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System Innovation and the Transition to Sustainability

Theory, Evidence and Policy

Edited by Boelie Elzen, Frank W. Geels and Ken Green

This book considers two main questions: how do system innovations or transitions come about and how can they be influenced by different actors, in particular by governments. The authors identify the theories which can be used to conceptualise the dynamics of system innovations and discuss the weaknesses in these theories. They also look at the lessons which can be learned from historical examples of transitions, and highlight the instruments and policy tools which can be used to stimulate future system innovations towards sustainability. The expert contributors address these questions using insights from a variety of different disciplines including innovation studies, evolutionary economics, the sociology of technology, environmental analysis and governance studies. The book concludes with an extensive summary of the results and practical suggestions for future research.
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Chapter 7: Managing the Transition to Sustainable Mobility

René Kemp and Jan Rotmans


René Kemp and Jan Rotmans INTRODUCTION This chapter examines the possibilities for achieving a transition to sustainable transport. It outlines and applies a new policy perspective, called transition management, developed by the authors for the Dutch government for managing the transition process to sustainable transport in a gradual, non-disruptive way. Because current policy has failed adequately to solve the mobility problem, there is a definite need for a new policy perspective that aims to develop structural, long-term solutions that offer user benefits and sustainability benefits. Transition management employs an integrative and multi-scale framework for policy deliberation, choice of instruments and actions by individuals, private and public organizations and NGOs. It aims for long-term change through small steps informed by transition goals and sustainability visions. It is not an instrument but a perspective for government and society as a whole. The structure of the chapter is as follows. Section 2 offers a discussion of the problems of transport. Section 3 introduces the transition concept and offers a typology of transitions. Section 4 examines the governance aspect of transitions, discussing different coordination methods and modes of governance. Section 5 describes the model of transition management, which is applied to passenger transport in Section 7 after a discussion of the current Dutch transport and mobility policy in Section 6. PROBLEMS RELATED TO TRANSPORT Transport suffers from a series of serious problems: congestion, pollution, traffic accidents leading to casualties, noise, fragmentation of landscapes in rural...

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