Transforming melbourne

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Opening speech at the launch of www.buildingmelbourne.com, an initiative to accelerate the transition of Melbourne into the most liveable and sustainable city.

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Transforming melbourne

  1. 1. Urban Transitions towards Sustainability Derk Loorbach Transforming Melbourne, 9-6-2010
  2. 2. Sustainability as persistent problem <ul><li>multiple actors, levels and dimensions: no easy or straightforward solutions </li></ul><ul><li>many examples: housing stock, climate change, energy supply, water, mobility, agriculture, health care </li></ul><ul><li>persistence is due to system failures that are deeply rooted in our societal structures </li></ul><ul><li>regular policy aimed at incremental improvement is not enough to resolve persistent problems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>transitions are needed and inevitable </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Transitions <ul><ul><li>fundamental change of structure, culture and practices in a societal (sub)system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>culture: collective set of values, norms, perspectives (shared orientation), paradigms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>structure: physical infrastructure, economic infrastructure, institutions, rules, regulations, collective routines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>practices: behaviour, operation, implementation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shared discourse and language for multi-actor learning and innovation processes </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Understanding transitions Predevelopment Stabilization time Societal development Acceleration Take-off Macro-level (landscape, trends) Meso-level (regimes, institutions) Micro-level (Niches, individuals) From: Rotmans et al, 2000 From: Geels and Kemp, 2001
  5. 5. Why do transitions fail? <ul><li>Institutional fragmentation and vested interests </li></ul><ul><li>Technological and social lock-in and path dependencies </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of coherence in thought and strategy of sustainability initiatives </li></ul>
  6. 6. Cities as social systems City of Melbourne Societal landscape City subsystems (regimes) Civil society and citizens Mobility subsystem Policy substem Energy subsystem Industrial subsystem Innovations and niches
  7. 7. Sustainability as guiding orientation <ul><li>Inherently ambiguous, contested and uncertain </li></ul><ul><li>Basis for dialogue, competition and innovation </li></ul><ul><li>It is about the process of sustainable development rather than the end goal </li></ul>
  8. 8. Transition governance <ul><li>long-term thinking as the basis for short term policy </li></ul><ul><li>thinking in terms of multiple domains (multi-domain), different actors (multi-actor), different levels (multi-level) </li></ul><ul><li>learning as an important aim for policy (‘learning-by-doing’ and ‘doing-by-learning’) </li></ul><ul><li>orient governance towards system innovation besides system improvement </li></ul><ul><li>keeping options open, exploring multiple pathways </li></ul>
  9. 9. Transition approach <ul><li>acknowledge that there is a persistent problem </li></ul><ul><ul><li>shared problem perception </li></ul></ul><ul><li>the solution does not exist </li></ul><ul><ul><li> transform problem into visionary challenge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>define guiding principles and evolving transition agenda </li></ul><ul><ul><li>multiple futures with multiple pathways and options </li></ul></ul><ul><li>start portfolio of experiments into the same direction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>postpone choices till enough has been learned </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. society Transition arenas Regular policy arenas <ul><li>- Short term </li></ul><ul><li>- Peloton </li></ul><ul><li>Incremental change </li></ul><ul><li>Problem- and goal oriented </li></ul><ul><li>- Long term </li></ul><ul><li>- Innovators </li></ul><ul><li>System-innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Problem- and goal searching </li></ul>Transition arenas spaces for experimenting and envisioning
  11. 11. 5 strategies <ul><li>Re-inventing delta technology </li></ul><ul><li>Volume & Value </li></ul><ul><li>Crossing borders </li></ul><ul><li>Floating gentrification </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable mobility </li></ul>Long term : perspective 2040 Mid term : course 2025 Short term : action 2015 City harbours
  12. 14. Transition governance structure local experiments transition icons Melbourne Transition arena Thematic transition arenas Municipal transition arenas Evolving agenda and pathways
  13. 15. Key message <ul><li>managing systemic change is about coordination, guidance, innovation and learning </li></ul><ul><li>systemic change starts with creating [financial, organizational, juridical, mental] space for frontrunners </li></ul><ul><li>envisioning is more important than the vision </li></ul><ul><li>intermediary organizations are crucial to facilitate transition governance </li></ul>
  14. 16. <ul><li>Thank you for your attention </li></ul><ul><li>For more information and publications: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.drift.eur.nl </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.ksinetwork.org </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.sustainabilitytransitions.com </li></ul></ul>

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