University of Twente Student Theses


The politics of urban energy transitions : analyzing the 'Green City' Freiburg and its political actors

Platzer, Linus (2015) The politics of urban energy transitions : analyzing the 'Green City' Freiburg and its political actors.

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Abstract:Climate governance is becoming a hot topic on the agendas of cities. As climate change, energy security, and natural resource consumption are pressing societies to take action, cities and local governments are increasingly seen as key agents of sustainability transitions. Yet the scope and speed to which an energy transition takes place at the local scale varies significantly. The main problem identified here is that we do not know well what climate change does to the city and what cities do in response to climate change. One aspect neglected so far are the institutional capacities and the political struggles embedded in the broader economy. In order to understand these aspects of transitions, I will review the literature on urban transitions and climate change mitigation. I then will propose a framework of analysis based on actor-centered institutionalism and assess the urban politics of energy transitions in the city of Freiburg, Germany. Applying a qualitative case study approach, I find several conflicts that indicate opposing actor constellations. Influencing the institutional set-up and decision-making of green building policies, regime change has happened to some extent. This thesis contributes to existing scholarship by exploring the political processes of cities in transition.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration, 89 political science
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
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