Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning IRS


Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning IRS

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den Exter R.,Wageningen University | Lenhart J.,Wageningen University | Kern K.,Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning IRS | Kern K.,University of Potsdam
Local Environment | Year: 2015

Although Dutch cities were among the forerunners in local climate policy, a systematic overview on climate mitigation and adaptation policy is still missing. This study aims to fill this gap by analysing 25 Dutch cities using indicators for the level of anchoring in policy, organisation and practical implementation as well as multi-level relations. Since Tilburg, Amsterdam, Den Haag and Rotterdam show a higher performance than other Dutch cities, these four cities are used as reference cities. The findings suggest that structural integration of climate mitigation and adaptation is limited in Dutch cities. The study points at three recent trends in local climate governance in the Netherlands: (i) decentralisation within municipal organisations, (ii) externalisation initiatives that place climate policy outside the municipal organisation and (iii) regionalisation with neighbouring municipalities and the provincial government. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

Gailing L.,Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning IRS | Leibenath M.,Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development
Landscape Research | Year: 2015

There is growing interest amongst landscape researchers on social constructivist perspectives on landscapes. This paper discusses two ways of conceptualising the social construction of landscapes: historical institutionalism and post-structuralist discourse theory. The aim is to explore the opportunities that both approaches offer, and to assess their strengths and limitations. Drawing on two local case studies from Germany, we illuminate the ontologies of landscape implied by the two theoretical lenses, how they conceive of the social construction of landscapes, and finally the ways in which they can inform political processes. Both approaches apply an anti-essentialist agenda, though in different ways. Whereas in historical institutionalism materiality is treated as separated from the social sphere, in post-structuralist discourse theory material objects, practices, subjects and linguistic utterances are all part of relational systems of meaning called discourse. Both approaches can contribute to a more democratic and pluralistic practice of landscape planning and policy-making. ©2013,Landscape Research Group Ltd.

Moss T.,Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning IRS | Becker S.,Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning IRS | Naumann M.,Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning IRS
Local Environment | Year: 2014

As one of the most ambitious national energy transition initiatives worldwide, the German Energiewende is attracting a huge amount of attention globally in both policy and research circles. The paper explores the implementation of Germany's energy transition through the lens of organisation and ownership in urban and regional contexts. Following a summary of the principal institutional challenges of the Energiewende at local and regional levels the paper develops a novel way of conceptualising the institutional to urban and regional energy transitions in terms of agency and power, ideas and discourse, and commons and ownership. This analytical heuristic is applied to a two-tier empirical study of the Berlin-Brandenburg region. The first tier involves a survey of the organisational landscape of energy infrastructures and services in cities, towns and villages in Brandenburg. The second tier comprises a case study of current, competing initiatives for (re-)gaining ownership of the power grid and utility in Berlin. The paper draws conclusions on the diverse and dynamic organisational responses to the Energiewende at the local level, what these tell us about urban and regional energy governance and how they are inspired by - or in opposition to - new forms of collective ownership resonant of recent debates on reclaiming the commons. It concludes with observations on how relational approaches to institutional research and the notion of the commons can guide and inspire future research on socio-technical transitions in general, and urban energy transitions in particular. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

Moss T.,Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning IRS
Ecology and Society | Year: 2012

Within the broad discourse on the concept of fit and its relevance for the governance of social-ecological systems, problems of spatial fit have attracted particular attention. Mismatches abound between the geographical extent of an environmental resource and the territorial scope of the institutions affecting its use. Managing water resources around river basins is, perhaps, the most prominent illustration of attempts to reconcile the boundaries of an environmental resource with those of its respective institutions. Achieving perfect spatial fit has, however, proved an elusive task in practice. Beyond the difficulties of defining the physical boundaries of water and reordering institutional arrangements to reflect these, improving spatial fit for water can create new spatial misfits with other policy sectors upon which sustainable water management is dependent. The paper explores the way spatial fit is conceptualized, institutionalized, and practised, using the EU Water Framework Directive and its implementation in one sub-basin of the Rhine as an exemplar. The paper develops from the analysis a more differentiated and context-sensitive understanding of the concept of spatial fit of practical value to policy makers. © 2012 by the author(s).

Ibert O.,Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning IRS | Ibert O.,Free University of Berlin | Ibert O.,University of Toronto | Muller F.C.,Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning IRS
Research Policy | Year: 2015

The aims of this article are first to scrutinize the effects of cultural divergence within knowledge networks on innovation and second to explore how these relations change during the process. Using qualitative case-study data from innovation biographies in legal services and biotechnology research and development services the paper develops a phase model of innovation - induction, validation, mobilization and concretization - that allows synchronizing the longitudinal time-spatial data. It then identifies types of relations within knowledge networks that have been critical for the creation and unfolding of the core idea and positions them into the phase model. The notion "relational distance" is employed to specify what forms of cultural differences are enacted in each of these relations and what effects these differences have on the outcomes of the innovation processes. The proposed framework affords the in-depth interpretation of each type of relation, a lateral analysis of how different types of relations work together at specific stages of the innovation processes and a longitudinal dynamic analysis of how relations evolve during innovation processes. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Lee F.,University of Hong Kong | Moss T.,Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning IRS
International Journal of River Basin Management | Year: 2014

The aim of this paper is to explore how classic upstream–downstream conflicts of water resources management can be interpreted more broadly in terms of spatial misfits and disparities between the river basin, territorial jurisdictions, degrees of political influence and socio-economic conditions. It applies the analytical concept of spatial fit in order to explore issues of governance in managing water in the Dongjiang River basin, selected by virtue of the huge political and economic asymmetries existing between the upstream Jiangxi Province and the downstream Pearl River delta region. Using the concept of spatial fit, the paper explores the complex environmental, socio-economic and political geographies which frame the interdependencies of water use and management within the river basin. It analyses attempts by stakeholders at different levels and locations in the basin to advance their own water-related interests and the initiatives that some are developing to share benefits and costs more equitably across the basin. © 2014, © 2014 International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research.

Moss T.,Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning IRS
Urban Studies | Year: 2014

This paper reconstructs the trajectory of energy efficiency policies in Berlin from the 1920s to today in order to illustrate how the shifting political and socioeconomic conditions of a city can shape urban energy provision and consumption. Taking a long-term perspective on the relationship between urban transitions and energy policy, it investigates how the geo-political turbulence, regime diversity and socioeconomic volatility experienced by 20th-century Berlin influenced strategies of electricity generation and use in the city. Drawing on different ways of conceptualising change to socio-technical systems in the literature, the paper's findings present a more differentiated picture of urban energy transitions than notions of path dependency and transition pathways imply, highlighting the importance of non-linear trends, political contestation and crisis discourses in and beyond the city and their relevance for reconfiguring urban energy systems today. © 2013 Urban Studies Journal Limited.

Huesker F.,Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning IRS | Moss T.,Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning IRS
Land Use Policy | Year: 2015

Scholars of environmental governance are increasingly intrigued by issues of scale. Efforts to institutionalise river basin management represent a pertinent exemplar, as they aspire to strengthen hydrological vis-à-vis political-administrative scales of governance. The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) is one of the most ambitious policy initiatives worldwide to reconfigure water management planning around the hydrological scale of river basins. Whilst it is widely assumed that the WFD is rescaling water governance in Europe, few empirical studies have been conducted to ascertain how far this is the case, what scalar strategies and practices are emerging and to what effect. The paper addresses these open issues with a study analysing the multi-scalar actions of water authorities, water management organisations, local authorities and interest groups involved in implementing the WFD. It investigates how stakeholders are acting scalar from the local to the European scale and back to further their interests in the course of WFD implementation, focussing on the Wupper sub-basin in Germany. Drawing for conceptual insight on the human geography debate on the politics of scale and processes of rescaling, we demonstrate how all relevant stakeholders are increasingly working across scales to advance their interests but in very different ways, with different degrees of deliberation and to different effect. A typology of multi-scalar action is developed to interpret this diversity. The paper draws conclusions on how multi-scalar action is altering not only power relations between the actors but also the scalar configurations themselves. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Moss T.,Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning IRS | Newig J.,Lüneburg University
Environmental Management | Year: 2010

Environmental governance and management are facing a multiplicity of challenges related to spatial scales and multiple levels of governance. Water management is a field particularly sensitive to issues of scale because the hydrological system with its different scalar levels from small catchments to large river basins plays such a prominent role. It thus exemplifies fundamental issues and dilemmas of scale in modern environmental management and governance. In this introductory article to an Environmental Management special feature on "Multilevel Water Governance: Coping with Problems of Scale," we delineate our understanding of problems of scale and the dimensions of scalar politics that are central to water resource management. We provide an overview of the contributions to this special feature, concluding with a discussion of how scalar research can usefully challenge conventional wisdom on water resource management. We hope that this discussion of water governance stimulates a broader debate and inquiry relating to the scalar dimensions of environmental governance and management in general. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Beveridge R.,Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning IRS | Monsees J.,Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning IRS
Water International | Year: 2012

This paper provides a comparative review of the literature on the institutional challenges and politics of IWRM, in relation to the EU's Water Framework Directive (WFD). It reveals two parallel debates with little interaction. The extent to which IWRM is actually addressed in the WFD literature is questioned, as is the assumption that developing countries can learn from WFD experiences. Finally, the mutual benefits of connecting these parallel discussions are demonstrated, especially in terms of encouraging greater sensitivity to the contingencies and complexities of water management. © 2012 Copyright 2012 International Water Resources Association.

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