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The Multi-Pattern Approach for Systematic Analysis of Transition Pathways

Melbourne School of Design, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia
School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 318;
Received: 15 November 2018 / Revised: 4 December 2018 / Accepted: 5 December 2018 / Published: 10 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Policy Pathways for Sustainability)
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Pathways have become a central notion in various areas of research, amongst which are the studies of transitions to sustainability. Though various typologies and concepts are available, a framework for systematic analysis of transition pathways is lacking. We present the Multi-Pattern Approach (MPA) to fill this lacuna and provide a step-by-step manual for its application. The MPA addresses a range of traditional challenges of transitions’ pathway analysis, such as temporal and functional system demarcation and the unravelling of complex, interrelated systemic storylines. The approach provides an oft-called for rigour which allows a diagrammatic and formulaic representation of transitions’ pathways. Because of these qualities, the approach allows systematic cross-case comparison and provides a bridge between narrative-based and computational transitions research. The approach is demonstrated with an in-depth empirical case study of water management in Melbourne, Australia over the last 180 years. The article first presents a high-level mapping of the system’s evolution over time and a detailed analysis of the uptake and phasing out of specific servicing technologies and practices. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability transitions; pathways; multi-pattern approach; urban water; analysis; modelling sustainability transitions; pathways; multi-pattern approach; urban water; analysis; modelling

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De Haan, F.J.; Rogers, B.C. The Multi-Pattern Approach for Systematic Analysis of Transition Pathways. Sustainability 2019, 11, 318.

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