Transition Pioneers – Urban Planners as a Source of Momentum for Sustainable Cities and Regions?

Malchow, Marie and Rohland, Maximilian and Wilkens, Matthias and Buhl, Nora and Holthey, Linn and Jacob, Jasmin and Klindworth, Katharina and Knieling, Jörg and Lesem, Christian and Matinyan, Hrachya and Mutzek, Victoria and Unger, Franziska (2015) Transition Pioneers – Urban Planners as a Source of Momentum for Sustainable Cities and Regions? REAL CORP 2015. PLAN TOGETHER – RIGHT NOW – OVERALL. From Vision to Reality for Vibrant Cities and Regions. Proceedings of 20th International Conference on Urban Planning, Regional Development and Information Society. pp. 629-637.

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Sustainability as a guiding, normative concept for spatial development faces various challenges when it comes to planning practice. Spatial planners have to contribute to comprehensive societal changes that are necessary in order to transform society to sustainability. This fundamental societal change has been framed as “Great Transformation” by the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU). Urban planners as one of the key actors for sustainable urban and regional development are faced with the challenge of contributing to societal transformation processes towards sustainability. Based on the theoretical background of transition theory and the Multi-Level-Perspective this paper identifies innovative planners as pioneers for sustainable urban development. It examines the role of these innovative planners in their specific context and asks what role they play on the way towards a “Great Transformation”. The paper is based on guideline-based expert interviews with innovative urban planners across the whole of Germany. By examining the career patterns of planning practitioners of different areas the existence of personal beliefs relating to sustainability becomes clear. In order to fulfil their beliefs pioneers find themselves in varying positions ranging from communicators, developers and multiplier of alternative ideas and projects of sustainable urban development. They perform their role on niche level as well as on the regime level and are able to connect actors of the both. Applying unorthodox methods and planning tools and being involved in local, regional as well as global actor networks, the selected pioneers contribute to the sustainability transformation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: planning practice, sustainable development, transition, transformation, smart city
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2016 07:46
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2016 07:46

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