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Open AccessArticle

The Framing of Urban Sustainability Transformations

Urban Studies Institute, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, P.O. Box 3992, Atlanta, GA 30302, USA
Urban Systems Lab, Environmental Studies Department, The New School, 79 Fifth Ave, 1605, New York, NY 10003, USA
Instituto de Ciencias Ambientales y Evolutivas, Avenida Rector Eduardo Morales Miranda s/n, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia 5090000, Chile
Instituto de Ecología y Biodiversidad, Universidad de Chile, Las Palmeras 3425, Ñuñoa, Región Metropolitana de Santiago 7750000, Chile
School of Life Sciences and Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 874501, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally in this work.
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 573;
Received: 16 October 2018 / Revised: 15 December 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 22 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
Transformational change is not always intentional. However, deliberate transformations are imperative to achieve the sustainable visions that future generations deserve. Small, unintentional tweaks will not be enough to overcome persistent and emergent urban challenges. Recent scholarship on sustainability transformations has evolved considerably, but there is no consensus on what qualifies transformational change. We describe variations in current discussions of intentional sustainability transformations in the literature and synthesize strategies from funding institutions’ recent requests for proposals for urban sustainability transformations. Research funding initiatives calling for transformational change are increasingly common and are an important driver of how transformational change is articulated in research-practice in cities. From this synthesis, we present seven criteria for transformational change that provide direction for framing and implementing transformational change initiatives. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability; transformational change; funding institutions sustainability; transformational change; funding institutions
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Iwaniec, D.M.; Cook, E.M.; Barbosa, O.; Grimm, N.B. The Framing of Urban Sustainability Transformations. Sustainability 2019, 11, 573.

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