BC3. Basque centre for climate change – Klima aldaketa ikergai

Cabecera publications
  1. Home
  2. Publications
  3. Working papers

Publications

BC3 Working Papers

BC3 Policy Briefings

Working papers also included in

Identifying social determinants of urban low carbon transitions: the case of energy transition in Bilbao, Basque Country

Keywords: urban sustainability, transitions, low carbon, Q method, Bilbao

Author(s): Marta Olazabal and Unai Pascual

Date: 2013-05-13

Issue: 2013-11

  Download this working paper (1 MB.)



Cities are widely defined as complex systems formed by coupled social, ecological and economical systems. The complexity of urban dynamics goes far beyond its boundaries due to the strong influence of larger scales and the deep dependence of cities on outside resources. Such crucial cross-scale effects can fuel maladaptive behaviour, conducting cities to rigid and unsustainable traps. Urban energy systems have all the ingredients of complexity, dependence and vulnerability to global environmental change. Presumably, transformability, like adaptability, depends on perceptions, values and culture of each society. Here it is hypothesized that often social behaviours related to the scepticism, close-minded attitudes, traditional economic models, lack of trust in institutions and in self-capacities are those which limit the potential of transformation in cities (favouring lock-in status). The type of energy and the way it is supplied depends largely on utilities, urban planning and design, economic incentives, regulations, investment opportunities etc. These determinants, together with household factors depending on lifestyle, rent, etc. affect the level of consumption and choices. Altogether, these determinants play a decisive role in decision making processes at individual and institutional level and therefore can limit the transformation potential. We use a case study in Bilbao (Basque Country) to illustrate barriers and hidden opportunities of a local energy transition through an analysis of its cognitive dimension.

This is done by applying a semi-quantitative methodology (Q method) which aids to investigate the stakeholders’ perceived capacity of change. This results in four distinct discourses with direct implications in the potential of transformation of the city of Bilbao.

<< Back to the WP list




 
ecmware
Enterprise Platform
[X]
We use cookies of our own and of third parties to improve our services and to be able to offer you, by means of web browsing analysis, the best options.
If you continue browsing, we assume that you agree to their use. For further information, please click here.