Call for papers: Sustainable Transitions

RGS Planning Environment Research Group (PERG) Workshop: 25th – 26th April 2013, Exeter

This spring PERG workshop is designed to bring together those with research interests in the planning and environment field, particularly early career researchers. There is general agreement across the political divide that in the face of the important challenges of climate change and energy security, and the myriad associated economic, social, and political issues entwined with these challenges, there is a need to alter the trajectories of current sociotechnological development.

There is substantial differentiation however in relation to what particular ‘sustainable transitions’ would look like, and what policy frameworks, planning procedures, and political decisions will enable different ‘transitions’ to occur. These are central concerns for the PERG research group. Many different visions of sustainable transitions are discernible in the varied settings of the current policy landscape: in the UK context for example, there appears to be a centralisation of sustainable development policy through planning reforms such as the Planning Act 2008 and the development of National Policy Statement’s (NPS’s) as one example, whereas on the other hand, grassroots, community-led forms of transition such as Transition Towns, offer models based around different Geographical scales, technological choices, forms of public engagement, and actors involved in the transition process.

Themes for the workshop could include (but are not limited to):

• The uneven geographies of transition
• Energy choices and transition pathways
• Planning reform in a carbon constrained world
• Climate change negotiations/Geo-politics of climate change and planning
• Behavioural change and sustainable transitions
• Grassroots and community-led approaches to transition
• Sustainable development, climate change and the political
• STS and materialist approaches to sustainable transitions
• Public engagement and democratic accountability within sustainable transitions
• Household approaches to sustainable transitions
• Planning and sustainable transitions in the context of austerity.

Participants are invited to submit abstracts of no more than 250 words to either Stewart Barr ( or Philip Johnstone ( no later than February 15th 2013. For more details download the full Call for Papers.