‘Transition Management’ in Developing a More Sustainable Transportation System

Anthony Caruso & Florian Kern

Student thesis: Termpaper


The current system of transportation is unsustainable. The reliance on non-renewable sources of energy, combined with ever increasing levels of air, noise and water pollution has lead to a transportation system that is causing environmental damage while harming people’s quality of life. Planning and policy measures to address theses problems have so far failed to provide any meaningful system change and have failed to change how society views their transportation needs. The focus of this project has been on examining an alternative policy and planning approach, called ‘Transition Management’. It has been argued that persistent problems with the current transportation system are fundamental to system design aspects, and that to overcome these, system innovation may be required. This is something ‘Transition Management’ aims to do. The ‘Transition Management’ perspective was adopted by the National Government in the Netherlands in its 4th National Environmental Policy Plan and by two Dutch provinces, Limburg and Utrecht. This project intensively reviews and discusses the core concepts of this new perspective on a theoretical level. A case study of the planning and transportation organisation Hovedstadens Udviklingsråd (HUR) is conducted to see whether or not this approach also holds some practical value. To provide a background for this analysis, transport planning and policy in Denmark are discussed, with a particular focus on the Greater Copenhagen Region. To carry out the case study, an actor-analysis of HUR has been conducted. The case study is based on interviews with seven transportation related people who are directly or indirectly involved with transportation planning and policy. The interviewees provide this report with insightful knowledge about problems facing HUR, difficulties in creating more sustainable transportation in Copenhagen, and with critical feedback about how ‘Transition Management’ can be used. The analysis will be structured along five concepts of this new perspective, which are especially relevant for a regional transport authority; innovation stimulation combined with system improvements; long-term vision as a framework for short-term action; public participation to develop visions and gain support for managing transitions; coordination; and mobility service provision.

EducationsTekSam - Technological and Socio-Economic Planning, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Graduate
Publication date1 Jun 2004
SupervisorsLise Drewes & Per Homann Jespersen