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Can cities shape socio-technical transitions and how would we know if they were?

By M Hodson and S Marvin


This paper asks two – relatively simple – questions: can cities shape socio-technical transitions? And how would we know if they were? There are three key objectives. The first of these is to set out emerging, and in our view, convincing evidence, that large world cities have political aspirations to develop purposive and managed change in the socio-technical organisation of infrastructure networks that can be characterised as ‘systemic’ transitions. The second objective is conceptual in orientation and seeks to address how we understand transitions at the scale of the city, the role of ‘the city’ in undertaking transitions, and review both the strengths and shortcomings of the multi-level perspective (MLP) on socio-technical transitions in addressing this. The third objective is to identify what an urban transition would look like, and then constructs a new framework to conceptualise and research urban transitions. The paper then summarises the key aspects and implications of our argument

Topics: TH, built_and_human_env
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2010
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