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Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 99;

Pressure-Point Strategy: Leverages for Urban Systemic Transformation

IASS Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam, Berliner Strasse 130, Potsdam 14467, Germany
The Next Practice, 58 Ravina Crescent, Toronto, ON M4J 3M2, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tan Yigitcanlar
Received: 7 November 2016 / Revised: 6 January 2017 / Accepted: 9 January 2017 / Published: 11 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Full-Text   |   PDF [679 KB, uploaded 11 January 2017]   |  


Sustainability can be understood as a specific kind of problem framing that emphasizes the interconnectedness of different problems and scales and calls for new forms of problem handling that are much more process-oriented, reflexive and iterative in nature. Closely related with the notion of reflexive governance, we propose such an alternative strategy for societal problem handling and change management in the urban context. The strategy starts from stress states in the urban system(s) and uses their initial momentum to encourage systemic change through intraventions—rather than interventions—at selected pressure points. This paper highlights the potential to evolve what has often been an intuitive practice, led by community or elected leaders with unique wisdom about functions and pressure points in their urban system, into a more accessible strategy for shaping socio-ecological transformation in urban practice. View Full-Text
Keywords: pressure points; urban; sustainability; transformation; reflexive governance; complexity pressure points; urban; sustainability; transformation; reflexive governance; complexity

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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).

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De Flander, K.; Brugmann, J. Pressure-Point Strategy: Leverages for Urban Systemic Transformation. Sustainability 2017, 9, 99.

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