is regarded
as a shared resource, a vestige of hunter-gatherer rather than agricultural society. The principle is
embedded beyond the legal; through open-house coffee mornings (cafemik), sharing of the hunt, and
lack of fenced in private land, and so on. We term this Collectivity. Due to the geology of the region,
transport, energy and water infrastructures are all surface-laid to minimise rock blasting. It is common
to find water pipes and electrical cables attached to public stairs traversing rocky terrain. We term this
way of thickening and bundling things Coupling. Many structures and equipment native to Greenland
have been designed to be repeatable, broken down into smaller units. This cellular approach, for
example the simple timber frames used to stretch skins, allows for borrowing, lending, redistributing
and moving. It also enables easily replacement of one part, without putting the whole system into
disrepair, and gradual growing or shrinking of the system over time. It also allows for the reuse of
single pieces over time, as artefacts are only temporarily held together, and their aggregate elements
and be reused for radically alternative purposes. This cellular capacity we term Loose Modularity. It
          one might work as a tour operator in
summer, but have an office job in winter for example. This shifting with the seasons has always been
part of life in Greenland; in the traditional patterns of settlement where hunters move around following
the hunt, residing in small residences in winter, but large social camps made of stretched skin tents in
summer. We term this practice Seasonality. Patience and not planning too far ahead is crucial due to
extreme weather, lack of infrastructure and dependence on imports. This watching and waiting
approach is necessary particularly in small settlements, where the community is reliant on infrequent
imports to a single shop, and transport is heavily prejudiced by unstable weather patterns, leading to
These material practices, briefly outlined here, have been identified in the interplay between analysis
of current practices and generative architectural strategies that build upon the local in conjunction with
broader global knowledge. They are not distinct categories but overlap and it is anticipated that they
might grow in number following deeper engagement with the Greenlandic context. The emblematic
names given to the material practices do not fully describe cultural richness they represent, however,
they provide a means for discussing how to more thoughtfully embed cultural aspects in otherwise
mostly technical-economical domains such as energy planning, and how to even position culture and
place as the engines for sustainable innovation. As such, the design    -if-
              
account for, and arguably include in solutions. The architectural strategies illuminate how one might
design for increased cultural awareness, straddling the local and the global, building on the
specificities of place: ultimately suggesting that the local and the traditional can be progressive, seeing
place as a driver of change and new paradigms of modernity.
Bakhtin, M. M. 1981. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Ed. Michael Holquist. Trans. Caryl
Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin and London: University of Texas Press.
Geertz, C. 1973. The interpretation of cultures: selected essays. New York: Basic Books.
Massey, D. 1994. Space, Place and Gender. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press.
Massey, D. 2005. For Space. London:Sage.
McDonough, W and Braungart, M. 2002. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. USA.
Norberg-Schulz, C. 1980. Genius Loci, Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture. Rizzoli, New York.
Tarlow, S. 1997. An archaeology of remembering: death, bereavement and the First World War.
Cambridge Archaeological Journal 7(1): 105-21
Tuan, Y.F. 1977. Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience. Minneapolis, University of
Minnesota Press.
Violich, F. 1985. Toward Revealing the Sense of Place: An Intuitive "Reading" of Four Dalmatian
Towns. In D. Seamon & R. Mugerauer, eds., Dwelling, Place and Environment: Towards a
Phenomenology of Person and World. NY: Columbia University Press
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Vygotsky, L. S. 1978. Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Thank you to the 2nd year students of 2013-14 at Aarhus School of Architecture, particularly: Jo Anna
Nedergaard, Anne Bea Høgh Mikkelsen, Stine Lebech Schmidt, Nikolaj Emil Svenningsen, Victor
Josefsen, Anders Kielsgaard Hansen, Lasse Deichman, Peter Korshøj.
Sustainable Innovation 2014
What Value Do Consumers Really Expect of Product Service
Systems? Reflections On How A Different Conception Of Value
Could Facilitate The Implementation Of PSS In Consumer Markets -
Maurizio Catulli, Matthew Cook, Stephen Potter
Maurizio Catulli
Senior Lecturer
Department of Engineering and Innovation
Open University
Milton Keynes
Matthew Cook
Senior Lecturer
Department of Engineering and Innovation
Open University
Milton Keynes
Stephen Potter
Department of Engineering and Innovation
Open University
Milton Keynes
While tangible products have formed the focus of much research in sustainable design and innovation,
today novel configurations of products, services and systems are thought to provide equally valid ways
of attaining more sustainable futures. Such product service systems are available in both intermediate
and final markets and variously defined (cf. Mont, 2004:139):
―A system of products, services, networks or actors and supporting infrastructure that is developed to
be competitive, satisfy customers and be more environmentally sound than traditional business
Case study research reveals quite diverse PSS offerings such as document and integrated crop
management services, car clubs and laundry services. In some instances PSS have been deliberately
Sustainable Innovation 2014
designed to improve environmental performance while in others, they have been developed purely for
commercial purposes. Both PSS and PSS like examples available on various markets have been
analysed. These show that the full range of PSS characteristics are rarely exhibited in a single
example and therefore emphasize various PSS types:
Product Orientated PSS: ownership of the product (material artefact) is transferred to customers and
services are provided to help ensure product performance over a given period of time. Examples
include maintenance contracts and warranties.
Use orientated PSS: ownership rights related to the product are retained by the service provider and
the customer purchases use of the product over a specified period of time. Examples include,
sharing/ pooling, renting and leasing.
Result orientated PSS: similar to use orientated PSS, the product required for service delivery is
owned by the service provider. However, in contrast to use orientated PSS the customer purchases
an outcome/ result of service provision, which is specified in terms of performance not in terms of
product use over a period of time. For example, instead of renting a washing machine, households
access a laundry service to clean clothes and linen.
Founded in the so called factor four discourse, environmental assessments of PSS have been
completed which focus on gains in resource productivity that can be attained from the various PSS
   
summary, the assessments suggest that both product and use orientated PSS hold potential to
improve resource productivity by factor two, while gains in resource productivity which may be
achieved from result orientated PSS are thought to be far higher but difficult to quantify.
Clearly, PSS do not provide a pathway to sustainability as perhaps early predictions made in the
1990s suggested (Cook et al., 2012; Cook, 2014; Tukker, 2014). Nonetheless PSS can form the basis
of the mix of innovations necessary to move society toward sustainable futures (Cook, 2014). With
this in mind, the research community has developed further definitions, typologies, design methods to
stimulate and assist PSS implementation in various markets (cf. Boehm and Thomas, 2013; Cook,
2014). Yet despite this research effort there is now growing concern that PSS are not being widely
implemented (Vezzoli et al., 2012) and more importantly, that their potential to assist in the attainment
of sustainability is unfulfilled (Cook, 2014).
Research suggests that PSS implementation is particularly problematic in final markets (Rexfelt and
Hiort af Ornäs, 2009) as a shift from normal consumption based on products owned and used by
households to one based on PSS is perceived by actors to among other things reduce control, access
and performance (Catulli, 2012; Tukker, 2014). Thus crucially, we observe that this implementation
challenge in final markets arises in part because PSS do not create sufficient value for consumers.
Typically, PSS design strategies involve considering the functionality of products and providing
alternate PSS which meet this demand but use far fewer resources (cf. Roy, 2000). However,
research suggests that functionality is merely one of many forms of value required by households.
Indeed, while the need for PSS to create sufficient value is widely highlighted, there is a paucity of
knowledge on how consumers value PSS beyond the narrow focus on functionality and how such
broader PSS values may be researched. This gap in knowledge is both surprising and troubling,
especially given the PSS implementation gap. In this paper we therefore explore how PSS may
create value in consumer markets, situated in urban environments in particular. We present the
findings of case study research funded by the UK government which explores a use orientated baby
care PSS, including such products as prams, baby car seats and cots.
PSS integration and value in consumer markets
There is a paucity of research on PSS and consumer culture (Rexfelt and Hiort af Ornäs, 2009). Few
insights are available on how consumers adopt PSS innovations and how they can fit PSS in their
everyday life and practices (Heiskanen et al., 2005). Such shortfalls in research mean that there is
little understanding of how PSS could survive in unprotected, competitive markets, where success is
 emotional,
symbolic, social - as well as functionality. Thus we argue that a more sophisticated and nuanced
understanding of PSS and consumer value is required to help overcome implementation challenges in
final markets.
Sustainable Innovation 2014
In the PSS field, notions of value have been influenced by service engineering research, which
emphasises functional value (cf.Geum and Park, 2011; Manzini and Vezzoli, 2003; Minguez et al.,
2012; Mont, 2002). However, PSS researchers and designers need to consider that the value that
consumers seek is not only functional, it is multidimensional and includes economic (Babin and
James, 2010; Richins, 1994); exchange (relevant to products) (Graeber, 2001; Richins, 1994);
hedonic (Babin and James, 2010), symbolic (Allen and Ng, 1999), and semiotic (Baudrillard, 1996,
1998) dimensions (see Appendix 1 for definitions of value and values found the case study). For PSS
designers to be able to meet consumer demand for such value they need to be able to unpack it
(Arnould, 2008). Often, designers and researchers attempt to capture customer requirements, but
they see value as created by suppliers and modelled on presumed representations of value from
design and management tools (Bertoni et al., 2013; Minguez et al., 2012; Sakao and Shimomura,
Integration is one of the main mechanisms through which PSS designers attempt to conceptualize
consumer value. For example, car club firms such as Zip Car integrate elements such as vehicles,
maintenance services, insurance, road tax, a method to pay for fuel (fuel card) and even part of the
infrastructure, by providing reserved parking spaces to form a PSS. These may replace or
complement the traditional car ownership model, where owner/ drivers integrate various elements
which they purchase separately to achieve automobility. Indeed, in the latter, the ownership of
specific possessions enables consumers to express their self-identity (Belk, 1988; Dittmar and Bond,
2010; Richins, 1994)    (Douglas and Isherwood,
1996), or identity projects (Arnould and Thompson, 2005). As such this represents a major challenge
to PSS provision in final markets.
Designers aim to integrate various elements to form a PSS, which create value for customers and
support such value for the duration of the PSS life cycle (Shimomura et al., 2013). However, while
PSS literature claims that value is created by PSS designers, researchers from other disciplines such
as service innovation and management (cf. Vargo and Lusch, 2004) suggest value is created by
      
very personal way (Baron and Harris, 2008). Consumers draw on cultural resources, such as
competences, meanings, values, knowledge and activities (Pantzar and Shove, 2010) to integrate
various elements provided on markets by suppliers. Here, suppliers may not even understand how
consumers integrate these elements. Indeed, Vargo and Lusch (2004) suggest that consumers co-
for them (Grönroos, 2008), preferring to do it themselves.
In the following section we present a case study of PSS and baby care products. Since baby care
products are important goods for identity construction (Thomsen and Sørensen, 2006), this provides
an interesting opportunity to explore how providers might integrate elements to form PSS which meet
a variety of consumer demands for value. More generally, baby products have been identified as valid
area of PSS research (Mont et al., 2006).
The case study: PSS and baby care products
         cess a baby product PSS or
acquire equivalent products through a traditional purchase. Qualitative data were collected via ten
ethnographic interviews of current users of a use orientated baby product PSS as part of a pilot
involving a major baby car seat and push chair manufacturer together with a parental support charity.
Participants were aged between 21 and 44. The PSS offers an opportunity to consumers to rent these
products by paying a fee in advance for six months after which they can then either return the product,
which will be professionally refurbished by the manufacturer and reissued to another family, or pay an
additional fee to retain the product for a further six months. NVIVO 10 was used to code the interview
transcripts. A flexible template approach was adopted (Miles and Huberman, 1994). This involved
generating a start list of provisional codes from literature which were subsequently refined as data
analysis proceeded.
Parents of new born babies, whether they are first time or experienced parents, integrate a variety of
resources, competences and values in their parenting practices (Catulli et al., 2013). In selecting the
right products and the ways they access them (e.g. a baby-care PSS) they integrate the competences
Sustainable Innovation 2014
of peers (other parents) and experts, as well as institutional players such as the NCT (Catulli et al.,
2013). Functional value is certainly important in such processes. We found evidence of economically
rational behaviour motivating consumers to select the most effective method of accessing baby
products for the least money outlay. In this respect, PSS seems to be a winning formula with products
such as baby car seats and cots. Here, participants were concerned with saving space as well as
money, and a PSS solution was perceived as efficient because it would enable them to keep physical
products as long as needed, to then return them without the need to invest time in reselling it or
disposing it in another way. In this respect the case study confirms the attractiveness of functional
Manzini and Vezzoli (2003;2005). However, in
some cases participants seem to integrate values in their practices in ways that influence their
decision of whether buying or renting products. These include materialistic values, associated with
status and a desire to acquire top quality products and brands,
―You want to feel like you‘ve got a nice pram and you knew what you were doing, I think it is
important to feel good about when you‘re pushing your baby around.‖
Young parents seem to prefer ownership of a top brand to rent one with a lesser perceived status, in
spite of a much larger financial outlay,
―….the one who bought the [a brand], I can‘t imagine her renting one, ever‖,
and this is compounded by the emotional desire to provide the best for their child,
―….when you‘ve got a new baby you want everything new
In fact, these participants also respond to other values such as motherly love and a desire to appear
as a competent parent. Here these values stimulate a desire to draw symbolic value from the baby
               
―I saw other mums with bigger, better prams, and they were lovely and it just wasn‘t an option
for me…‖.
This seemed at times to result in self-doubt when comparing notes with peers and experts,
―…when those people were discussing these things, I thought, gosh, maybe I‘m wrong, maybe
they are right, I‘m not thinking about everything I should‖.
This emotional attitude means that these participants also expect hedonic value associated with
positive feelings deriving from their purchasing decisions. This is particularly important for first time
parents, who lack the confidence coming from experience,
―It‘s hard enough coping with having a new baby but feeling like you can‘t use the stuff that
you bought, it was really emotional…‖
In effect a number of participants showed an emotional attachment to prams. This suggests a need for
hedonic value which can be a challenge for PSS,
we‘ve got memories and photographs of her in it; oh it was perfect for me
Importantly, we found that participants discriminate between different products, e.g. prams and car
seats. The former, being highly visible, is seen as a product that needs to deliver symbolic value,
unlike the second, with which most participants have a rather utilitarian relationship,
―Prams are much more visible, so everyone can see your pram, not many people get to see
your car seat, so that‘s an issue for most mums‖.
Some participants seem to have adopted pro-environmental values, and this is important for their
identity construction as they want to appear to be responsible parents,
―I don‘t want to have, in the environment, loads and loads of products that are still usable….
there must be a mountain of car seats in this world…
Participants seem to care for thriftiness, together with a desire for self-development, here the
participant wanted to save not for the sake of saving, but for investing the money in alternative
beneficial pursuits for their baby, perhaps sacrificing the present self-image for a future valuable
―I‘d rather save my money for things that are more important like, giving her opportunities to
go to university in the future than have spent £1,000 on the brand new [a brand] system…‖.
Freedom is another value held, as some participants felt that adopting baby care PSS involved a
commitment including for example an additional responsibility for possible damage to the products,
―I‘d be conscious somehow that I have to give it back and I‘m not as free as I would be if it was
mine. What would happen if I dropped it, (causing) accidental damage?‖
We found this interesting as it seems to contrast with the expectation of Roy (2000) and Manzini and
Vezzoli (2003) that consumers would be careless of products supplied as part of PSS as they do not
own them.
Sustainable Innovation 2014
Furthermore, some participants seemed very interested in the exchange value of their prams, to the
point of being very aware of the market value of their used goods, which they had selected on this
basis, and having worked out a strategy to sell them through e-bay. This is clearly in opposition with
the very concept of PSS. Our case study suggests therefore that consumers integrate resources and
in particular values and for this they need to be able to construct multidimensional value from PSS
practices. Finally, a number of participants seem to have a nomadic lifestyle as they frequently move
between towns for professional reasons.
Discussion and Conclusions
As we observed earlier, the approach of PSS researchers to value and integration has been
predominantly positivistic (Cook, 2014), e.g. focused on functionality, cf. Bertoni et al. (2013); Sakao et
al. (2009); Kimita et al. (2012); Aurich et al. (2006). When they include value created by consumers as
(Bertoni et al.,
2013:110). The orientation of PSS researchers is that the process of understanding value and
customer requirements is an orderly task, and designers have agency in integrating resources and
create value. The rate of failure of new products and the scarce success of PSS suggests otherwise.
             
construction, so that a push-chair can be a signal to other parents and people in their networks that
they are good parents, confirming Thomsen and Sørensen (2006)     
created equal however: in the case of a high visible product such as a push-chair, the design of a PSS
provision around that product can be problematic, because of the need to fully understand the
complex symbolism and hedonic value consumers attribute to that product. Could it perhaps be that a
push-chair can be seen as a Veblen Good (Veblen, 1899), where the positional function of the product
is so important that ownership is necessary, in line with Douglas and Isherwood (1996)? Or are more
complex needs for self-expression at work, in line with Allen and Ng (1999); Baudrillard (1998);
Richins (1994)?
In the case of products which are not as visible, such as cots and car seats, consumers seem to have
a more utilitarian perspective, so that perhaps functional value is all they are after. We also observed
for work reasons and seemed to highly prize the functional value of products, in line with Bardhi et al.
(2012). We found evidence that opportunities exist for baby product PSS for consumers that have
migrated to a high density urban area from another home town, and therefore ended up isolated from
their informal social network, as suggested by Ward (2003) and Van Hulst et al. (2011). In these
circumstances these parents would benefit from PSS. The increased proportion of these consumers
may mean that there are opportunities to promote PSS. In order for PSS designers and suppliers to
be able to create value they need to co-
to integrate competences, meanings and resources for them. This research shows that the paucity of
cultural and institutional resources that arises when consumers migrate away from their home towns
might provide an opportunity for such integration through PSS provision. Further research is needed
to explore how opportunities for PSS provision might arise in contexts where there is a lack of
resources available for consumers for integration.
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Rexfelt, O., and Hiort af Ornäs, V., 2009, "Consumer Acceptance of Product Service Systems -
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Appendix 1
Values - a val
state (i.e. terminal value) is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of
(Rokeach, 1973:5).
Examples of values are: Freedom; Love (including motherly love); Security; Cleanness, etc.
Comprehensive information on values can be found in many authors, e.g. Rokeach (1973) and
Schwartz (1992).
Value - in the sociological sense: conception of what is ultimately good, proper or desirable in human
life; in the economic sense: the degree to which objects are desired, particularly, as measured by how
much others are willing to give up to get the(Graeber, 2001:1)
Functional Value - the practical benefits that the use of goods and services confer to users, e.g.
Symbolic Value - the opportunity that possession or use of an object gives one for self-expression or
identity construction (e.g. representation of values in which one believes or of which one believes
          (Richins,
1994), which is linked to emotional feelings.
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Hedonic Value - the opportunity that possession or use of an object / services gives one to
experience feelings, e.g. pleasure, pride, satisfaction, etc. (Graeber, 2001)
Exchange Value - the financial value an object (e.g. a product) can confer the owner / user upon
exchange for money with other parties (Graeber, 2001). This can be associated with a value, security
(Hohti, 2010)    
converted to financial value if needed. Exchange value is normally associated with artefacts (e.g.
products); however it is applicable to services as an exchange between user and user as well as
exchange between producer and user. E.g. a musician can perform for money; an individual who
bought a ticket for a concert can exchange said ticket for money.
Other conceptions of value have been proposed by writers in time, e.g. emotional value, perceived
value, etc.
Graeber, D., 2001, Toward an Anthropological Theory of Value, New York, Palgrave, 337 p.:
in sixteenth-century Siena", Renaissance Studies, v. 24, no. 5, p. 654-669.
Richins, M., 1994, "Valuing Things: The Public and Private Meanings of Possessions", Journal of
Consumer Research, v. 21, p. 504-521.
Rokeach, M., 1973, The Nature of Human Values, New York, Free Press.
Schwartz, S. H., 1992, Universals in the content and structure of values: Theoretical advance and
empirical tests in 20 countries, in Zanna, M., ed., Advances in Experimental Social Psychology,
Volume 25: San Diego , Ca., Academic Press, p. 1-65
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Cities as Drivers for Sustainable Innovation - Martin Charter
Professor Martin Charter
The Centre for Sustainable Design®,
University for the Creative Arts
Cities are major hot beds of environmental, social and economic problems but can also be catalysts
for the development of new sustainable solutions. Cities are important and in the future are predicted
to become even more important: 70% of the global population will be located in cities by 2050
compared to 50% at present (UN World Urbanisation Prospects); at present, 60% of global GDP is
from 600 cities (McKinseys); and cities currently account for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions (UN
Habitat). The expanding city populations will mean growing environmental impacts and challenges, as
well as, potential opportunities related to the development of more sustainable solutions for energy,
water and food production/storage/distribution, transportation, housing and waste (or resource)
management. However, with the increase in urbanisation, what will this mean for regions, towns,
villages and rural areas? what will be the future role and influence of regional and provincial
governments (and other local stakeholders) as populations migrate to cities? and what will be the
implications for more sustainable economic development?
'Green Growth'
Post 2008, the concept of 'green growth' has gained international support amongst policy makers as a
means of reconciling the on-going need for economic growth set within environmental limits. Reports
in the late 00s from the World Economic Forum (WEF), United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP) and the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) helped to shape
the development of the 'green economy' and 'green growth' policy agendas. This thinking has now
filtered down into a range of national, regional and city government initiatives as illustrated in the
recent report by the Global Green Growth Institute. To facilitate discussion, the Danish government
have established and host the 3GF (Global Green Growth Forum), an annual gathering of policy
makers, CEOs and other key decision-makers that debate the evolving 'green growth' agenda whilst
acting as a platform for the development of national and international public-private partnership
projects. A number of cities are engaging in and taking leadership on the 'green growth' agenda and
are embracing the associated change. For example, Copenhagen is the 2015 European Green
capital, was voted no. 1 in the European green city index and hosts the 3GF.
Climate Change and Resource Efficiency
Cities face major climate change impacts and will increasingly need to implement climate change
mitigation and adaptation strategies. In 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
reported that the evidence for global climate change is unequivocal and there are likely to be an
increased number of extreme and unpredictable weather events. Climate change is moving back into
the spotlight. In September 2014, there were major demonstrations in New York and London over the
need for action over climate change in parallel to United Nations Climate Change Summit in New
York. Coupled to this the Hollywood actor and environmental activist, Leonardo DiCaprio, was
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appointed the United Nations (UN) Messenger of Peace and delivered a keynote speech on the
climate change imperative as part of a strategy of raising the media profile in advance of the 2015
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris. November 2015 will
be a pivotal date in the climate change agenda as UNFCCC will aim to decide on a legally binding
agreement on greenhouse gas emission targets linked to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. City leaders are
likely to play a prominent role in discussions drawing on lessons from initiatives such as C40 and the
Mayors Covenant that have developed city based learning networks focused on reducing carbon
emissions and developing low carbon innovation.
Alongside climate change, cities need to tackle many other environmental challenges such as access
to water and food, and health issues associated with air and water pollution. For example, over the
last 12 months, Beijing has faced significant air pollution problems where on a significant number of
days emissions have far exceeded World Health Organisation (WHO) safety levels. Whilst not
achieving the public visibility of climate change, there is growing recognition amongst policy makers,
business, civil society and a number of innovative cities of the need to move away from the linear
'take-make-waste' economy to a Circular Economy model that aims to stimulate improved resource
efficiency and innovation through, for example, remanufacturing, reconditioning, refurbishment and
repair whilst at the same time creating jobs. Despite, the financial cut backs that many Western cities
have faced post 2008, there is a sense that sustainability has moved back onto the agenda for many
'Turning point'?
Despite the financial challenges imposed by the 'austerity age', are we now moving towards a turning
point in relation to the sustainability of our cities? Are we now in a time of major change driven by a
range of environmental, social and economic issues? How significant will that change be? Some cities
may embrace the change and transform e.g. Copenhagen and some may react or rebel against it. Will
responses to the change be driven 'top down' (by policy makers) or emerge 'bottom up' (by civil
society and citizens)? If we are to achieve more resilient, resource efficient, low carbon economies
and societies, we will need to break away from the conventional 'ways of doing things' to the creation
of new models of, for example, consumption and production. Managing that change won't be easy.
Cities are large and complex 'living organisms' and include many subsystems and networks that are
often unconnected. To enable change, those subsystems and networks will need to be connected up
more effectively and this may mean re-designing city systems to bring together those groups in
different ways. For example, building new platforms to connect up policy makers with inventors,
thinkers, designers, financiers, entrepreneurs and researchers to accelerate the creation, development
and commercialisation of sustainable solutions through labs, incubators, clusters and new 'places and
Smarter Cities
Cities need to get smarter. There has been a growing discussion over smart cities and significant
interest being expressed in the concept by some. However, are smart cities purely large scale
strategic experiments created by a small number of transnational corporations rather than being real
catalysts for smarter, more sustainable urban regeneration? At present much of the smart city
development is being driven by a few key players such as IBM, Cisco, Schneider and Siemens in
cooperation with a number of major cities. For example, Songdo in Korea, is a smart city that has
been built from scratch in partnership with companies including Cisco. To develop smarter, more
sustainable cities will require partnerships between a range of stakeholders including government,
business, finance and civil society. Smart city, smart grid and and 'big data' discussions should
dovetail and a key part of the focus should be on how we establish secure and effective systems to
collect, analyse and present environmental, social and economic data to enable improved decision-
making. The 'Internet of Things' (the network of physical objects accessed through the Internet) linking
up data from vehicles, buildings, smart meters, lighting systems, etc will expand the available pool of
'big data'. For example, in a number of cities e.g. Barcelona, major networks of sensors have been
installed throughout the city to monitor, for example, recycling rates and levels of air pollution. Smart
cities are a techno-centric concept and a key issue will be how we move beyond technological
discussions to explore how civil society and citizens can engage and involve themselves in the
process of making cities smarter, more sustainable and importantly, liveable. How cities democratise
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smart city development to engender and motivate citizen feedback (in terms of ideas and information
through online polls, observations and sharing pictures through social networks and mobile devices)
will be key to helping to develop new behavioural, as well as, technological solutions to environmental,
social and economic problems.
Open and Grassroots Innovation
As part of the 'big data' revolution, many companies are starting to explore the use of open innovation
competitions to source ideas and funding from the crowd. A number of major companies have started
to utilise crowd sourcing strategies related to the development of more sustainable solutions e.g.
Unilever and GE. In parallel, a range of new initiatives are starting to emerge from city governments
and civil society. These include hackathons and jams focused on environmental or broader
sustainability issues. Hackathons - bringing together coders, programmers and creatives in intensive
sessions - have been established by some cities to hack 'big data' to produce apps to improve, for
example, recycling. At the leading-edge of this are New York and Singapore. Sustainability focused
hackathons and jams - intensive 'open' innovation collaborative workshops - have also been organised
by civil society groups bottom-up, for example, last year the Global Sustainability Jam documented
around 80 simultaneous events worldwide in late November. There are indications that traditional
boundaries of innovation are starting to melt with the potential means to innovate increasing from civil
society and citizens. So are we moving into (or have already entered) a new age of Industrialisation
4.0 that is based on information, collaboration and decentralisation. The advent of this new Industrial
Age appears to be driven by a new spirit of doing and making, increased access to information
through Internet, increased sharing of ideas and information through social networking technologies,
increased access to open source designs, availability of new 'making' tools such as additive
manufacturing (or 3D printing) and new 'places and spaces' to enable individuals to 'make, modify and
'Places and Spaces'
We may be starting to see the emergence of a new Industrial Renaissance. New 'places and spaces'
are starting to pop up in many cities where individuals are coming together physically, face to face to
discuss, collaborate, experiment and share information and ideas to make, modify and/or repair
products. As indicated above these new 'places and places' are part of a process of democratising
innovation by providing access to the knowledge and equipment for prototype development and job
production outside of corporate R&D laboratories and factories. Is this a threat or opportunity in