Intermediaries and learning in sustainability-oriented urban transitions: a transdisciplinary case study from Stellenbosch Municipality

Davies, Megan Lynne (2016-03)

Thesis (MPA)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY: This thesis explores the role of intermediaries and learning in sustainability transitions at the urban scale and deploys a particular transitions perspective in a transdisciplinary case study of the Rector-Executive Mayor Forum in Stellenbosch, a major town in Stellenbosch Municipality in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The Rector-Executive Mayor Forum is an evolving governance arrangement between Stellenbosch University and Stellenbosch Municipality and demonstrates a joint response to various development- and sustainability-related challenges in the greater Stellenbosch region. A transdisciplinary methodology shaped a period of extensive embedded research as the researcher participated in the Rector-Executive Mayor Forum and its substructures, the Infrastructure Innovation Committee and the Integrated Planning Committee. The case study tracks the progression of the IIC and the IPC between August 2013 and April 2015. The perspective on sustainability transitions framing this research is formulated around the strategic centrality of cities and stresses the importance of the conceptual notions of space, intermediaries and learning therein. The concept of space refers to the geography of sustainability transition and the necessity for transition efforts to be deployed at the urban scale. The concept of intermediaries points to the appropriate structuring of governance arrangements to support socio-technical transitions. Finally, the recognition of learning stresses the importance of transformative social learning processes in orienting sustainability transitions. Overall, a comprehensive analysis of the sustainability transitions literature with special reference to space, intermediaries and learning motivates a more detailed exploration of intermediation and learning processes in particular and therefore advances a framework of urban learning to enhance this perspective. The conceptual framework of urban learning combines transition management, the Learning City and Assemblages approaches. The sustainability transitions perspective and the accompanying framework of urban learning is used to analyse the development of the Infrastructure Innovation Committee and Integrated Planning Committee’s guiding strategic documents. The outcome of this research investigation is the development of a unique sustainability transitions perspective that is complemented by a comprehensive framework of urban learning. Through the transdisciplinary case study in Stellenbosch, this is shown to be helpful in a attaining a deeper understanding of the particularities of how urban transitions unfold and how these might be stimulated, facilitated or steered towards sustainability.

AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie tesis is om ondersoek in te stel na die rol van tussengangers en onderrig in volhoubare oorgang op ‘n stedelike skaal en ontplooi veral ‘n oorgangsperspektief binne ‘n transdissiplinêre gevallestudie van die Rektor-Uitvoerende-Burgermeestersforum in die Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit in die Wes-Kaapprovinsie van Suid-Afrika. Die Rektor-Uitvoerende-Burgermeestersforum is ‘n ontwikkelende bestuursooreenkoms aangegaan tussen die Universiteit van Stellenbosch en Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit en demonstreer ‘n gesamentlike reaksie op verskeie ontwikkelings- en volhoubaarheidsverwante uitdagings binne die groter Stellenbosch-streek. ‘n Transdissiplinêre metodologie het vorm gegee aan ‘n tydperk van uitgebreide en vasgelegde navorsing deur die navorser se deelname aan die Rektor-Uitvoerende-Burgermeestersforum en die betrokke substrukture, die Infrastruktuur-Innovasiekomitee en die Geïntegreerde-Beplanningskomitee. Die gevallestudie volg die vordering van die IIK en die GBK binne die tydperk van Augustus 2013 en April 2015. Die perspektief op volhoubare oorgang wat die raamwerk van hierdie navorsing vorm, is geformuleer rondom die strategiese sentraliteit van stede en beklemtoon die belangrikheid van konseptuele idee’s van ruimte, tussengangers en onderrig binne hierdie raamwerk. Die konsep van ruimte verwys na die geografie van volhoubare oorang en die noodsaaklikheid vir oorgangspogings om ontplooi te word op die stedelike skaal. Die konsep van tussengangers verwys na die gepaste strukturering van bestuursreëlinge om sosiotegniese oorgang te ondersteun. Laastens beklemtoon die erkenning van onderrig die belangrikheid van transformerende sosiale leerprosesse in die oriëntering van volhoubare oorgang. In die geheel motiveer ‘n omvattende analise van die volhoubare-oorgangsliteratuur, met spesifieke verwysing na ruimte, tussengangers en onderrig, ‘n meer gedetailleerde verkenning van spesifiek intermediasie en leerprosesse met die gevolg dat dit ‘n raamwerk van stedelike onderrig bevorder om hierdie perspektief te bevorder. Die konseptuele raamwerk van stedelike onderrig is ‘n kombinasie van oordragsbestuur, die Learning City-benadering, asook samevoegings-/versamelingsbenaderings. Die perspektief op volhoubare oordrag en die gepaardgaande raamwerk van stedelike onderrig word gebruik om die ontwikkeling van die Infrastruktuur-Innovasiekomitee en die Geïntegreerde-Beplanningskomitee se strategiese voorligtingsdokumente te analiseer. Die uitkoms van hierdie navorsingsondersoek handel oor die ontwikkeling van ‘n eiesoortige volhoubaarheidsoordragsperspektief wat deur ‘n omvattende raamwerk van stedelike onderrig aangevul word. Deur die transdissiplinêre gevallestudie op Stellenbosch, blyk dit nuttig te wees om ‘n beter begrip te verkry van hoe stedelike oordrag in die besonder ontvou en hoe dit gestimuleer, gefasiliteer of in die rigting van volhoubaarheid gestuur kan word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98710
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