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Sustainability 2015, 7(3), 2437-2453;

Low Carbon Urban Transitioning: From Local Experimentation to Urban Transformation?

School of Global Urban and Social Studies and the Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia
College of Design and Social Context, RMIT University, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 23 December 2014 / Revised: 10 February 2015 / Accepted: 17 February 2015 / Published: 27 February 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Development)
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Climate change mitigation remains a contested political and policy issue nationally in Australia. Nevertheless, Australian cities have been actively engaging with low carbon policy for well over a decade and numerous actions and programs have resulted. A question arises as to whether such initiatives can amount to a transition; a systemic change from one dominant fossil-fuel based socio-technical regime, to another, fossil-free based socio-technical regime. In this paper, we review the critical literature on low carbon governance and socio-technical transitions and present a set of criteria by which we propose it is possible to assess the emergence of and/or progress towards low carbon urban transition. We then apply this approach to a case study. The paper presents findings from a review of low carbon initiatives in Australia with a particular focus on Melbourne, Victoria exploring the policy context in which these initiatives and responses have emerged, the typical approaches adopted and the implications for urban change and governance. We examine the roles of, and relationships between, different levels of government, climate change alliances, community/environmental organisations and other actors, and assess progress of the urban low carbon transition. In so doing, we identify significant shortcomings and policy disconnects which we argue are limiting progress towards a low carbon future in Victoria. View Full-Text
Keywords: socio-technical transitions; low carbon governance; urban policy socio-technical transitions; low carbon governance; urban policy

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Moloney, S.; Horne, R. Low Carbon Urban Transitioning: From Local Experimentation to Urban Transformation? Sustainability 2015, 7, 2437-2453.

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