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Identifying Strategic Initiatives to Promote Urban Sustainability
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies (moved 20130630).
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

is thesis explores the overarching topic of the capacity of strategic urban development decisions and initiatives (including planning initiatives) to positively and powerfully influence the ability of a city to promote sustainable patterns of development. The work is presented in six scientific papers, the first four of which focus on the development of an inter-disciplinary conceptual framework and research methodology. The concept of Situations of Opportunity and its related Field of Options is proposed as a means to identify and analyse periods in the growth of cities when urbanisation can be more easily managed so as to promote sustainable development goals. Historical studies in the cities of Stockholm, Dar es Salaam and Curitiba are used to develop the methodology. Another paper looks ahead and refines the methodology in combination with future studies, presenting a research strategy that employs Situations of Opportunity as a means to identify and explore periods in the future urban growth with significant potential for change. Building on the method developed, the remaining two papers consider the social dimension of sustainable development and how it can be promoted in the urban context, during ongoing Situations of Opportunity. The concept of social sustainability is reviewed and discussed from two different disciplinary perspectives (urban development; companies and products), exploring commonalities and differences in approaches, and identifying core themes that cross disciplinary boundaries. A case study of Eastside, a brownfield redevelopment site in Birmingham (UK), reveals how the retention of established small food outlets can provide opportunities for promoting social sustainability goals in an urban regeneration area. Overall, this thesis provides a better understanding of how transformative change can happen in cities. The Situations of Opportunity concept developed here can be a helpful way to study strategic initiatives that promote sustainability in cities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology , 2010. , 44 p.
Series
TRITA-SOM, ISSN 1653-6126 ; 2010:18
Keyword [en]
sustainable urban development, transformative change, research methodology development, situations of opportunity, field of options
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-27625ISBN: 978-91-7415-822-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-27625DiVA: diva2:378812
Public defence
2011-01-20, Sal F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20101216

Available from: 2010-12-16 Created: 2010-12-16 Last updated: 2014-05-23Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. MAMMUT – Managing the Metabolism of Urbanization: Testing Theory through a Pilot Study of the Stockholm Underground
Open this publication in new window or tab >>MAMMUT – Managing the Metabolism of Urbanization: Testing Theory through a Pilot Study of the Stockholm Underground
2006 (English)In: Sustainable Development, ISSN 0968-0802, E-ISSN 1099-1719, Vol. 14, no 5, 312-326 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The research project MAMMUT explores synergies between the processes of urbanization and sustainable development. In a pilot study, we tested the assumption that the concept of situations of opportunity can define the project's unit of analysis. We applied MAMMUT's conceptual framework to the Stockholm Underground, identified that situation's formative moment (1941, when main decisions were taken) and analysed its prehistory and factual outcome. To illustrate its field of options, a counterfactual highway and roads scenario was developed. For outcome and scenario, we outlined the resulting urban structure, the institutions of development and operation and the households' ways of life, and assessed environmental impacts. The situation concept was found to be useful for identifying and analysing synergies between urbanization and sustainable development. It needs to be further developed to study the relationships between its four disciplinary aspects. Applying it to futurological studies calls for methodological development including scenario techniques and backcasting.

Keyword
urbanization, management, situations of opportunity, methodology development, Stockholm, Underground
National Category
Civil Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7393 (URN)10.1002/sd.289 (DOI)000243016500003 ()2-s2.0-33845770349 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100921. Uppdaterad från Accepted till Published (20100921).Available from: 2005-10-14 Created: 2005-10-14 Last updated: 2011-10-19Bibliographically approved
2. Daladala Buses Deregulated - Analysing Urbanization's Situations of Oppotunity via Tanzanian Example
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Daladala Buses Deregulated - Analysing Urbanization's Situations of Oppotunity via Tanzanian Example
2008 (English)In: International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, ISSN 1743-7601, Vol. 3, no 1, 16-28 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the development and growth of cities, certain stages or segments in time are considered more important than the others. Analysts have identifi ed these points in time as ‘formative moments’, ‘policy windows’ or ‘situations of opportunity’, and argue that they present policy makers and stakeholders with a unique opportunity to implement change. Thus, in an ongoing project, Managing the Metabolism of Urbanisation (MAMMUT), we need methods for identifying and analysing this kind of situations in historical processes as well as in backcasting from future scenarios. When did these situations open up and what did they consist of? Was the process intentional, accidental or even the effect of an evolutionary process? Furthermore, which was, in terms of the MAMMUT project, the ‘fi eld of options’ available to the stakeholders? (in historical situations, we can identify counterfactual alternatives though they were not elaborate or even considered at that time). From political scientist Rothstein we get the means for identifying formative moments in institutional processes of decision-making. Elinor Ostrom supplies theory that should facilitate the analysis of situations of opportunity. In order to test the feasibility of these methods in the project, we related them to fi ndings from an empirical pilot study on the city of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In the pilot study, the situation of opportunity is the deregulation and privatisation of the Daladala local bus transport system from the 1970s. The pilot study indicates that this turnover indeed was a formative moment or a situation of opportunity, albeit a missed one. Furthermore, these methods could also be used for analysis, at least of the institutional aspect of the situation. The social and urban structural aspects as well as the assessment of the outcome in terms of environmental impacts call for a wider set of methodologies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
WIT Press, 2008
Keyword
Dar es Salaam, field of options, formative moment, methods development, public transport, situation of opportunity, sustainable urbanisation
National Category
Civil Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-27618 (URN)10.2495/SDP-V3-N1-16-28 (DOI)2-s2.0-51149122337 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20101216Available from: 2010-12-16 Created: 2010-12-16 Last updated: 2010-12-17Bibliographically approved
3. Developing Methods for Analysis of Public Transport Systems to Promote Environmentally Sustainable Urban Development: – Learning from Historical Situations of Opportunity in Curitiba and Stockholm
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Developing Methods for Analysis of Public Transport Systems to Promote Environmentally Sustainable Urban Development: – Learning from Historical Situations of Opportunity in Curitiba and Stockholm
2005 (English)In: European Network for Housing Research Conference (ENHR), Reykjavik 29 June - 02 July 2005, 2005Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Urbanisation takes place when people move to cities – resulting in the need for new buildings and infrasystems, new institutions, and often a new way of life. How does this relate to the sustainability challenge? If migration is unavoidable, urbanisation may hold opportunities for addressing the long-term objectives of sustainable development.This paper explores a historical situation of opportunity, which refers to moments when stakeholders had a possibility greater than average to influence the urbanization process to contribute to sustainable development. The public transport system developed in Curitiba, Brazil during the 70’s is studied as such a situation. It had a prehistory restricting the field of options available to stakeholders, and the choice eventually made in that formative moment influenced the city’s future development, affecting its urban structure, institutional setup and people’s ways of life. The same research strategy used for the analysis of Curitiba’s bus system is also applied to the public transport system of Stockholm: underground plus trams and buses. The study of these two contrasting pilot studies is used as means for testing and further developing the methodological and conceptual framework of the MAMMUT research programme. The two transport systems are compared to illustrate the extent to which - guided by objectives of sustainability - the urbanization process can be managed. Additionally, methods to assess the metabolism of urbanization are explored and tested through a simplified analysis of the energy use for operating the transport systems in both cities, and thus indicating environmental impacts.

Keyword
situation of opportunity, urbanization, public transport, method development, energy use, Curitiba, Stockholm.
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-27621 (URN)
Projects
MAMMUT - Managing the Metabolism of Urbanization
Note
QC 20101216Available from: 2010-12-16 Created: 2010-12-16 Last updated: 2010-12-17Bibliographically approved
4. Situations of Opportunity in City Transformation: – enriching evaluative case study methodology with scenarios and backcasting, exploring the sustainable development of three Stockholm city districts
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Situations of Opportunity in City Transformation: – enriching evaluative case study methodology with scenarios and backcasting, exploring the sustainable development of three Stockholm city districts
Show others...
2009 (English)In: Proceedings of the ENHR Conference 2009, Prague, 2009Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

To keep global warming at 2°C, society faces challenges of a totally new magnitude. In Swedenlike any high-income country, it becomes a powerful driving force in city transformation. Tackling this challenge of urban sustainable development poses problems for planners and researchers alike: What planning processes, what urban structures enable transformation, how can planners and other actors combine forces to deliberate themselves from path dependency,extending their freedom of action? In this paper, we explore how evaluative case study methodology merged with techniques from Futures Studies provide a cross-disciplinary research approach that defines the challenge in scope and time while retaining its complexity. Case studies are in-depth analyses of a small number of units, enabling studies of complex phenomena; for us, complexity means integrating the issues of What to change and change by Whom in order to explore How change can come about and evaluate How much it could contributeto urban sustainable development. How can this approach be developed to explore the future? Futures Studies can indicate the probable or supply visions of the desirable, it can be normative or descriptive. For our purpose, it is normative, focusing on the long-term necessityof mitigating global warming. Through it, we develop scenarios that explore the path of transformation of three Stockholm City Districts, from today’s climate changing society towardsa 2060s vision of a low carbon, low energy society. From historical studies we learned that there are shorter periods – Situations of Opportunity – when inertia against change is low. This concept we now apply to future Situations, making these our cases proper. For each Situation in every district we develop three representations of their realisation in the upcomingdecades: the Final Scenario is a narrative of the whole, seen from the future; the computerisedEnergy Usage Model quantifies outcomes in terms of reduced energy use; the Transformative Governance Network illustrates the process of change, its agents and their forms of co-operation. Elements of the approach could contribute to the practice of planning.

National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-27620 (URN)
Conference
European Network for Housing Research Conference (ENHR), Prague 28 June - 01 July 2009
Projects
SitCit
Note
QC 20101216Available from: 2010-12-16 Created: 2010-12-16 Last updated: 2012-02-13Bibliographically approved
5. Exploring Social Sustainability: Learning from Perspectives on Urban Development and Companies and Products
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring Social Sustainability: Learning from Perspectives on Urban Development and Companies and Products
2014 (English)In: Sustainable Development, ISSN 0968-0802, E-ISSN 1099-1719, Vol. 22, no 2, 122-133 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There is a fragmented approach to social sustainability in the literature, and this paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of the meanings and interpretations of that concept while reviewing and discussing the social dimension of sustainability from the perspectives of two fields: urban development as well as companies and products. The analysis identifies commonalities and differences in the understanding of the conceptualization of social sustainability and helps to identify core aspects that cross disciplinary boundaries. The paper shows that compiling a list of comprehensive aspects that is representative of social sustainability is not straightforward, as interpretations are context dependant and aspects are often closely interconnected. Differences often occur because of variations in scoping and context, or whether or not a life cycle perspective is used. Nonetheless, there seems to be an underlying common understanding of what social sustainability is, and a set of key themes (social capital, human capital and well-being) is suggested as an alternative to put more specific measures and indicators in perspective. However, context-specific information is still necessary in practical applications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2014
Keyword
social sustainability, urban development, sustainable development, definitions, key aspects, companies and products
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-27622 (URN)10.1002/sd.536 (DOI)000334505000005 ()2-s2.0-84898832030 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20140523. Updated from manuscript to article in journal.

Available from: 2011-10-07 Created: 2010-12-16 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
6. Urban Regenerationand Socio-Economic Sustainability:A Role for Established Small Food Outlets
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Urban Regenerationand Socio-Economic Sustainability:A Role for Established Small Food Outlets
2010 (English)In: European Planning Studies, ISSN 0965-4313, E-ISSN 1469-5944, Vol. 18, no 10, 1653-1674 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In recent years, the challenges of urban regeneration and sustainability have been brought together in discourses concerning the re-shaping of inner-city districts of large cities.Currently, sustainable development in regeneration policies is mostly dominated by theenvironmental dimension and qualities of the built environment, with some focus on the moreeasily quantifiable aspects of social and economic dimensions. There is, however, limited discussion about integrating socio-economic aspects of sustainable regeneration in the literature.This paper presents a critical exploration of the role of the existing small business base infacilitating more sustainable urban re-development from a socio-economic standpoint. Indigenous food outlets in Birmingham’s Eastside district—a re-development initiative branded as exemplar of sustainable urban development—are used to illustrate the role of small businesses in the dayto-day life of districts undergoing regeneration. The paper reflects on challenges and benefits from retaining and supporting established businesses throughout the re-development process and concludes with some reflections on lessons learnt from the case study. It argues that planners,policy-makers and developers should accord greater attention to the role of established businesses to foster urban districts that strive towards integrating aspects of socio-economicsustainability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2010
National Category
Social Sciences Civil Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-27619 (URN)10.1080/09654313.2010.504348 (DOI)000281893800006 ()2-s2.0-77956744877 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20101216Available from: 2010-12-16 Created: 2010-12-16 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved

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