Theories of sustainability transitions aim to explain the processes, pathways and actors that are involved in transformations in technologies and practices. Whilst there is a growing body of research developing theoretical understandings, there has been less documented on how theories are utilised and applied by practitioners themselves.
This chapter reports on a case study that investigated whether provision of targeted information on theories of sustainability transitions could strengthen organisational strategic planning. If planning is informed by transition theories, would this assist and strengthen organisational visioning, ambition and confidence? The research focuses on Moreland Energy Foundation Limited (MEFL), a community-based not-for-profit organisation working on sustainable energy and climate change action in Melbourne, Australia. During 2014–2015, MEFL developed a new strategic plan. As part of this process, theories of sustainability transitions were presented to the organisation’s Board and staff, to support the strategic planning and to investigate the theories’ roles in the planning process.
It was found that inclusion of the sustainability transitions theoretical framework led to the organisation explicitly defining its shared ‘model of change’, reinforcing the organisation’s conceptualisation of its role as an ‘intermediary’ between grassroots and governments. The process demonstrated the potential impact of research-practice partnerships in strategic planning. However the findings also highlighted the continuing challenges of connecting research and practice.
Rapid global urbanization and the increase of the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect make urban cooling a necessity as well as an opportunity to increase the liveability and amenity of cities. This review is a scoping study of the relevant worldwide UHI mitigation/adaptation...Read more
Australia's Chief Scientist Alan Finkel points out, in this interview, the need for Australia to develop better storage systems and reflects on the recent report from ACOLA. California Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister, also warns Australia to pursue demand side...Read more
With regard to separation of food scraps for composting, this research identified that there are two important aspects often overlooked when the focus is only on behaviour: 1. Policy makers need to ensure that there are socio-technical systems supporting diverse groups of people...Read more
Cities are complex and dynamic social-ecological systems; both human and ecological systems are in mutual interaction. As a social-ecological system, a city’s form and structure can change over time. The transcendence and durability of cities is in fact due to their continuous change. Major transformations are often viewed as technological or socio-technological transitions, such as how transport, communication, and housing are fulfilled, and include changes to user practices, regulations, networks, infrastructure, and symbolic meaning.
The papers presented at the 2015 State of Australian Cities National Conference (SOAC 7) were organised into seven broad themes but all shared, to varying degrees, a common focus on the ways in which high quality academic research can be used in the development and implementation of policy. The relationship between empirical evidence and theoretical developments that are presented as part of our scholarly endeavours and policy processes is rarely clear and straightforward.
Urban green space provides multiple benefits to city dwellers— both human and non-human. These ‘nature-based solutions’ include mitigating urban heat and stormwater runoff, providing biodiversity habitat and contributing to human health and wellbeing, and social and cultural processes, which are key elements in creating ecological cities.
This study compares and contrasts Australian and global best practices in policy and regulation for the energy and carbon performance of the built environment. It examines the drivers and opportunities for, and barriers to, the adoption of best practices in Australia.