skip to Main Content

Finding feasible action towards urban transformations

Patterson, J., Soininen, N., Collier, M., Raymond, C. (2021) Finding feasible action towards urban transformations. npj Urban Sustainability 1, 28.  URL:


While innovative approaches to urban transformations are increasingly proposed, scholars often overlook challenges faced by endogenous actors (e.g. urban planners) tasked with taking action within non-ideal, real-world settings. Here we argue that an ‘inside’ view of transformations (focused on judgment in practice) is needed to complement existing ‘outside’ views (focused on assessment), where the feasibility of action becomes a central concern. This recasts urban transformations in a discretised perspective. It suggests a view of transformation pathways as both directed and stochastic, and emergent from an unfolding series of ‘fuzzy action moments’. Principles for bridging urban science and planning are derived.

Read More

Recent publications

Assessing the effectiveness of orchestrated climate action from five years of summits
Five years of climate action and summitry have taught us valuable lessons. Orchestrators of climate action can positively influence performance by setting minimum requirements for credibility and robustness among the initiatives they engage.
Transforming Biodiversity Governance
Edited by Ingrid J. Visseren-Hamakers, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Marcel T. J. Kok, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
2021 Annual Report
The Earth System Governance Project seeks to mobilise and advance scholarship at the interface between global environmental change and governance. Discover how by learning more about the project in this summary of 2021!