Cities, the world over, are increasingly recognised to be both a principal source of the environmental and social sustainability challenges facing contemporary society and a critical site for addressing these challenges. Socio-technical systems are at the heart of these challenges as they configure central aspects of urban life: from mobility and energy infrastructures to leisure activities and patterns of mobility. This observation has led to substantial interest in how societies might initiate and actively steer radical transitions in these systems in the pursuit of sustainable urban futures.

This book contributes to emerging debates on the politics of urban transitions by examining the intimate interlinkages between knowledge, power and governance. Drawing upon real-world examples of urban governance, the authors explore the strategies, struggles and controversies involved in configuring knowledge and how knowledge constructions influence governance by rendering some concerns and issues visible and valuable, while obscuring others. The book draws attention to how novel ways of conceptualising, knowing and observing socio-technical systems may be harnessed productively in redefining the power relationships underpinning unsustainable practices. Understanding these dynamics can ultimately inform and enable new approaches to support much-needed urban transitions.

This book provides a compelling examination of urban knowledge politics for the twenty-first century that will be of great value to academics, policy-makers and practitioners working in the social sciences, urban studies, geography, urban governance or sustainability transitions.

chapter 1|16 pages


The knowledge politics of urban sustainability transitions
ByMatthew Cashmore, Jens Stissing Jensen, Philipp Späth

chapter 2|16 pages

Governing radical societal change

Politics, power and knowledge
ByMatthew Cashmore

chapter 3|20 pages

Smart urbanism in Barcelona

A knowledge-politics perspective
ByEvelien de Hoop, Adrian Smith, Wouter Boon, Rachel Macrorie, Simon Marvin, Rob Raven

chapter 4|14 pages

The professional knowledge politics of urban transport transitions in the greater Copenhagen region

ByJens Stissing Jensen, Ulrik Jørgensen

chapter 5|21 pages

The power-knowledge of best practice

Governing climate change in German municipalities
ByNanja Christina Nagorny-Koring

chapter 6|18 pages

Competing knowledge assemblages in Danish heat governance

ByJens Stissing Jensen, Peter Karnøe

chapter 7|19 pages

Urban metabolism as governmentality

Governing the city of flows
ByVanesa Castán Broto, Louise Guibrunet

chapter 8|23 pages

Exploring the epistemic politics of urban niche experiments

ByMatthew Cook, Ralph Horne, Stephen Potter, Alan-Miguel Valdez

chapter 9|21 pages

It’s the complexity stupid!

How transition management politicises and reimagines Rotterdam’s mobility system
ByShivant Jhagroe, Derk Loorbach

chapter 10|7 pages

Conclusions and perspectives

ByJens Stissing Jensen, Matthew Cashmore, Philipp Späth