© 2018

Urban Sustainability Transitions

Australian Cases- International Perspectives

  • Trivess Moore
  • Fjalar de Haan
  • Ralph Horne
  • Brendan James Gleeson

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Part I

  3. Part II

  4. Part III

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 127-127
    2. Rebekah R. Brown, Briony C. Rogers, Lara Werbeloff
      Pages 129-148
    3. Peter W. Newton
      Pages 149-171
    4. Samuel Alexander, Jonathan Rutherford
      Pages 173-189
  5. Part IV

  6. Part V

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 251-251
    2. Ralph Horne, Trivess Moore, Fjalar de Haan, Brendan James Gleeson
      Pages 253-257

About this book


This book contributes to current debates regarding purposive transitions to sustainable cities, providing an accessible but critical exploration of sustainability transitions in urban settings. We have now entered the urban century, which is not without its own challenges, as discussed in the preceding book of this series. Urbanization is accompanied by a myriad of complex and overlapping environmental, social and governance challenges – which increasingly call into question conventional, market-based responses and simple top-down government interventions. Faced with these challenges, urban practitioners and scholars alike are interested in promoting purposive transitions to sustainable cities.

The chapters in this volume contribute to the growing body of literature on city-scale transformative change, which seeks to address a lack of consideration for spatial and urban governance dimensions in sustainability transitions studies, and expand on the basis established in the preceding book. Drawing on a range of perspectives and written by leading Australian and international urban researchers, the chapters explore contemporary cases from Australia and locate them within the international context.  

Australia is on the one hand representative of many OECD countries, while on the other possessing a number of unique attributes that may serve to highlight issues and potentials internationally. Australia is a highly urbanized country and because of the federal political structure and the large distances, the five largest state-capital cities have a relatively high degree of autonomy in governance – even dominating the rest of their respective states and rural hinterlands to a certain extent. This context suggests that Australian cases can provide interesting “test-tube” perspectives on processes relevant to urban sustainability transitions worldwide. This volume presents an extensive overview of theories, concepts, approaches and practical examples informed by sustainability transitions thinking, offering a unique resource for all urban practitioners and scholars who want to understand and transition to sustainable urban futures.


Urban governance Purposeful transitions Spatial dimensions Governing urban transitions Australian cities

Editors and affiliations

  • Trivess Moore
    • 1
  • Fjalar de Haan
    • 2
  • Ralph Horne
    • 3
  • Brendan James Gleeson
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Property, Construction and Project ManagementRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute and Melbourne School of DesignThe University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.College of Design and Social ContextRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute and Melbourne School of DesignThe University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

About the editors


Trivess Moore is a Research Fellow in the Sustainable Buildings Innovation Laboratory (SBiLab) in the School of Property, Construction and Project Management at RMIT University. Prior to this Trivess was in the Beyond Behaviour Change group in the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University. Trivess’ research interests include socio-technical transitions to a low carbon urban future, with a focus on housing, households, practices, energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies, good design, affordability and liveability. He has worked on several larger Australian Research Council funded projects such as Lifetime Affordable Housing in Australia and is currently working on projects which are based upon monitoring and evaluating sustainable housing and compact cities more broadly.

Fjalar de Haan is a transitionist. He develops theory and other tools for understanding sustainability transitions. Modelling is one of his favourite tools and he would say that modelling helps to accelerate the interactions between theory and empirical work towards better understanding. Fjalar has an MSc in theoretical physics (Institute Lorentz, Leiden University, under supervision of Prof Wim van Saarloos) and a PhD in transitions studies (DRIFT, Erasmus University Rotterdam, under supervision of Prof Jan Rotmans), with a thesis entitled ‘Towards Transition Theory’. He developed the Multi-Pattern Approach which enables systematic case analysis by breaking down complex transition pathways into sequences of patterns and led the development of the Societal Needs Framework, describing and explaining how service-provision systems are intimately related with the societal needs they meet. Fjalar has been exploring the fringe of transitions theory and modelling in a variety of contexts including health care, urban water management and energy, as part of international, interdisciplinary teams, project-based with industry and in curiosity-driven solo projects. Currently, Fjalar is Lecturer – Sustainability Transitions at the Melbourne School of Design and an associate of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, both at The University of Melbourne.

Ralph Horne is interested in social and policy change to support sustainable urban development, and has a specific research interest in low carbon urban transitions, housing and households. The spatial, material and contingent social and policy structures at play are the main focus of his work on both the making and shaping of urban environments. He is also Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor, Research and Innovation for the College of Design and Social Context at RMIT University, and Director of the Cities Programme, the urban arm of the United Nations Global Compact. Through these positions and his own research he combines research leadership and participation in research projects concerning the environmental, social and policy context of production and consumption in the urban environment.

 Brendan Gleeson is the Director of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, at the University of Melbourne. He joined the University in January 2012 as Professor of Urban Policy Studies and then took on directorship of MSSI in early 2013. Melbourne provides MSSI with a lens through which to consider, challenge, and redefine levels of liveability and urban resilience. Brendan’s research interests include urban planning and governance, urban social policy, disability studies, and environmental theory and policy. Brendan is currently invested in understanding what urban levers can be rapidly deployed by the State and Federal Government, to alleviate the homelessness crisis.


Bibliographic information