Niches: Small-Scale Interventions or Radical Innovations to Build Up Internal Momentum

  • Andréanne Doyon


Niches act as small-scale interventions or radical innovations to build up internal momentum, which may lead to bottom-up change, or encourage major shifts within a system. Focusing on the niche experience offers a different way to understand and plan for eco-cities. This chapter offers an alternative approach to investigate eco-cities through niche interventions in the built environment. This is achieved by combining the fields of urban planning, resilience studies and sustainability transitions. In particular, panarchy from resilience studies and the s-curve and the multi-level perspective framework from sustainability transitions are brought together to explore changes within the built environment. This approach shows that incremental change is built from the existing system, and highlights the importance of timescales and pathways when planning for eco-cities.


Niches Urban planning Social-ecological systems Sustainability transitions 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andréanne Doyon
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Global, Urban and Social StudiesRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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