Municipal Climate Governance and Formation of Local Transition places

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    Theme: Sustainable spaces
    Municipal Climate Governance and Formation of Local Transition Places
    The paper examines how municipalities develop new local governance efforts for climate mitigation and analyses how these efforts contributes to the development of local transition places. It is based on studies of climate mitigation policies and planning in Danish municipalities with a focus on their efforts to transform local combined housing and energy systems.
    The study departs from four basic understandings
    • Whereas national climate mitigation strategies tend to fall into a systemic lock-in, local authorities and policy networks tend to show more willingness for performing experimentation in transition.
    • Reduction of CO2-emission and transformation of social-technical energy systems has a complexity and a dependency of local context (bio resources, companies, energy systems, technologies, build environment etc.) and of specific local actor constellations of transition (NGO´s, entrepreneurs, companies), which imply that there can be big potentials in defining and implementing local transition strategies
    • Local projects and experiments concerning the low carbon economy and climate mitigation/adaptation serve as transition places. Situated in specific contexts, they become sites of innovation and creativity
    • Municipalities are entering a new role as transition agents; they are in a search and learning process to develop governance and planning forms enabling them to transform local socio-technical system (local governance for transition)
    Local level climate action has evolved globally and plays an increasing dynamic role in transition to a low carbon society. Municipalities in Denmark (and EU) have adopted climate policies and planning going beyond national and international obligations, and they are experimenting with new governance concepts directed towards the integration of citizens, enterprises and sector actors in long term transition processes.
    The paper discusses and characterizes innovative municipality practices and concepts of governance by analyzing governance concepts of frontrunner municipalities in Denmark, and reflects upon whether it reconfigures the local combined housing- and energy system. In particular these configurations are assessed as transition arenas.
    On a theoretical level the paper adopts a transition perspective on local/regional processes. More specific the paper argues for the need of studies of local situated transition arenas and how they by integrating specific local conditions become sites of development of innovative practices.
    Jesper Holm, Inger Stauning and Jesper Holm, Department of Department of Environmental, Social and Spatial Change, Roskilde University (RUC). Contact:
    The paper is based on the research within the KIBS-project “Klimaændringer og Innovation i Byggeriet i region Sjælland” [Climate changes and innovation in construction industry in Region Zeeland
    Publikationsdato25 maj 2011
    Antal sider1
    StatusUdgivet - 25 maj 2011
    BegivenhedNordic Geographers' Meeting : Geographical Knowledge, Nature and Practice - Roskilde Universitet, Roskilde, Danmark
    Varighed: 24 maj 201127 maj 2011


    KonferenceNordic Geographers' Meeting
    LokationRoskilde Universitet

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