Systemic sustainability transitions are manifested as the needed scope to meet sustainability challenges at the local and global scales. While sustainability transitions are ubiquitous, each transition is nested in a specific spatial context. Especially, due to accelerating urbanization, cities are increasingly important agents, but they are also understudied geographical loci of change. Urban transitions are interesting because they operate at both the national and global scales, concentrating people, wealth, and resources. They have both regime and niche elements, as they act as an incubation space for novel experiments, ideas, and alternative social movements. Thus, this paper aims to improve understanding of the geographical context and spatial scales from a multilevel perspective and develop a framework for analytic comparison. Furthermore, the paper draws insights from two empirical cases, namely the cities of Helsinki and Istanbul. Consequently, opportunities and challenges for instigating context-specific sustainability transitions can be identified.
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