Technical Report
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... The concept of 'real-world laboratories' (German Reallabore) belongs to a family of experimental and transdisciplinary research approaches, which have gained significant attention within the scientific community and public administrations in recent years (Heyen et al., 2018). Considered a methodological novelty within natural sciences, real-world laboratories have been inspired by the experimental turn in social and economic sciences, as well as by collaborative participatory planning processes (Schneidewind, 2014). ...
... Due to various research funding programs at European and national levels, similar concepts have spread internationally in the form of (urban or sustainable) 'living labs', 'urban transition labs' or (sustainable) 'niche experiments' (Schäpke et al., 2017, p. 30-35). These concepts are generally understood as temporary spaces set up by scientific units in order to explore alternative practices and create new knowledge through multi-stakeholder processes (Heyen et al., 2018). Their objectives, as well as temporal and structural embedding, differ and often depend on local funding policies (Scholz, 2017). ...
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The fundamental uncertainty that accompanies innovation and transformation processes has influenced a growing body of literature on adaptive, explorative and reflexive planning. Such notions take stock of the complex interdependence in technological, social and spatial development. The article explores notions of reflexivity in urban planning and expands three dimensions with respect to the ongoing mobility transition: Openness and flexibility; learning and exploration; and embedding of initiatives. In this context, the article further reviews real-world laboratories as a format to structure learning processes and transdisciplinary collaboration for alternative mobility futures. In the wake of a rapidly growing new mobility sector in cities, aspirations of problem-solving through technology prevail. Yet urban planners and policy makers are challenged to evaluate opportunities and risks in relation to existing urban development goals. Reflexive strategies encourage long-term thinking, anticipation of unintended consequences and short-term explorations. A systematic integration of reflexivity can enable urban planners to intentionally guide change processes, while also facilitating the agency of others.
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Real-world laboratories have gained substantially in importance as a format in sustainability and transformation research in recent years in Germany. This increase in significance is associated with the expectation of fostering and experimentally investigating transformations towards sustainability under real-world conditions in a bid to gain knowledge of their dynamics, to identify characteristics of successful transformation processes, and to be able to transfer this knowledge to other cases. Real-world laboratories are usually managed by a scientific partner, enabling use to be made of established procedures and methods in areas such as knowledge integration. Where responsibility for coordinating real-world laboratories lies with practitioner stakeholders, there is promising potential for their deployment. However, it also gives rise to situations, processes and challenges that are new to all parties involved and that have yet to be explored. In principle, experimental approaches that are characteristic of real-world laboratories are not new in the field of sustainable land management and spatial development. However, they are not traditionally alluded to as the real-world laboratory format. The two desiderata above provide the starting point for the present article. The aim of this article is to classify and reflect on the possibilities generated by real-world laboratories that have been initiated by practitioner stakeholders. A prime example of such real-world laboratories are those developed by Energieavantgarde Anhalt. This registered association wishes to contribute to sustainable land management in the context of the energy transition in rural areas, featuring small and medium-sized towns. A comparative analysis of these real-world laboratories is conducted using core characteristics from the scientific debate on real-world laboratories. As a result, the insight gained from this analysis can be used for future development and research.
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Technical Report
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Book
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Book
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Chapter
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Chapter
Die gängigen Produktions- und Konsummuster in den Industrie- und zunehmend auch in den Schwellenländern sind ressourcenintensiv und umweltbelastend und trotz aller Initiativen für eine soziale und ökologische Neuausrichtung nach wie vor nicht nachhaltig. Der sich verschärfende Klimawandel lässt nur wenig Zeit, um die heutigen Lebens- und Wirtschaftsmodelle in global verantwortbares und langfristig tragfähiges Handeln überführen zu können.
Chapter
In this chapter, the Summary and Recommendations are included of the first report of the TransGov project of IASS, Potsdam, authored by Roeland J. in 't Veld. For this report the contributions to this volume were used as source of inspiration.
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This paper addresses the question of how technological transitions (TT) come about? Are there particular patterns and mechanisms in transition processes? TT are defined as major, long-term technological changes in the way societal functions are fulfilled. TT do not only involve changes in technology, but also changes in user practices, regulation, industrial networks, infrastructure, and symbolic meaning or culture. This paper practices ‘appreciative theory’ [R.R. Nelson, S.G. Winter, An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change, Bellknap Press, Cambridge, MA, 1982] and brings together insights from evolutionary economics and technology studies. This results in a multi-level perspective on TT where two views of the evolution are combined: (i) evolution as a process of variation, selection and retention, (ii) evolution as a process of unfolding and reconfiguration. The perspective is empirically illustrated with a qualitative longitudinal case-study, the transition from sailing ships to steamships, 1780–1900. Three particular mechanisms in TT are described: niche-cumulation, technological add-on and hybridisation, riding along with market growth.
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The resilience perspective is increasingly used as an approach for understanding the dynamics of social–ecological systems. This article presents the origin of the resilience perspective and provides an overview of its development to date. With roots in one branch of ecology and the discovery of multiple basins of attraction in ecosystems in the 1960–1970s, it inspired social and environmental scientists to challenge the dominant stable equilibrium view. The resilience approach emphasizes non-linear dynamics, thresholds, uncertainty and surprise, how periods of gradual change interplay with periods of rapid change and how such dynamics interact across temporal and spatial scales. The history was dominated by empirical observations of ecosystem dynamics interpreted in mathematical models, developing into the adaptive management approach for responding to ecosystem change. Serious attempts to integrate the social dimension is currently taking place in resilience work reflected in the large numbers of sciences involved in explorative studies and new discoveries of linked social–ecological systems. Recent advances include understanding of social processes like, social learning and social memory, mental models and knowledge–system integration, visioning and scenario building, leadership, agents and actor groups, social networks, institutional and organizational inertia and change, adaptive capacity, transformability and systems of adaptive governance that allow for management of essential ecosystem services.
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Half of the world’s inhabitants now live in cities. In the next twenty years, the number of urban dwellers will swell to an estimated five billion people. With their inefficient transportation systems and poorly designed buildings, many cities—especially in the United States—consume enormous quantities of fossil fuels and emit high levels of greenhouse gases. But our planet is rapidly running out of the carbon-based fuels that have powered urban growth for centuries and we seem to be unable to curb our greenhouse gas emissions. Are the world’s cities headed for inevitable collapse? The authors of this spirited book don’t believe that oblivion is necessarily the destiny of urban areas. Instead, they believe that intelligent planning and visionary leadership can help cities meet the impending crises, and look to existing initiatives in cities around the world. Rather than responding with fear (as a legion of doomsaying prognosticators have done), they choose hope. First, they confront the problems, describing where we stand today in our use of oil and our contribution to climate change. They then present four possible outcomes for cities: ”collapse,” “ruralized,” “divided,” and “resilient.” In response to their scenarios, they articulate how a new “sustainable urbanism” could replace today’s “carbon-consuming urbanism.” They address in detail how new transportation systems and buildings can be feasibly developed to replace our present low efficiency systems. In conclusion, they offer ten “strategic steps” that any city can take toward greater sustainability and resilience. This is not a book filled with “blue sky” theory (although blue skies will be a welcome result of its recommendations). Rather, it is packed with practical ideas, some of which are already working in cities today. It frankly admits that our cities have problems that will worsen if they are not addressed, but it suggests that these problems are solvable. And the time to begin solving them is now.
Environmental futures. The practice of environmental scenario analysis. Developments in integrated environmental assessment
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Using scenarios to improve understanding of environment and security issues
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Auswertung des aktuellen Forschungs-und Wissenstandes zu Transformationsprozessen und -strategien. Unveröffentlichtes Papier im Ufoplan-Vorhaben "Transformationsstrategien und Models of Change für nachhaltigen gesellschaftlichen Wandel
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2017: Wege zur großen Transformation. Herausforderungen für eine nachhaltige Stadt-und Regionalentwicklung. Ergebnisse des Interdisziplinären Doktorandenkollegs Dokonara
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Our Struggle for Global Sustainability Will Be Won or Lost in Cities
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