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The interplay of urban energy policy and socio-technical transitions: The eco-cities of Graz and Freiburg in retrospect
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3945-0183
University of Freiburg, Germany.
2014 (English)In: Urban Studies, ISSN 0042-0980, E-ISSN 1360-063X, Vol. 51, no 7, 1415-1431 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The cities of Graz in Austria and Freiburg in Germany have been perceived as ecological model cities since the late 1980s.This is shown by various international awards, press coverage and many visitors from other municipal administrations. Both cities have been well known for their attempts to bring about transitions towards more sustainable and low-carbon energy systems. The comparison of Graz and Freiburg over a period of two decades enables us to study how differing contexts, actor constellations and historic developments shape the transformation of energy systems towards greater sustainability. It is argued that understanding the role of cities for energy transitions requires a detailed examination of the coupled dynamics of socio-technical interactions across the levels of niches, regimes and landscapes on the one hand, and multilevel systems of governance on the other. At these intersections new, although spatially confined, socio-technical constellations of sustainable energy provision may emerge and be stabilised. Nevertheless, empirical evidence shows that it is misleading to conclude that true socio-technical transitions are taking place in these cities, even though a number of foundations for long-term change processes have been laid.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2014. Vol. 51, no 7, 1415-1431 p.
Keyword [en]
eco-cities energy transitions multilevel governance socio-technical systems
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105377DOI: 10.1177/0042098013500360ISI: 000334659600004OAI: diva2:706342
Available from: 2014-03-19 Created: 2014-03-19 Last updated: 2015-03-05

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Rohracher, Harald
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Technology and Social ChangeFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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