Reconceptualising Space in Sustainability Transitions: Sociotechnical-spatial Landscapes and Three Cities Pursuing ‘Car-free’.

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Abstract

Despite the amount of interdisciplinary research into sustainability transitions, there has been limited engagement with the role of physical space in transitions. This article contributes to this gap in transitions scholarship through a reconceptualization of the spatial dimensions of sociotechnical landscapes as a critical component enabling transitions to sustainable urban transportation systems. A theoretical outset links the multi-level perspective on transitions with spatial thinking to develop the idea of a sociotechnical-spatial landscape. Stemming from this, the theoretical framework was applied to case studies of European cities’ efforts to limit automobile-based transport within ‘car-free’ discourses. The analysis highlighted a number of spatial elements within the existing sociotechnical-spatial landscape that offered opportunities for the development of car-free niches. Overall, the paper expands on the role of the built environment in influencing sustainability transitions while also revealing the need for future research in the area.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
ISSN0966-6923
Publication statusSubmitted - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Car free
  • Sustainability transitions
  • Urban Planning
  • Built environment
  • Sociotechnical-spatial landscape
  • Sustainable transport

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