Transition Regions: Green Innovation and Economic Development

  • Philip CookeEmail author
Part of the Advances in Spatial Science book series (ADVSPATIAL)


This chapter has three main aims. The first of these is to discuss and critique the main spatial and non-spatial theories that address methods by which societies may transition from a hydrocarbon to a post-hydrocarbon technological regime. It is argued that the first approach, which combines urban regime theory of politics with ecological modernisation theory, is ultimately contradictory and rooted in an inadequate “sustainability” discourse. The second approach is more interesting, not least because it adopts an evolutionary rather than a conflict perspective, it visualises the problem as “climate change” rather than “sustainability” and it conceptualises change beyond the level of mere technological regimes of a Schumpeterian kind. It allows the strategist to progress from the potential of building a “green” market niche that includes the urban governance stimulus but is not limited by it. Then it facilitates thinking about how such niches may coalesce to form an intervening “green” technological paradigm Schumpeter-style. Finally, it opens out a co-evolutionary process by which all social, political and economic sub-systems become synchronised long term into a post-hydrocarbon socio-technical landscape of a kind that would mitigate anthropogenic global warming. Its weakness is a lack of spatial sensibility regarding how this process would work, an underdeveloped notion of the role of governance in niche, regime and landscape co-evolution, and an inadequate appreciation of how innovation operates in facilitating these processes. To overcome this we propose the theoretical and practical concept of Transition Regions.


Absorptive Capacity Knowledge Spillover District Heating Green Innovation Regional Innovation System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Advanced StudiesCardiff UniversityWalesUK

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