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"New economic" logics and urban sustainability transitions

Authors: Longhurst, Noel; Avelino, Flor; Wittmayer, Julia; Weaver, Paul; Dumitru, Adina; Hielscher, Sabine; Cipolla, Carla; Afonso, Rita; Kunze, Iris and Elle, Morten
Publication date: 2017
Keywords: economic development, neoliberalism, new economy, sustainability transitions, urban areas

This paper argues that cities will play a critical role in any future sustainability transitions, and that the direction of such transitions will inevitably be shaped by broader, prevailing economic logics. Whilst neoliberalism has played a powerful role in shaping processes of urban development, we highlight four alternative, ‘new economic’ logics which represent fundamentally different modes of economic organization. In each case, the logics inform already existing urban experiments in transformative social innovation, leading to the creating of new patterns of (economic) relation. The growth of such experiments raises a number of important questions, including how we imagine the urban economy, and the role of social innovation in sustainability transitions.


Longhurst, N., Avelino, F., Wittmayer, J., Weaver, P., Dumitru, A., Heilscher, S., Cipolla, C., Afonso, R., Kunze, I. and Elle, M. (2017) "New economic" logics and urban sustainability transitions, (TRANSIT working paper # 8) TRANSIT: EU SSH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no: 613169.

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