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Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 58; doi:10.3390/su10010058

A Transformative Turn towards Sustainability in the Context of Urban-Related Studies? A Systematic Review from 1957 to 2016

1
Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research—UFZ, Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
2
Tilia GmbH, Inselstraße 31, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 28 December 2017
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Abstract

This article evaluates if the increasing use of the term “urban transformations” in academic research and the widely acknowledged importance of cities in sustainability transformations has led to a transformative turn towards sustainability and Global Environmental Change (GEC) in urban-related studies. This is done through a systematic review of the scientific literature on urban transformations for the last six decades. This way, the multiplicity of uses of the term urban transformations is identified and a contextualization of the urban transformations to sustainability-debate within the wider sphere of urban-related studies is achieved. Our findings show that until now the term is very heterogeneously used in the scientific literature and that the number of articles referring to urban transformations to sustainability has significantly increased during the last five years. While first steps towards a transformative turn can be identified, empirical cases of successful urban transformations towards sustainability hardly appear in the articles. A gap between the theoretical concept and the empirical cases of urban transformations is clearly visible, which also has implications for future research on urban sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: cities; sustainability; urban transformations; literature review; transition cities; sustainability; urban transformations; literature review; transition
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Koch, F.; Kabisch, S.; Krellenberg, K. A Transformative Turn towards Sustainability in the Context of Urban-Related Studies? A Systematic Review from 1957 to 2016. Sustainability 2018, 10, 58.

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