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: Local transition strategies for climate construction and housing – studies of innovative Danish municipalities
Jesper Holm, Inger Stauning, Bent Soendergaard

Last modified: 2010-04-15


Worldwide, national states are in a condition of paralysis when it comes to perform necessary radical innovations in climate change mitigation and adaptation.  However we want to point at the promising creativity among regional and local authorities experimenting in socio-technical systems to track new pathways of low carbon economy and climate adaptation - though not free of constraints and ambivalences. The paper sets out to discuss and characterize the innovative local practices of Danish municipalities when it comes to clean-tech related CO2 reductions from the housing sector. This paper falls into our general aim to identify and develop planning concepts of transition for low carbon construction and housing.



  • Danish Historical outline - setting the stage: Given a construction and housing sector endowed with high complexity and path dependence, and a governmental neo-liberal policy favouring market approaches at the expense of experiments and deliberate transition, social entrepreneurs and local municipality driven experiments have been main drivers of sustainable innovative practices of construction and housing.


  • The papers conceptual framework is based upon the school of thought named transition theory, where we will focus on local politics as network embedded governance following multispectral goals.


  • By discussing a number of municipality cases we demonstrate and discuss how the role of Danish municipalities is redefined, when it comes to institutions and strategies in climate- and energy related construction and housing politics.


  • Conclusions

Main findings: Danish municipalities are in a search process of redefining their role in developing low carbon societies and as part of this addressing housing and construction to implement local CO2 reductions. The innovative practices on the one hand point to a number of varying local opportunities of municipalities, on the other hand current obstacles point to the need of a redefined institutional framework. In a more general perspective the study point to the need for local authorities to find a national and regional position for more deliberative transition efforts in construction/housing policy.


Based on the CIBS project/phase I (Climate Change and Innovation in the Building Sector -  Region Zealand). See

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