Next Article in Journal
Urban Agriculture as a Sustainability Transition Strategy for Shrinking Cities? Land Use Change Trajectory as an Obstacle in Kyoto City, Japan
Previous Article in Journal
Assessment of Sweet Sorghum-Based Ethanol Potential in China within the Water–Energy–Food Nexus Framework
Article Menu
Issue 4 (April) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1047; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041047

Facilitating Low-Carbon Living? A Comparison of Intervention Measures in Different Community-Based Initiatives

1
Center for Technology and Society, Technische Universität Berlin, Sekr. HBS 1, Hardenbergstraße 16-18, D-10623 Berlin, Germany
2
Institute for Social Ecology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Schottenfeldgasse 29, A-1070 Vienna, Austria
3
Institute for Social Change and Sustainability (IGN), Vienna University of Economics and Business, Welthandelsplatz 2, A-1020 Vienna, Austria
4
Austrian Institute for Sustainable Development, Lindengasse 2/12, A-1070 Wien, Austria
5
Center for Global Change and Sustainability (gW/N), University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Borkowskigasse 4/4, A-1190 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 December 2017 / Revised: 25 March 2018 / Accepted: 28 March 2018 / Published: 2 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
Full-Text   |   PDF [4247 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]   |  

Abstract

The challenge of facilitating a shift towards sustainable housing, food and mobility has been taken up by diverse community-based initiatives ranging from “top-down” approaches in low-carbon municipalities to “bottom-up” approaches in intentional communities. This paper compares intervention measures in four case study areas belonging to these two types, focusing on their potential of re-configuring daily housing, food, and mobility practices. Taking up critics on dominant intervention framings of diffusing low-carbon technical innovations and changing individual behavior, we draw on social practice theory for the empirical analysis of four case studies. Framing interventions in relation to re-configuring daily practices, the paper reveals differences and weaknesses of current low-carbon measures of community-based initiatives in Germany and Austria. Low-carbon municipalities mainly focus on introducing technologies and offering additional infrastructure and information to promote low-carbon practices. They avoid interfering into residents’ daily lives and do not restrict carbon-intensive practices. In contrast, intentional communities base their interventions on the collective creation of shared visions, decisions, and rules and thus provide social and material structures, which foster everyday low-carbon practices and discourage carbon-intensive ones. The paper discusses the relevance of organizational and governance structures for implementing different types of low-carbon measures and points to opportunities for broadening current policy strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: low-carbon municipalities; intentional communities; ecovillages; social practice theories; interventions in practices; low-carbon measures low-carbon municipalities; intentional communities; ecovillages; social practice theories; interventions in practices; low-carbon measures
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Schäfer, M.; Hielscher, S.; Haas, W.; Hausknost, D.; Leitner, M.; Kunze, I.; Mandl, S. Facilitating Low-Carbon Living? A Comparison of Intervention Measures in Different Community-Based Initiatives. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1047.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top