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Accelerating and Rescaling Transitions to Sustainability

Final Report Summary - ARTS (Accelerating and Rescaling Transitions to Sustainability)

Executive Summary:
The research in the ARTS project responds to two societal challenges: First, it supports governance in city-regions by revealing how transition initiatives source, mobilize and instrumentalise resources to realise and scale sustainable solutions.
Second, it contributes to the understanding of transformative and societal governance processes that play out in making European city-regions more sustainable and socially inclusive through the scaling of transition initiatives. The ARTS research contributes to ongoing academic debates by unpacking the dynamics of governance for transitions to sustainability.
The ARTS project created a multitude of dialogue spaces for knowledge sharing and knowledge co-production including scientists, communities and local governments. A key finding is that open dialogues involving engaged citizens should be promoted from the outset, before policies are drafted and ideas fixed. Local authorities should actively seek to engage with local transition initiatives. This openness for collaboration and mutual learning entails a re-definition of the role of civil servants. Local governments should pursue an “open door policy” and encourage initiatives to interact with them.
WP2 created an analytical framework for investigating acceleration and scaling dynamics. It is based on the diffusion of transition initiatives as well as mapping the institutional context in which these operate. The framework identifies and describes five mechanisms –upscaling, replicating, partnering, instrumentalising and embedding.
WP3 served to develop knowledge about the history and current status of transition initiatives in each of the five case study city-regions, to then convene local stakeholders, discuss transition ideas with them and develop acceleration strategies. These efforts included identifying transition challenges in each region and understanding the characteristics, interactions, drivers and opportunities for transition initiatives to act as motors of low-carbon sustainable transitions.
WP4 developed a new type of modelling instrument to support transition initiatives and other actors to explore different transition acceleration strategies. The scaling mechanisms and acceleration strategies formed the basis for the basic model structure. Regional models were then refined and validated through participatory sessions with the transition initiatives. Finally, the models were used as an interactive exploration tool in participatory learning environments.
WP5 facilitated direct knowledge transfer between research, (local) policy, business and practice in the five transition regions through a strategic engagement process. It has provided real life laboratories for developing scientific theoretical insights and policy-relevant knowledge. This has been secured by a step-wise process including stakeholders mapping, convening workshops on the histories and acceleration dynamic of transition initiatives, and identifying strategies for acceleration at the city-region level and co-producing acceleration roadmaps.
WP6 has led efforts related to knowledge brokerage and social learning by disseminating and valorising the knowledge and experiences produced in all other WPs; synthesising and communicating project results, making them relevant to local communities and policy-makers; advancing self-reflective learning and stimulating public debate on social innovation through transition initiatives; and informing future implementation frameworks for sustainability and low-carbon policies on the local, national and the EU level.
WP7 oversaw the development of a transdisciplinary methodology that was the backbone of the entire project. It also assembled two advisory bodies (the Academic Transition Platform and the Academic Leadership Board) for webinars and reviews to gather feedback on the ARTS research process. Additionally, WP7 coordinated scientific dissemination activities including presentations and keynotes at top-level conferences and global policy fora.
Project Context and Objectives:
Project context and objectives

Cities are places where sustainable solutions emerge and get tested, showing the production of sustainable solutions is a multi-actor process. The recent decade we empirically observed the progress of different city-regions from a phase of emerging experimentations, supporting and learning from community-based initiatives on sustainability and to, perhaps, the acceleration phase, in which innovations start to generate major impacts, new social networks are created and the dynamics of change differ from the earlier phases, which are focused on nurturing innovations within protective spaces. In these contexts, there is a policy relevant question on‚ how to move beyond seeding of experiments and activation of community for sustainability action. In many city-regions across Europe, there is a critical mass of community initiatives taking up action, and policy-led experiments that appear effective in setting up sustainability solutions. Civil-society initiatives and initiatives led by other urban actors, are more driven by practice missions and being service oriented than driven by ideology. Against this context, it reasonates to examine local agents of change like civil society to examine how sustainability in practice can further be diffused and integrated in the life of cities. There is however limited understanding on the processes in place when these transition initiatives from community, policy, businesses and partnerships of those are taken up or transferred beyond the community that created, facilitated and nurtrured them. The question our research project is set to respond to is how these locally based transition initiatives contribute in accelerating sustainability transitions. In this way, a more insightful view on the ways these transition initiatives affect urban reality and governance (by investigating their impact in polity, policy and politics) will be understood.

Additionally, sustainable solutions can be very local, attuned to local needs and socio-economic conditions that make their transfer to other contexts a challenging process. There is an interest on how to transfer and translate the lessons learnt, approaches and concepts from those initiatives beyond local contexts and across institutional levels. An understanding of the context-led and agency-led conditions that enable and hinder these processes can inform governance decisions and instruments to support accelerating transitions in city-regions. A city-regional perspective in understanding civil society initiatives and movements can explain how sustainability transitions are triggered and facilitated. These developments therefore call for further analysis of these acceleration dynamics. The ARTS research contributes to on-going debates on the topic of scaling and transferring of sustainable solutions for sustainability science, sustainability transitions studies and urban governance. Sustainability science and sustainability transitions’ studies examine how technological innovations diffuse across geographical scales, whereas the way social, ecological and governance innovations diffuse across geographical and governance scales is under-conceptualised. Sustainability transitions studies offers a conceptualization on the overarching/expected dynamics in the phase post-seeding or post-experimentation of sustainable solutions: the acceleration phase of sustainability transitions that was underconceptualised. The ARTS project stood up to the challenge to provide an agency-based conceptualisation of the acceleration dynamics of sustainability transitions from a cross-comparative analysis of evidence based knowledge co-produced in five city-regions in Europe.

The research in the ARTS project responds to two societal challenges: First it contributes to the understanding of the governance processes that play out in making European cities more sustainable and socially inclusive. In ARTS inclusivity has been raised as an issue as transformative change processes initiated by a small group of frontrunners need to be accelerated through broad societal engagement creating momentum, legitimisation and opportunities for collective learning and problem-solving. Hence, inclusivity in the context of accelerating transitions needs to go beyond social inclusion in the sense of overcoming segregation or including the marginalized. It also needs to account for political inclusivity so as to include those affected by decisions into the decision-making-process, however, not in a sense of formal decisions but rather in the sense of co-shaping and co-directing transformative change processes, including but not exclusively enabling transition initiatives’ ingenuity, and empowerment.

Second, it contributes to good governance in cities by revealing how transition initiatives source, mobilize and instrumentalise resources so as to realise and scale sustainable solutions and in relation to this, which policies and governance practices enable or inhibit their actions. For the development of innovative ideas or the localisation of sustainable solutions transition initiatives require spaces to interact, debate and connect with other innovators and resourceful actors of the city. Local governments offer formal spaces of interaction for example through public consultations, and many local initiatives take it upon themselves to organise meetings for like-minded people. However, our research shows that existing spaces for interaction are not enough. Public consultations often focus on discussing a very specific issue or even merely on consulting an already pre-defined solution, while sustainability-themed meetings tend to attract only the usual suspects. We therefore advocate the creation of new institutional spaces and interfaces in which actors from the public, private and third sector can come together. This would allow for new ideas to emerge and contribute to the establishment of new partnerships for urban sustainability transitions, bridging sectors and domains. Such new ideas and partnerships can provide a boost in creativity for local governance and economy. These new institutional spaces need to be open and facilitated in a flexible way. Only in this way will they tap into current developments in the city and be democratic spaces of sustainability, meaning transparent, self-organised and open to all. The establishment of new spaces for interaction represent a challenge for local governments that need to develop their capacities to act as mediators, translators and network facilitators.

The ARTS project created a multitude of dialogue spaces for knowledge sharing and knowledge co-production including scientists, communities and local governments. In this active and co-creating interactions, we connected science to policy and practice and enabled debates on good governance and new forms of participation in cities’ sustainable present and future. Due to our research with the ARTS project we conclude that open dialogues involving entrepreneurial and engaged citizens (of the transition initiatives) should be promoted from the very beginning, before policy drafts are formulated and policy ideas become already “fixed” to some extent. Local public authorities should actively seek to engage with local transition initiatives. This openness for collaboration and mutual learning entails a re-definition of the role of civil servant, including skills, competences and professional expectations. Local governments should pursue an “open door policy” and encourage transition initiatives to interact with the administration.


The overall objective of WP 2 was to elaborate an analytical framework for investigating acceleration dynamics based on activities of local transition initiatives as well as mapping the institutional context in which transition initiatives operate. This was in order to identify the ways that transition initiatives spread new ways of doing, thinking and organizing at multiple scales and across domains, to illustrate the role of different institutional contexts for transition initiatives and finally to enhance transition theory based on empirical findings within the project.

Based on transition literature a comprehensive analytical framework was developed, in which five mechanisms – namely upscaling, replicating, partnering, instrumentalising and embedding – were identified and described. These mechanisms were studied (WP3), modelled (WP4) and discussed with local stakeholders (WP5). The framework explicitly addressed two understudied aspects in transition theory through introducing an agency perspective and a multi-level governance perspective (from local over national to European).

Hence, the institutional context in five European countries – namely Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Sweden and UK – as well as the European context were mapped. This mapping created the basis for studying the interactions of transition initiatives with their multi-level context (WP3), for modelling these interactions (WP4) and for discussing the role of context with stakeholders in (WP5).

The outcomes from all five transition regions (Brighton, Budapest, Dresden, Genk, Stockholm) were fed back in WP2 for a cross case analysis on both the acceleration mechanisms and the interactions with the multi-level context. Based on this analysis the project advanced the transition theory debate through a conceptual underpinning of the acceleration phase in transition processes.


WP3 had three headline objectives: identify transition initiatives in each region; analyse the development of selected initiatives; and identify and understand what enables or hinders acceleration of each initiative.

In more detail, the overall purpose of WP3 was to develop knowledge about the history and current status of specific transition initiatives in each of the five case study city-regions and then use this research to convene local stakeholders, discuss transition ideas with them and then help develop acceleration strategies. It aimed to analyse the dynamics of each transition region with a focus on understanding the characteristics, interactions, drivers and opportunities for these initiatives to act as motors of low-carbon sustainable transitions. The engagement with practitioners from different transition initiatives in the project aimed to explore synergies, diversity, feedback and power issues so as to help develop and realize potentials for partnering and re-scaling. This in turn would lead to a better understanding of the processes of acceleration, achieving inclusivity while accelerating, and realizing complementarities and synergies while not losing context-specificity and diversity. In later stages of the project WP3 would translate knowledge and lessons to help develop strategies for acceleration among transition initiatives. Engagement with transition practitioners would help identify opportunities and also the hurdles that need to be overcome in a multi-level governance landscape.

Task 3.1 Identification of transition initiatives, drawing on insights and knowledge base of WP2, and developing common selection criteria.

Task 3.2 Background research on identified transition initiatives, developing a methodology to map the agency dynamics in terms of strategies, motives and politics for each initiative and the methodology then to be applied in each transition region

Task 3.3 In-depth analysis of dynamics and contexts of each transition initiative This involves in-depth interviews with key actors in the networks of existing transition initiatives, also used to identify potential participants for forward-looking research in WPs 4 and 5

Task 3.4 Preparation for forward-looking transition acceleration strategies involving engagement with practitioners to identify opportunities that were historically beneficial and where opportunities might come from in future. Dedicated workshops would help better understand dynamics and identify stakeholders, processes and issues for acceleration agendas of initiatives.


ARTS WP4 set out to develop new types of modelling instruments to support TIs and other actors to assess the potential of different transition acceleration strategies they could follow. A starting point was the aim to be really useful for TIs, governments, and other ARTS researchers in helping to gain further insights about acceleration dynamics and strategies. Thus, the modelling work was positioned in such a way as to allow ample interactions among models, modellers, ARTS case study researchers and stakeholders involved.

The envisioned approach was based on a clear logic. A first objective (Task 4.1) was to identify (portfolios of) candidate acceleration strategies from the transdisciplinary work in WP3. The aim was to deduct and synthesize the knowledge gained from the case study analysis (Task 3.4) and make it available for the further modelling work. Two strands of knowledge had therefore to be extracted. First on acceleration dynamics, to understand how TIs develop in interaction with each other and the governance context they are embedded in, and the dynamic processes underlying these developments. Second on acceleration strategies, to understand which options TIs have to pursue acceleration of the sustainability transition in their city-region. A second objective (Task 4.2) was to design models with which such dynamics and strategies could be assessed. Here, the ambition was to develop a ‘meta’ or ‘generic’ model structure, and realize five different instances of this meta-model based on the empirical data from the transition regions. These preliminary versions of the models were to be refined and validated through participatory sessions with initiative representatives. The third objective (Task 4.3) was to use the validated models as an interactive exploration tool during subsequent participatory learning environments to assess the potential of strategies for enabling acceleration in the different ARTS case study regions. Concretely, the aim was to support the stakeholder workshops to generate strategies for acceleration envisioned under Task 5.3.


WP5 has been responsible for the trans-disciplinary ambitions of the project by leading and coordinating the work in the five selected transition regions (TRs) where a strategic engagement process has enabled a direct knowledge transfer between research, (local) policy, business and practice and also provided real life laboratories for developing scientific theoretical insights and policy-relevant knowledge. The five TRs studied; Brighton, Genk, Dresden, Budapest and Stockholm, all in different ways show early signs of acceleration dynamics and experience the tensions addressed in the project. A solid foundation for applying theoretical and conceptual research (WP2-4) as aimed for within the project, required long-term, continuous and strategic engagement with the case study governance context and especially its actors. This has been secured by a step-wise process including an initial mapping of stakeholders with interest in engaging in acceleration research and continuously interactions with them (T5.1) convening workshops mapping the histories and acceleration dynamic of local TIs as well as identifying strategies for acceleration at the city-region level (T5.2-3) and co-producing acceleration roadmaps together with stakeholders (T5.4). The work of WP5 has been closely linked to the tasks of WP3 of case study design and methodology. To enable a multi-level, poly-centric approach to accelerate low-carbon, sustainability transitions based on all five study regions (T5.5) a global approach was adopted where all regions followed the same engagement procedure, however with adaptations to local contexts.


The WP6 had 4 interrelated objectives related to knowledge brokerage and social learning:
a) Disseminate and valorise the knowledge and experiences produced in all other WPs;
b) Synthesise and communicate project results, making them relevant to local communities and policy-makers across Europe;
c) Advance self-reflective learning and stimulate public debate on social innovation through transition initiatives;
d) Inform future implementation frameworks for sustainability and low-carbon policies on the local, national and the EU level.

The objectives have been reached by implementing 8 tasks listed below:
6.1 Project conferences: 2 editions of Informed Cities Fora
6.2 Dialogue workshops: 5 Transition Talk workshops
6.3 Citizen bloggers: 5 local blogs reporting from each of the ARTS regions
6.4 Engagement with local arts and culture scene: 5 cooperation projects
6.5 Policy briefs: 6 Transition Reads published
6.6 Connectors Network: establishment of online networking platform
6.7 Factsheets: 6 easy-to-read thematic factsheets published
6.8 Final conference: strong link with synergy projects, including TESS and PATHWAYS

WP6 played also key role in sharing the questions and results of the ARTS project with other projects, partners and networks, building strong foundations for wider sharing and further development of the ARTS outcomes.


The objectives of WP7 are to ensure and facilitate the fruitful and smooth interaction between partners, work packages, and external partners such as a partner from the SSH.2013.2.1-1 project; ensure the delivery of top-level scientific quality and further academic excellence; monitor the scientific dissemination and delivery of the consortium; and manage internal knowledge management and stimulate formal and informal sharing and collaboration between researchers and ensure gender balance.

The coordinator of the project lead and oversaw the development of a transdisciplinary methodology that was the backbone of the entire project, with a step-by-step methodology architecture development to guide the case study and cross-case comparative work as well as the engagement in the transition regions with policy and community actors. The assembly of the Academic Transition Platform was a successful forum that reviewed and stayed very critical and constructive to the research methodology and the research deliverables of the ARTS project.

The scientific dissemination activities coordinated from WP7 included presentations and keynotes of the scientific coordinator in various fora throughout the lifetime of the project. Overall there were 15 keynote presentations in top-level conferences and in city policy for a. Indicatively we present those with the larger audiences.
Project Results:
3.1. WP2

Description of activities undertaken
General activities/specific meetings for WP2
o Working Meeting in Brighton (March 2014): During the first period of the project, the ARTS WP2 and WP3 teams convened twice to work collaboratively in Tasks 2.1 2.2 and 3.1. The first meeting was in Brighton, on 13 March 2014. In this meeting participated the following: Niki Frantzeskaki (DRIFT), Felix Spira (DRIFT), Hans-Martin Neumann (AIT), Markus Egermann (IOER), Rachael Durrant (SPRU) and Florian Kern (SPRU).
o Working Meeting in Brussels (May 2014): In this second meeting, the ARTS WP2 and WP3, WP4 and WP5 teams convened to work collaboratively in Tasks 2.1 2.2 and 3.1 in Brussels, on 26-27 May 2014. In this meeting participated the following: Niki Frantzeskaki (DRIFT), Felix Spira (DRIFT), Hans-Martin Neumann (AIT), Markus Egermann (IOER), Franziska Ehnert (IOER), Sara Borgstrom (SRC), Leen Gorissen (VITO), Erika Meiers (VITO), Maria Borocz (SZIEGAK), Csaba Fogarassy (SZIEGAK), Rachael Durrant (SPRU), Florian Kern (SPRU) and Ugo Guarnacci (EC).
o First partner meeting in Budapest (September 2014): Discussion on the analytical framework and briefing for the governance context mapping during the first partner meeting in Budapest.
o Research workshop in Dresden (February 2015): In this meeting we further developed the analytical framework for acceleration dynamics and formulated first hypothesis on mechanisms. It was attended by Markus Egermann (IOER), Niki Franziskaki (DRIFT) and Florian Kern (SPRU).
o Informed Cities Forum 2015 (March 2015): Presentation and discussion of identified/formulated acceleration mechanisms during the ICF in Rotterdam.
o Second partner meeting (June 2015): Internal discussion of the analytical framework for acceleration dynamics at the 2nd partner meeting in Genk.
o Informed Cities Forum 2016 (June 2016): Presentation and discussion of findings on the five acceleration mechanisms during the ICF in Dresden.

Task 2.1 Developing the analytical framework and selection criteria to investigate transition initiatives
o Definition of Transition Initiatives: The overarching definition of the transition initiatives, as we had it in the proposal, was further enriched to include two characteristics: initiatives are about collective action and are locally responsive. We agreed upon considering private, public, social initiatives in order to include business-driven local initiatives as well.
o Glossary of Terms: A glossary of terms and definitions that will enrich the definitions we had in the proposal has been constructed to openly conceptualise the following terms: transition initiatives, transition strategy, acceleration phase and acceleration dynamics
o Inventory of characteristics of transition initiatives: An inventory of characteristics that feeds in the analytical framework was elaborated. A first version was to be shared in February 2014 and fine-tuned in March 2014. The final version of the inventory of characteristics (in Excel) was given to the Transition Region Leaders in April 2014.
o WP2-WP4 Interactions: The inventory in its first version {WP2 - March 2014 version} informed the conceptual modelling work and the first ‘dummy model’ that was developed in April 2014 and provided inputs about the form and content of the inventory.
o WP2-WP5 Interactions I: The analytical framework to study the initiatives {Deliverable D.2.1} informed the way the inventories of initiatives were compiled for every Transition Region {Deliverable D.5.1} including information about their characteristics.
o WP2-WP5 Interactions II: The inventory was further tailored to the empirical reality in the Transition Regions. In March 2014 Niki Frantzeskaki communicated with Sara Borgstrom (WP5 Leader) to work together for the inventory mapping.
o Selection criteria: The selection criteria for choosing transition initiatives in all five transition regions were defined and included in the application guide that describes the implementation of the analytical framework (D2.1) by transition region teams in WP5.
o Final analytical framework: The analytical framework (D2.1) was submitted in January 2015. It constituted an important precondition for the starting of the empirical work in the five Transition Regions. It included a step-by-step procedure that guided researchers through the empirical phase of the project (WP3).

Task 2.2 Mapping the governance context of transition regions
o Conceptual model to define the context: A first version of the conceptual model that examines the governance context of transition regions was developed by Markus Egermann and the WP2 team {Florian Kern, Gordon MacKerron, Felix Spira and Niki Frantzeskaki} in March 2014 and was further enriched to a first draft version in April 2014. The Draft of the conceptual report was ready for internal discussion and work by end of April 2014 and was reworked in the May 2014 Brussels working meeting.
o Definition of boundaries: Part of the conceptual development for identifying the governance context dynamics was to conceptualise the boundary between initiatives and their context in the phase of acceleration. ‘What makes an initiative and what its context?’ was one of the questions guiding the conceptual development.
o WP2-WP3-WP5 Interactions: As part of the conceptual framework {Deliverable D.2.2}, WP2 team to developed an application guide {D2.1} to inform and coach every Transition Region team to collect the information needed and to analyse the governance context dynamics of its Transition Region. The application guide was ready in August 2014. The application guide {D2.1was the basis for analyzing the institutional context of every transition region by the respective transition region research team and deliver an analysis report {Deliverable D.2.3 and Milestone MS 13}. Simply: Every transition region team applied the conceptual framework (using the application guide) to examine governance context dynamics in two steps: (a) create an inventory of policies, institutions and incentives (Milestone MS 13) and (b) analyse the governance/institutional context dynamics in a regional report (Deliverable D.2.3).
o WP2-WP3 feedback loops: The first version of the conceptual framework of acceleration dynamics was enriched, adapted and tested with the work of WP3 on zooming-in into the dynamics of the initiatives.
o WP2-WP3-WP5 Interactions: The application guide based on the analytical framework {D.2.1} in combination of the conceptual model on acceleration dynamics {D3.1} helped the Transition Region research teams to zoom-in their regions and the identified initiatives and to examine the characteristics of the transition initiatives in their (governance) context {Deliverables D.3.2 and D.3.3}.
o Governance context mapping executed: The governance context mapping for all five Transition Regions was executed (D.2.3). The report covers the relevant policies, politics and the polity of the common EU, as well as the transnational and case-specific national and subnational contexts in which each of the Transition Region is embedded. The report served as important background information and guided some empirical work with regard to the fifth mechanism (instrumentalising) that covers the relation of local transitions initiatives and the wider context.

Task 2.3 Formulating hypothesis on conditions and mechanisms of sustainable acceleration
o Decision on hypothesis: We decided not to work with the term ‘hypothesis’ explicitly, but identified and formulated five mechanisms that potentially contribute to acceleration (upscaling, replicating, coupling, embedding, instrumentalising). These potential mechanisms and their role for accelerating transitions were identified based on a literature review that examined the following branches: transition studies, transformative agency and urban governance literature. They served as input and guiding perspective for the empirical work in all Transition Regions.
o Cross case comparison on mechanisms: Based on a comparative analysis of acceleration mechanisms in the five case study regions (studied in WP3) we identified specific characteristics (dynamics, conditions, obstacles, opportunities) with regard to every studied mechanism. We could divide those characteristics that are common across the cases from those that are specific to the individual regions.
o Cross case comparison on governance context: Based on a comparative analysis of the findings regarding the governance contexts (especially on the mechanism instrumentalising) we could identify common characteristics across the five different national states as well as specific conditions in each state (Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Sweden and UK).
o Refine the conceptual framework: Based on both cross case comparisons we refined and adjusted our initial conceptual framework.

Description of results
Task 2.1 Developing the analytical framework and selection criteria to investigate transition initiatives
o Definitions and glossary of terms for the key terminology of the project
o Selection criteria to select transition initiatives in the five transition regions
o Analytical framework including an application guide on how to study acceleration mechanisms

Task 2.2 Mapping the governance context of transition regions
o Conceptual framework that defines the unit of analysis, the case and the context
o Detailed reports on the governance contexts in Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Sweden and UK

Task 2.3 Formulating hypothesis on conditions and mechanisms of sustainable acceleration
o Hypothesis on five acceleration mechanisms (upscaling, replicating, coupling, embedding, instrumentalising)
o Cross case findings (report) on the five acceleration mechanisms
o Cross case findings (report) on the governance context
o Advanced conceptual underpinning of the acceleration phase of transition processes

3.2. WP3

Task 3.1 Identification of transition initiatives
The first task was to identify relevant transition initiatives in each of the five city-regions. This drew on the insights and knowledge base established in WP2. All city-region teams as well as DRIFT contributed to the process of defining the criteria for inclusion of initiatives. In this process we decided to include initiatives which were led or initiated by civil society, business or local governments but which had to be locally-based and be engaged with one or more of the domains in which the project was interested. The initiatives had to aim to change services, routines, approaches, practices and/or infrastructure towards environmental sustainability. We excluded initiatives that were entirely internal to either businesses or local Government or were ‘branches’ of geographically (often nationally) based initiatives. A finding common to all five city-regions was that the majority of these initiatives were led from civil society.
In Brighton, the team used internet sources, accessed website and Facebook pages of known initiatives, used Google to find more initiatives, attended relevant local meetings and conducted six interviews with ‘helicopter’ informants (people who could take an overview of relevant initiatives in the city-region.)
In Budapest, the team used similar methods to the other city-regions, including desktop research, used pre-existing contacts with relevant initiatives, and engaged in ‘snowballing’ to find other initiatives.
In Dresden, the team undertook desk-top research via the internet and available documentation, held an internal expert workshop at IOER with knowledgeable scientists, and conducted interviews with key ‘helicopter’ informants who had overarching knowledge.
In Genk, the team also engaged in desktop research and in addition held a workshop with civil servants and conducted interviews with local ‘helicopter’ viewers with wide-ranging local knowledge.
In Stockholm, the team held a workshop with key actors including consultants, regional officials, educational specialists and a network of initiatives; conducted a survey of 66 known actors; undertook a desktop study; and conducted three interviews with key ‘helicopter’ informants.
In Brighton, almost 100 initiatives were identified from the three sectors (civil society, business and local administrations). They covered all the sustainability domains that the project was interested in – energy, mobility, food , water, waste, resource management, nature, built environment and education.
In Budapest, almost 60 initiatives were identified, covering the following domains: biodiversity and ecosystem services, resource efficiency, mobility, energy consumption and supply and the built urban environment.
In Dresden, more than 100 initiatives were identified from the three sectors, covering domains of food production and consumption, building and urban development, mobility, energy, biodiversity protection and environmental education
In Genk, around 90 initiatives were identified and covered mostly low-carbon domains: food, nature restoration and/or conservation, resource management and education
In Stockholm 53 initiatives were identified, a quarter of which had multi-actor leadership, had operated at district or lower level within the city, and two-thirds targeted multiple domains. From these, 31 were selected for consideration for in-depth study.

Task 3.2 Background research on identified transition initiatives
In order to be able to conduct background research on the initiatives identified, all of the project teams as well as DRIFT developed a multi-level analytical framework in order to allow analysis of the multi-level governance context of the transition initiatives that were to be studies in greater depth. This was particularly designed to assist in analysing the agency dynamics in terms of strategies, motives and politics for each initiative (these were a subset of the population of initiatives identified in Task 3.1.).
In addition, the project team as a whole developed a detailed interview guide that could be used as a common basis for studying initiatives in depth. Each city-region team then undertook studies of the local and wider governance contexts.
Each team used the multi-level framework to identify local governance patterns in the context of wider environmental policy frameworks at regional (where appropriate), national and EU contexts. In Brighton the local governance context was characterised by weak local political power and a complicated range of overlapping governance actors. There were some clear variations: in particular the Dresden and Budapest reports took particular account of the issues that arose from the transition from socialist to democratic societies. In the case of Dresden there had been changes in the more recent past towards a less favourable local governance context due to growing political conservatism, although there were stronger local powers available in Dresden than Brighton. In Genk the local governance context was largely favourable, with the local political administration giving a strong lead in relation to environmental sustainability. In Stockholm, a large city and dominant in the Swedish context, there are some favourable and some unfavourable local governance patterns, but some clear co-ordination problems as the city is divided into 26 municipalities.

Task 3.3 In-depth analysis of the dynamics and contexts of each transition initiative
Each city-region team selected a subset of the population of initiatives to study in depth. They were guided by criteria that included: a coverage of a significant number of the sustainability domains in which the project was interested; the degree of novelty that the initiative represented in its local context; and coverage, where possible, of initiatives led by all three relevant sectors (civil society, business and local Government).
In all five cases, the teams were interested to identify the existence and strength of the five acceleration mechanisms that the project had identified as potentially critical ingredients of acceleration: these were upscaling, replicating, coupling (or partnering, in later project usage), embedding and instrumentalising. A common interview guide, using semi-structured methods, was applied across all city-regions
In Brighton, 11 initiatives were chosen for in-depth study, covering all domains of interest and all representing some significant degree of novelty in the local context. Most were led from civil society but business and local government-led initiatives were included. 27 interviews took place, almost all face to face: 22 with initiative members and five were with helicopter individuals.
In Budapest 10 initiatives were chosen for in-depth study, all of which focussed on one or more domains, appeared to show resiliency and creativity within the local context and represented a broad range of civil initiatives, community groups and businesses.
In Dresden, 15 initiatives were chosen for in depth analysis and a total of 27 interviews were conducted, involving 41 individuals involved with these initiatives. These covered a wide range of domains and were primarily civil society led.
In Genk, 19 interviews were held with relevant actors as a major part of in-depth study, involving 31 individuals. All domains were included in the selection of initiatives to study.
In Stockholm, 19 interviews took place, 14 with initiative members, and in several cases there was more than one initiative member in attendance. 5 interviews were conducted with helicopter viewers plus 4 further such interviews at a later stage.
The city-region teams were able to use background research and in-depth, mostly interview-based, analysis, to create a distilled vision of locally-based challenges, opportunities and potential acceleration points. All five teams found evidence of all five acceleration mechanisms to varying extents. Upscaling was frequently, though not universally, sought and had often been achieved, but there were instances of ‘downscaling’ in several cases, usually involuntary. Replication as found to a limited extent, but this was partly because our definition of replication (excluding replication involving initiatives located outside the city-region) was restrictive and there was substantial evidence out-of-region replication. Coupling (or partnering) was a very widespread strategy. Coupling took place in both formal and informal ways and could be either short-term and for a specific purpose, or longer-term and less specifically-focussed. Embedding was also a common finding though not sought by all initiatives, while instrumentalising was usually sought wherever opportunities presented themselves, and this varies across the city-regions quite substantially. An important common finding was that progress toward sustainability was highly uneven across domains.
There were of course specificities and variations between the city-regions. In Brighton, non-local replication was found to be of much greater significance than purely local replication, and overall non-local factors were strongly influential in determining progress being achieved. The domain of food showed the strongest capacity to advance the environmental sustainability agenda. In Budapest, initiatives were mainly in the civil society sector. Many were engaged in upscaling, and coupling was often observed: however there was limited contact between initiatives and the municipality. In Dresden, upscaling was identified as two-fold, broadening the basis of an initiative while also bringing significant organisational challenges. ‘Dis-embedding’ was sometimes observed along with embedding. In Genk, local Government was active, as well as civil society-led initiatives. The municipality was active in creating an enabling environment for institutional innovation and citizen empowerment. Co-operation was a dominant acceleration dynamic. In Stockholm, analysis provided a deeper understanding of the regional context for initiatives and provided the first step in engagement on this wider geographical scale.
The project was also interested in the issue of inclusivity in relation to acceleration dynamics. Evidence about inclusivity varied between regions quite significantly. In Brighton for example, some initiatives had inclusivity as a core value while three out of the 11 studied had not been concerned with inclusivity at all. In Dresden it was observed that while individual initiatives might not be concerned with inclusivity, needing elite actors to move processes forward, the overall process of acceleration needs to be inclusive, looked at across all initiatives.

Task 3.4 Preparation for forward-looking transition acceleration strategies
All city-region teams organised workshops to bring together a wide range of actors from the initiatives identified (often including representatives from initiatives that had not been subject to in-depth study) in order to help develop acceleration strategies. The workshops and their outputs are described below in WP5, but in preparation for these a number of possible strategies were identified by the teams in collaboration with initiatives.
Possible strategies included activities that were specific to particular initiatives as well as those that would require more concerted action. Broad strategic approaches included development of trust-building and translation between different actors with individual ‘transition entrepreneurs as key figures, and consideration of the options, in the context of embedding, of ‘fit and conform’ and ‘stretch and transform’.

3.3. WP4

Description of activities undertaken (overall + per task)
An overview of the activities of WP4 under each task can be found in Table 1.
Task 4.1. Identification of strategies and instruments for transition acceleration
The first task materialised as a framing of the acceleration dynamics and strategies from a conceptual modelling perspective (see ARTS deliverable 4.1). It provided ample focus on the dynamics of acceleration, framing the conceptual and empirical work from a systems perspective to provide a basis for the further modelling work. To this end, we developed Causal Loop Diagrams (CLDs) that capture the major internal dynamics (i.e. user/member dynamics) as well as their interactions with the city-regional context of a Single Transition Initiative (STI). Based on a preliminary generic version of STI model, we framed acceleration dynamics in each region, and finally created a final generic STI model capturing dynamics that were broadly shared among regions. Concerning the strategies, this task zoomed in on the activities TIs undertake, for which the empirical basis provided clear evidence. We analysed the ways these activities would impact the acceleration dynamics in the city-regional system, thereby further operationalising the concept of acceleration from a complementary modelling perspective. To this end, we drew from the concept of leverage points of a system. Here, acceleration strategies are perceived as (sets of) activities that are undertaken to influence specific leverage points in the STI model to drive the different acceleration mechanisms of upscaling, replicating, coupling, embedding and instrumentalising.
Task 4.2. Model development to support strategy assessment through participatory learning environments
The second task, model design, resulted in two main components. The first component is constituted by the CLDs developed under deliverable 4.1. Besides being instrumental to the further model development, the CLDs also proved valuable on their own as tools to support the discussion on acceleration strategies. The second component is the agent-based Multiple Transition Initiative (MTI) model developed under task 4.2 and described in ARTS deliverable 4.2. This quantitative model allows for a further exploration of the interactions among transition initiatives, under different city-regional contexts, and with different levels and types of available support. Surveys were sent out to the regional case-study teams to generate as much as possible (qualitative) data to customize the MTI model to specific regional contexts. Both components were integrated in a gaming format in which the MTI model was implemented as a simulation game, with the generic STI model functioning as a discussion support tool.
Task 4.3. Assessing the acceleration potential of strategies, mechanisms and instruments
The third task, model application in participatory learning environments, materialised again in two main interlinked parts. We first applied the CLDs and the MTI model in interactive gaming sessions with ARTS researchers and key stakeholders following the format developed under task 4.2. Gaming workshops were carried out in the city-regions of Genk, Dresden, Stockholm and Brighton, and at the Informed Cities Forum 2016 in Dresden and were consequently evaluated by the participants. These workshops provided vibrant learning environments to explore possible acceleration dynamics and strategies to trigger such dynamics. Moreover, these sessions allowed us to better define the different types of acceleration strategies observed in practice. Second, we analysed different types of acceleration strategies more in-depth through a series of ‘layered’ model experiments. In this layered approach, we started the assessment from single TI activities – like ‘outreach’ and ‘awareness raising’ - as basic building blocks of acceleration strategies, and added layers of complexity through analysing the effect of additional activities, different mixes of activities and changes in the city-regional context. Building on these generic insights and the results from our case-study analyses, we then designed MTI model experiments tailored to address specific issues of relevance in the different case study regions.
Table 1. Overview of WP4 activities per task.
Task Activities
4.1 • Analysis of the findings from the empirical work performed under WP3 as input for the modelling work via the development of qualitative models under task 4.2.
• Drafting the application guide Step 7 “Analysis of the potential acceleration strategies” which was used by the regional case study teams as a template for compiling a list of relevant strategies observed during the regional case studies.
• Develop a typology of acceleration strategies based on the concept of leverage points of a system. Here, acceleration strategies are perceived as (sets of) activities that are undertaken to influence specific concepts in the STI model to drive the different acceleration mechanisms of upscaling, replicating, coupling, embedding and instrumentalising.
4.2 • Develop a 1st version generic Single Transition Initiative (STI) model (Causal Loop Diagram - CLD) based on the ARTS conceptual framework.
• Develop a suite of case-specific STI models (CLD).
• Develop a final version of a generic STI model (CLD).
• Develop a Multiple Transition Initiative (MTI) model (Agent-Based Model – ABM).
• Survey to the regional case-study teams to customize the MTI model to specific regional contexts.
• Developing a gaming format to implement the MTI model as a simulation game.
4.3 • Carrying out serious gaming sessions in the city-regions of Genk, Dresden, Stockholm and Brighton, and at the Informed Cities Forum 2016 in Dresden. Participants’ experiences were collected using an evaluation questionnaire.
• Perform a generic MTI model-based analysis of acceleration strategies through a layered simulation approach.
• Design case-study specific model experiments

Description of results
The work presented under Task 4.1 has primarily been instrumental to the further modelling work and the development of acceleration roadmaps. The concrete results (CLDs, strategy typology) are a basis upon which the MTI model design could be based, and are a first step towards a systemic view on acceleration strategies. One of the added values of this modelling process is that it required us to frame dynamics in an unambiguous way, with precise definitions of concepts and influences. This provided a systematic basis for integrating insights on similar - yet subtly different - dynamics across case-study regions in a generic model and further supported the discussion within the ARTS research team to streamline the conceptual framework.
The CLDs provide a concise summary of the complex realities observed and described as part of the ARTS empirical analysis. As such, they have been used in the gaming workshops as discussion tools to support dialogue among ARTS researchers and the wider stakeholder community. Moreover, the regional influence diagrams and the analysis of regional acceleration strategies offers a systematic basis for comparing acceleration dynamics and strategies in different contexts.
Probably the main achievement under this task has been further operationalising the concept of acceleration from a complementary modelling perspective. Despite the limitations that a very qualitative and relational conceptualization of acceleration brings to the modelling work, we have shown how, with a coherent and consistent operationalization, one can connect a qualitative and social sciences definition to the modelling world. Furthermore the fact that the qualitative models and the strategies' typology are based on in-depth case study data - given the diversity of the cases - is an additional achievement.
The work under task 4.2 has resulted in a suite of additional quantitative tools of great relevance to support the discussion around acceleration dynamics. To appreciate the value of these tools, it is first crucial to understand that this types of modelling exercise is subject to a number of general limitations inherent to the modelling of complex societal dynamics. The system that is modelled is subject to a variety of fundamental uncertainties, limited data availability, and different legitimate views on how the system works. Hence, the resulting models are not to be perceived as having any level of predictive value. They are exclusively explorative tools to assess ‘what-if’ type of scenario questions as a way to support a discussion in a rather systematic way.
Under task 4.3 we have applied the tools developed to support furthering insights on acceleration and acceleration strategies. The MTI model-based analysis offers a variety of food-for-thought, see deliverable 4.3 / 4.4 for details. Our model results show for example:
• How different strategies like ‘outreach’ and ‘awareness raising’ may have different types of short- and long-term upscaling effects.
• How various relevant aspects of the city-regional context - like the total amount of available support, or the potential user and member base – may influences the acceleration dynamics.
• How interaction patterns among TIs with different acceleration strategies matter: short-term focussed TIs targeting solely their visibility (through ‘outreach’) may have a free-riding nature and may depend on other long-term focussed TIs to raise general problem awareness (through ‘awareness raising’) in the city-region.
• How the way available support is distributed among TIs makes a difference: we assessed the difference between a ‘some-for-all’ and an ‘all-for-one’ funding regime, both of which may be more or less appropriate depending on the context at hand.
• That the added value and effectiveness of coupling may depend on a variety of factors like resource availability and the extent to which the timing of the coupling efforts of the different TIs match.
Building on these generic insights, we have consequently addressed specific issues of relevance in the different case study regions. For example for the city region of Genk, we looked at different ways how to enlarge the number of potential members in the region, as this has been identified as a main limiting factor for this case. Model results suggest that the balancing and appropriate timing of long-term focused strategies (‘awareness raising’) and short-term focused activities (‘outreach’) can make a difference here.
The most valuable application of the MTI model for supporting collective learning is in close interaction with stakeholders - the transition initiatives and supporting institutions. To this end, the simulation gaming approach offers great potential. We have provided a proof of concept of applying simulation gaming to address acceleration dynamics in an interactive and multi-actor setting with representatives of transition initiatives and supporting institutions. The evaluation results of the gaming workshops clearly point out the added value the simulation game provides as a way to make a possibly abstract discussion on acceleration dynamics tangible, interesting and fun. Despite the limitations inherent to the modelling of complex societal dynamics, the simulation game was even experienced as being rather realistic by the majority of our participants.
Furthermore, our evaluation results indicate that model results are well understood by the majority of participants, which shows that the format of simulation gaming helps to communicate even rather complicated model results. This was probably due to the step-by-step presentation of the CLD, which we found a valid tool to engage the participants with the system behaviour, and the debriefing sessions (the open discussion about the model behaviour) after each round during the game. Yet, we also found the value of the CLD to differ from person to person as some may lack the skills or interest to ‘read’ such types of diagrams.
The gaming sessions have been useful to support collective learning around several issues. For example, the dilemma of investing first in grounding an organisation (e.g. through professionalisation) or investing first in growing number of users (e.g. through outreach-increasing the visibility) emerged multiple times during gaming sessions. This reflects a real tension between alternative possible acceleration strategies in terms of pursuing fast, but possibly risky growth patterns, or rather investing in slow, but often a more sustainable growth. Another example relates to the interaction patterns between transition initiatives and supporters at the city regional level (like a city-regional government). In various gaming sessions, there appeared a barrier for collaboration among TIs and supporter roles, apparently reflecting real-life dynamics to some extent. This observation triggers further questions on how these barriers may be overcome, and how the effectiveness of support can be enhanced.
We found the presentation of the game to be crucial for getting the most out of its learning potential. Bearing in mind the limited time usually available for such a gaming workshop, the challenge remains of engaging a group of people relatively new to the matter with the quite complex topic of acceleration dynamics. Therefore, even more effort needs to be put into the streamlining of game design, including introduction, debriefing, and reflection.

3.4. WP5

Task 5.1 - Engaging with stakeholder in the TR
This task has been an ongoing process throughout the case study research, where the Transition Region teams (the scientific partner teams in every transition region) have been both participating in regional/local arrangements as well as arranging their own ones within WP5 list of tasks. It is also linked to the interactions with the engagement of citizens’ bloggers (T6.3) in the art competition (T6.4) and in the transition platform meetings (WP7).
The Brighton TR team started to engage with a range of local sustainability-focused stakeholders and TIs from Jan 2015. They arranged several meeting with the sustainability team of Brighton and Hove city council, engaged bilaterally with a number of transition initiatives, conducted 6 scoping interviews and attended a number of sustainability-focused local events. R. Durrant also joined the City Sustainability Partnership as an observer. The Genk research team started to engage with local stakeholders in 2014 when the first scoping interviews started and a mapping exercise with civil servants was performed to enrich, discuss and structure the inventory of TIs. In 2015 the semi-structured interviews were performed in parallel with a series of co-reflection activities in order to deepen understanding and validate findings. One included a workshop with the city management team to reflect upon transformative change in Genk and what challenges needed to be overcome. L. Gorissen also joined several participatory city meetings such as the ‘Open Minds City Debate about Sustainability, Entrepreneurial and Cosmopolitan city’ and the ‘Food & the City’ session with change makers from Genk. The engagement process with the stakeholders in Dresden started with the inventory of TIs and a series of scoping interviews with experts from civil society, business, and politics/public administration. A kick-off event and the participation of the Dresden ARTS team in the local “Umundu” transition festival helped to consolidate the engagement with the stakeholders as well as the cooperation with the local Sukuma initiative. In Stockholm the scoping activities of T3.1-3 formed a basis for initial engagement including a key actor workshop and 3 scoping interviews presenting ARTS and discussing the regional sustainability transition in general. By the use of existing extensive networks from 10 years of regional trans-disciplinary work the ARTS-project was included in the portfolio of topics in various meetings and events arranged by the regional actors during the whole project time and where the team members participated. Of key importance in the engagement process was the involvement of a process designer and facilitation experts which became instrumental for designing and conducting relevant engagement activities. Also the established collaboration with the art and dialogue platform “Färgfabriken” during their project Experiment Stockholm (2015) provided a purposeful meeting ground and enabled interaction with a broader set of stakeholders in the region. In order to keep momentum in the dialogue and exchange within among all project participants and in that way also promote sustainability transition a closed Facebook group was established during fall 2015. The group presently has 86 members and is still an active forum. In Budapest the first stage in the engagement process was identification and outreach with 10 representative groups of local community based transition initiatives. Initiatives across multiple low-carbon domains were considered, and it was observed that within the Budapest context, significant activity has occurred recently in the energy, food, built environment and mobility sectors. The initial outreach period included an in person interview with main organizers of the ten selected initiatives. The second stage of the research involved a period of interaction with transition initiative representatives, local stakeholders and municipal decision makers during a series of interactive workshops.
The activities in Brighton established first relationships with important local sustainability actors on which many of the later activities built. They also informed the first stage of the mapping of local TIs. In Genk the activities validated the results of the TI inventory and informed the selection of TIs for in depth analysis. They were also important for establishing the first relationships with important local sustainability actors on which many of the later activities built and for improving the relevance of the research for the city of Genk. In other words, they formed the basis of a co-creative and constructive ‘search and explore’ approach to jointly co-develop the next steps of the project. In Dresden the TR team created a list of stakeholders (D5.3) and established trans-disciplinary working relations with key local sustainability actors as a result of the activities. In Stockholm the activities were of key importance to build trust between the TR team and the stakeholders. Especially the engagement with process designers, facilitators and a dialogue platform enabled the research to be fine-tuned to the regional context and hence make it relevant and directly beneficiary to ongoing processes. In Budapest, the first workshop focused on transition initiatives themselves, and aimed to build a sense of mutual understanding between representatives of different sustainability initiatives in the city, and promote a more developed understanding of their role of contributing to larger scale sustainability transitions city-wide in Budapest. The second workshop was aimed at linking urban innovators and local decision makers in a constructive dialogue about the possibilities of community cooperation. It provided an opportunity to meet in person, share viewpoints, discuss challenges of cooperation, and outline possible solutions to the identified problems.

Task 5.2-3 - Convening stakeholder workshops to map the histories and acceleration dynamics of initiatives and to generate strategies for acceleration
The workshops (WS) arranged within WP5 had two primary objectives; firstly to discuss and validate preliminary findings from the scoping activities, interviews, meetings and governance context mappings and further deepen the understandings of the relations between individual TIs and the larger governance context (WS1) and secondly based on the analysis of this dynamic, generate and co-create strategies for acceleration of regional transition (WS2). It turned out that in most TR the aims were fulfilled by the arrangement of series of workshops and dialogue meetings. The workshops were also an important component of engagement providing spaces for exchange and networking of the stakeholders.
In Brighton the WS was convened 150518 and brought together a group of about 20 local stakeholders representing 18 different TIs. It provided an opportunity to get to know each other, introduce participants to the project aims, explored and mapped links between different TIs, discussed local context conditions and which strategies local actors pursue to foster sustainability. A follow-up report was circulated to all attendees which summarized the insights. Based on the analytical insights developed in WP2-3, in the TR team convened a core group of stakeholders to jointly develop a series of three WSs to co-create strategies for the acceleration of local sustainability transitions (held on 160317, 160414, 160505). This core group of actors had participation from local TIs, NGOs, as well as the Brighton and Hove city council. In Genk a series of WSs took place 2015-2016. After a brainstorming meeting with 10 local change makers in Genk organized together with one of the community developers, the TR team abandoned their original idea of having multiple large WSs partly organized by the stakeholders themselves. It turned out that it was too early for this approach and that in order to get the stakeholders on board there was a need for approaches specifically tailored to the diverse groups. To advance local buy in, the WSs were designed based on a few themes that were close to the activities of the local stakeholders. Three WS sessions were organized around circular economy, environmental sustainability and food. In total, 84 local people attended and the WSs provided the opportunity to get to know each other, introduce participants to the project and its aims, explore links between different TIs and discuss acceleration dynamics. Since participants were already discussing acceleration dynamics, it also made sense to expand this session to include reflection on which strategies for acceleration are needed. The TR team produced and circulated a follow-up report to all attendees which summarized the insights gained. Since previous WSs showed that thinking in strategies for acceleration was not easy for individuals from initiatives, an extra WS on acceleration strategies for helicopter viewers and civil servants was organized in 2016 together with the participation civil servant of Genk. In Dresden the first stakeholder event was a kick-off with more than 60 participants from all stakeholder groups and representatives from a broad variety of TIs. A second event was a WS on sustainability transitions at the local “Umundu” festival. Finally, a series of dialogues was started with the first one aiming to present, to reflect and elaborate the preliminary findings on the history and dynamics of a sustainability transition. The first dialogue involved 40 external participants from all stakeholder groups and many different TIs. With support from the TR team, the City of Dresden won the “Future-City”-project aiming to develop a public vision for an “Open City Dresden – Sharing Responsibilities for Sustainable Development”. In co-operation with this project, the TR team organized the second dialogue, titled “Urban space for agriculture, recreation and innovation – Future oriented uses of urban space towards enhanced quality of life”. The WS aimed for visioning desired future scenarios and identifying starting points and strategies for action. Drawing on research results the local team was also involved in giving conceptual input and facilitating the discussions in a WS on “DIY & Transition: FabLabs / open WSs as catalysts of societal change”. In Stockholm the first WS in May 2015 gathered 25 participants representing most of the selected TIs and helicopter viewers. The main aims were for the stakeholders to meet, become more familiar with the project and discuss the barriers and enablers in accelerating transitions in the region from their own experiences. Since the data collected was not fully analyzed to be used at this point, a second WS was organized in Sept 2015 gathering 20 participants and that also included the first gathering of the 5 artists selected for the art dialogue process (T6.4). The WS was based on the preliminary results and the relation between local TIs and the governance context in the region. In October the Transition Platform meeting (WP7), which was also a T-Lab session at the Transformations2015 conference enabled a second valuable validation and this time with a much broader set of stakeholders (47 participants) including researchers from the conference. Parallel to the analysis of acceleration activities and strategies from the WS (WP4) a set of 5 focus group meetings were arranged to discuss the current state in the region and potential strategies with different kinds of actors, these were 2 with municipalities, 1 with regional actors, 1 with TIs and 1 with artists. In March 2016 the final workshop based on the case study results aimed at formulating strategies for city-regional acceleration as a foundation for the roadmap (T5.4) (48 participants). The three main workshops applied and tested several innovative dialogue technics, involving artists as facilitators and supported by professional process designers. From all WS a documentation was circulated to the participants. Beyond creating a mutual sense of understanding between ten novel transition initiatives in Budapest, WS1 also accomplished the goal of facilitating an in depth documentation of common challenges, opportunities, and shared super skills which characterize the Budapest working environment. This opportunity for group interaction resulted in the creation of a structured platform for future cooperation, by means of concrete project ideas and an online communication platform, between community transition initiatives which could assist in spreading the impact of each organization. WS 2 shifted the focus to strengthening the relationship between Tis and local decision makers. The event was attended by a diverse group of over 35 TI representatives and council members and local government officials. The workshop orientation served to create a forum for decision makers and urban innovators to meet, share experiences, and discuss challenges for future collaboration, while Identifying solutions for cooperation, which have relevance in promoting innovation and the upscaling of social change in Budapest.

In Brighton the first WS’s most immediate result was to increase local awareness of the project and for a range of local stakeholders to meet. It generated feedback on the initial results and produced stakeholder reflections on local enabling factors and barriers. The following WS series was informed by a key development in the local governance context which is that because of funding cuts Brighton and Hove City Council is proposing to move to a more ‘collaborative’ way of working. This potentially far-reaching governance change was seen as an opportunity by the TR team that can be instrumentalised by local actors to the benefit of accelerating progress. The workshop series therefore seeked to build understanding of these changes so that working together (coupling), local actors can embed new ways of DTO into the emerging governance structures. The changes also pose an opportunity to increase the impact of local TIs, potentially through upscaling and replication. In terms of collective acceleration strategies developed, there was an agreement between participants to pursue two new working groups. One that seeks to engage with changes to the city’s management of open spaces. It was agreed that it needs to be open and inclusive, that it should facilitate dialogue and working between the council and local initiatives and provide a hub for information. Another working group agreed that it should aim to promote and embed the sustainable development of built infrastructure in the city through engaging in strategic planning and project delivery. In Genk the result of this series of workshops was an increased local awareness of the project, for a range of local stakeholders to meet each other and to collectively reflect on their strategic agency. An interesting result was also that local change makers were appreciative of the interest in what they are doing which made the TR team realize that recognizing and appreciating the value of the services these many volunteer driven TIs provide is an aspect that does not get enough attention. Reflecting on the dynamics of and strategies for acceleration was also quite challenging for local stakeholders: mostly they came up with actions and activities instead of strategies which aligns with their passion of ‘doing’. We therefore convened another session with civil servants and a few helicopter viewers dedicated to reflecting on strategies for acceleration. In this regard, the gaming workshop with stakeholders (WP4) also helped to open the way for more systems thinking and reflecting on strategies. In Dresden the WS helped to strengthen the transdisciplinary co-operation and to validate and enrich the findings from the interviews. The WS were concluded by an informal come-together-event after the formal program, which was highly welcomed by the participants as an opportunity for exchange and networking. In Stockholm all the WS and meetings arranged were appreciated spaces for exchange and learning between stakeholders which did not existed beforehand. Among other things joint activities were discussed as well as supporting each other, some of these also got realized. Besides being essential grounds for validation of the research results, the frequent interaction and careful meeting design assisted the contextualization of the research and built a solid foundation for a relevant roadmap. Starting from the sharing of experiences of barriers and enabling factors the participants particularly engaged in the strategic parts of the discussions, which provided a new way of thinking for many of them. The TR team over time got a bridging function linking stakeholders from a wide range of actor groups that rarely meet in the super decentralized and fragmented region of Stockholm, which was assisted by the process design. Because success of the engagement process (T5.1) and the workshops (T5.2-3) that enabled a reliable contextualization, the network of stakeholders is in 2016 instrumental in establishing a local interaction node in Stockholm within the Mistra Urban Futures Network. WS 1 in Budapest resulted in the identification of a number of common goals between initiatives, and a more detailed discussion and structured action plan for ‘coupling’ opportunities, or partnerships which in the immediate future could help increase the reach and impact of TI activities. Since the organization of WS1, a number of the potential coupling options which were identified in the original workshop have come to fruition. (For example, Magnet Bank, a local community oriented bank partnering with Haziko, a catering company sourcing only local ingredients to open up an on-site café in the bank’s main headquarters.) In WS2, the heterogeneity of participants contributed to a valuable exchange and dialogue session which allowed various stakeholders, who entered the workshop speaking unique sector-based ‘languages’, to embrace different approaches and conflicting interests while engaging in an open discussion, which aided in formulating common ground between decision makers and civic actors. The resulting workshop served to summarize a comprehensive list of challenges and opportunities related to the acceleration of sustainability transitions in Budapest, which contributed to the formulation of an acceleration roadmap.

Task 5.4 - Create an Acceleration Roadmap
In all regions a distillate outcome of the research that synthesized and consolidated the transition region key messages for enabling transition acceleration across multiple levels and multiple low-carbon domains was formulated in the format of an Acceleration Roadmap based on the analytical work in WP2-4. All roadmaps were formulated in local language and in addition the Genk and Stockholm roadmaps were also translated to English.
In Brighton the TR team together with the group of stakeholders which helped convene the series of workshops in the previous task, developed an acceleration roadmap based on the inputs from the three workshops and their research findings. This roadmap was then enhanced through a graphical representation subcontracted to a local graphic facilitator. A final ARTS event was organized to share key findings and launch the acceleration roadmap. In Genk an acceleration roadmap was generated tailored to the transition dynamics of the city that combines insights and recommendations from citizens, helicopter viewers, civil servants, policy makers, researchers from Genk, change makers and researchers from the other TRs in the project. The roadmap was presented to the Bench of Aldermen, to the city administration and to the Genk people involved in initiatives in 3 different feedback moments. In Dresden a stakeholder WS was held to discuss and improve a draft roadmap document provided by the TR team with the distillate outcome of the local trans-disciplinary research and co-operation. In a second step, based on the improved draft core insights and recommendations were presented and discussed in the public at the local 2016 “Umundu” festival for transition. Based on these activities, the roadmap was finalized into a brochure for the wider public with the title “Sustainable living in Dresden – Building blocks for a transition towards a sustainable urban society”. In Stockholm the roadmap based on all collected insights from the continuous interaction with stakeholders was formulated into key messages and leverage points for city-regional acceleration by the TR team. The draft was circulated to all stakeholders that was invited to provide feedback by an online survey format. The draft roadmap was also discussed during a large meeting with regional and municipal officials hosted by the Stockholm County Administrative Board in September 2016. The roadmap was presented and launched at an event in November that also included informal discussions about the next steps. It has also been e-mailed to the collective large network of actors by the TR team members and SRC colleagues and the printed version has been sent by ordinary mail to 40 regional and municipal officials in the region. In Budapest, the results of WS1 and WS2, with additional inferences from the local research term were compiled into an accessible, visual oriented summary which was then distributed to all previous Tis involved in the project, decision makers who contributed to WS 2, and additionally through Central European University’s media platforms and the social media platforms developed as part of the ARTS Budapest communication strategy. It is expected that the acceleration roadmap will serve as a reference for continuous exchange and cooperation, as work towards building a sustainability transition partnerships in Budapest will continue after the closing of the ARTS project.

The main outcome in all TRs is the roadmaps produced. In Brighton the roadmap includes a number of future sustainability ambitions as well as a timeline of known events and targets (in black), and agreed actions coming out of the stakeholder workshop: actions in green correspond to achieving sustainability in the area of open spaces, those in blue correspond with achieving sustainability in the area of built infrastructure. Arrows link actions and position events over time. In Genk the focal point of the co-created roadmap is “How to cultivate enabling conditions for accelerated transformation” and it is therefore no traditional step-by-step roadmap or blueprint. It should be used as a compass that supports change agents in the City to identify, develop and implement measures and strategies that can accelerate the transition to sustainability locally. While embracing plurality in its approaches, the roadmap supports alignment of bottom up self-organization and top down institutional reforms. It includes generic recommendations for governance and specific suggestions for both TIs on how to better use their strategic agency, build cross-cutting partnerships, promote replication and increase impact and the local government on how to promote institutional innovation, fuel and empower community initiatives, anchor sustainability in the heart of the city making, invest in pattern architecture and plan for disruption. Two recommendations are of utmost importance to seize the momentum for acceleration in Genk: first, to anchor sustainability in the heart of the city making process and second, to increase the visibility of the local TIs towards the general public. The roadmap for Dresden includes the distillate outcome of the local transdisciplinary research and co-operation with respect to a locally specified set of transition mechanisms and 14 key recommendations for accelerating change towards sustainability in the city region. The document text was reviewed by key stakeholders and designed with a professional design expert to ensure accessibility. It includes a poster, which summarizes the ARTS acceleration strategies and Dresden specific key messages as a “take away”-element. In Stockholm the roadmap is built on six focus areas addressing both the governance structural elements as well as process aspects from an agency perspective. Furthermore, it presents the unused potentials in the region and from seven challenges to city-regional acceleration of sustainability transition it targets three themes for navigating those; new roles, new venues and alternative ways and suggests a number of very concrete actions for addressing them. The Budapest roadmap includes a comprehensive summary of locally relevant obstacles and community generated solutions for sustainability transition acceleration in the city. The document serves as a fitting summary of the current distance which separates Tis and important decision makers in the city-region, but in addition to the obstacles highlighted, achievable, realistic solutions for overcoming current challenges were also outlined in detail. It is a goal of the local research team to orient future interactions with the actors who were involved in the Budapest case study, using the transition roadmap as a reference for the kick off point of future collaboration. In addition to the challenges and opportunities for decision makers and local civic actors, the roadmap also includes suggestions for the future orientation of sustainability transition research projects to ensure that academic institutions remain aware of the crucial role they play within their own communities.

Task 5.5 Anchoring acceleration strategies and roadmaps in effective decision making and governance
The comparative analysis of the five roadmaps and the city-region specific messages included in them, resulted in a set of six key messages that indicate that for accelerating sustainability transitions in cities, three urban commons are vital: public space, innovation and knowledge. From these insights, we created open dialogues with regional authorities and city-wide audiences in the ARTS cities to share the roadmaps and share messages relevant for local governance. At the same time, the strategies and key messages for accelerating sustainability transitions in cities were shared and debated during a Knowledge Seminar of the European Environmental Agency in 2016.
The policy-relevance of ARTS research is evident from the fact that in all five city-regions there is a continuation of the engagement between the research teams, the community of transition initiatives and the local governments, with Dresden team contributing to the Future City Dresden platform actively, and replicating the SUKUMA film competition in the city, with Genk city establishing a platform for continuous dialogue with the transition initiatives to engage them more actively in urban planning, with Brighton city connecting the ARTS work with the sustainable city dialogues of the city, with Stockholm research team continuing the engagement and dialogue with the community of transition initiatives by coordinating a platform of urban social innovation (that is under creation) and with Budapest research team continuing and extending the work of ARTS with transition initiatives at the driving seat for broadening the engagement and connecting the ‘Dream Budapest’ dialogue to other ongoing debates of degrowth and sustainability in the city.

3.5. WP6

Description of activities undertaken
The activities of WP6 were going far beyond traditional dissemination ideas. The main focus was to translate and share the knowledge produced inside the project, both by research partners and regional partners involved, making it available to communities and policy makers across EU and beyond. The consortium has succeeded in broadening the discourse on sustainability transitions, including new voices (e.g. artists), themes (e.g. nature-based solutions) and territorial perspectives (e.g. via global events such as the Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador).
The following description summarises WP6 activities by task.
Task 6.1 Connecting the dots – Project Conferences
The ARTS project organised 2 conferences to open up project discussions to a wider audience, both in the framework of a well-established Informed Cities series.
The opening conference, titled Informed Cities Forum “Which way to the future? Strategies, tools and inspiration for transforming cities” took place on 26-27 March 2015 in Rotterdam (The Netherlands). It was organised in cooperation with Interreg MUSIC project that focused on climate mitigation in urban areas, working among others with the transition management methodology. The event brought together over 150 participants from 22 countries, coming from research, public sector and civil society organisations. The programme featured a number of interactive formats, including 6 field workshops and a public event offered by Rotterdam-based transition initiatives. It was documented with a report (D6.1) poster and brochure (structured as “Travel guide for urban sustainability transitions”, D6.9) as well as a short movie and photos.
The closing conference, titled Informed Cities Forum “People, partnerships and power. Building alliances for urban sustainability transitions” took place on 16-17 June 2016 in Dresden (Germany). It attracted over 120 participants from all over Europe and beyond (e.g. Brazil and USA) for a 2-day interactive programme, featuring 6 field workshops and a public event organised by Dresden-based transition initiatives in a local maker space. The event was well-documented, with a visual report (D6.2) graphic notes and photos, as well as a short movie produced by one of the local activists.
Task 6.2 Showcasing innovation – Brussels-based dialogues
Though initially foreseen to take place only in Brussels, the dialogues (promoted as Transition Talks) were instead organised in Brussels and other cities across Europe, often in parallel or as part of other, bigger events, to widen the project’s outreach. The following 5 Transition Talks were organised throughout the project:
1. “Who runs this place? Unpacking local governance”, 28 May 2014, Brussels (Belgium),
2. “How much information is enough? Mapping sustainability transition initiatives”, 2 December 2014, Milan (Italy), back-to-back with the EU Conference on Renaturing Cities: Systemic Urban Governance for Social Cohesion,
3. “Nature-based solutions for climate mitigation and adaptation from a transitions’ perspective”, 18 November 2015, Bonn (Germany), as part of the European Conference on Nature-based Solutions to Climate Change in Urban Areas and their Rural Surroundings – Linkages between Science, Policy and Practice,
4. “Reflective Cities”, 27 April 2016, Bilbao (Spain), as part of the 8th European Sustainable Cities and Towns Conference,
5. “Social Innovation for Accelerating Transition to Sustainable Cities”, 30 May 2016, Brussels (Belgium), as part of the EU Green Week,
Each of the events attracted a diverse group of 20-50 participants and featured experience from the ARTS regions. The Transition Talks were documented with short summaries published on the ARTS website (D6.3-5).
Task 6.3 Documenting the process and media uptake – Network of citizen bloggers
The ARTS project recruited 5 local bloggers/blogger teams, representing all ARTS regions. The bloggers were acting as a link between the project and the local community, attending local and international project events and blogging regularly in English and respective local language. The joint blog was launched in November 2014 and now contains 120 posts, most bilingual. It has attracted 12.000 visitors that generated over 25.000 page views. The whole experience turned out to be a successful capacity building mechanism for future local sustainability leaders, opening up new professional.
Task 6.4 Creating momentum – Local video competitions
Recognising the role of culture in inspiring and interpreting social change, the ARTS consortium reached out to local arts and culture community to encourage common reflection and activities. The initial idea of video competitions was broadened in order to better reflect local situation and needs. Depending on the local context, different ideas for cooperation with artists and cultural institutions were implemented, including:

1. Budapest: Sustainable Budapest of the Future competition and exhibition,
2. Brighton: FutureRoots digital storytelling project (in cooperation with ONCA Arts & Ecology),
3. Dresden: Stories of Change film competition (in cooperation with Sukuma arts and Dresden in Wandel),
4. Genk: Art Academy of the Future co-creation process (in cooperation with the Cultural Department of the City of Genk and local art academies),
5. Stockholm: Bringing together artists and transition initiatives in a series of dialogues (in cooperation with Experiment Stockholm by Fargfabriken).
The results were documented through photos, short films, blog posts and a visual report summarizing all 5 projects (D6.8).
Task 6.5 Learning from the results – Policy briefs
Key project results have been distilled into a series of 6 policy briefs, sharing ARTS questions and results with a wider European audience of policy-makers and transition initiative representatives. The following 6 Transition Reads (D6.10-15) have been published on the project website and distributed using ICLEI channels:
1. Who runs this place? Unpacking local governance (introduction of the project framework and key questions),
2. The Natural Nexus. How nature-based solutions can help restore the planet and civil society?,
3. The Magic Ingredient. The role of civil society in accelerating sustainability transitions (produced jointly with GLAMURS project),
4. Putting Art into ARTS. Exploring the role of art in sustainability transitions,
5. Playing with Science. How to turn an agent-based model into a game that supports system thinking?,
6. How to accelerate sustainability transitions? Key messages for local governments and transition initiatives.
Task 6.6 Finding valorization via the formulation of and engagement with practitioners’ Connector Network
The purpose of developing and launching the Resilience Connections Network (RCN) was to provide a global platform through which researchers, practitioners and policymakers working or interested in resilience thinking will have the opportunity to share insights, engage in discussion, and gain exposure to best practice in resilience science and implementation (as documented in D6.16-19). The online platform was launched in November 2015 and currently has 224 members registered, with 69% coming from the academic sector and 43% based in Europe. The platform is accompanied by a LinkedIn group that gathers 247 members, reaching stakeholders where they are. To promote the platform and encourage exchange between researchers and practitioners, Lancaster University organised 2 webinars (29 June and 20 July 2016). The webinars, with high-profile speakers representing a.o. C40 Cities, ICLEI, WWF, World Business Council, Stokholm Resilience Centre, together attracted over 300 registrants.
Task 6.7 Highlighting knowledge to address societal challenges – Factsheets
6 factsheets (D6.20-25) have been produced and published on the project website to introduce the low-carbon domains addressed by the ARTS project:
1. Accelerating and rescaling transitions to sustainability (general project information available in English, Italian, Swedish and Hungarian),
2. Biodiversity and ecosystem services,
3. Urban living and built environment,
4. Resource efficiency,
5. Energy use and supply,
6. Transport and mobility.
Task 6.8 Final conference “Transition to sustainable, low carbon societies”
The final conference “Sustainability transitions towards low-carbon societies” was held in Rotterdam (The Netherlands) on 13-14 October 2016, as a joint activity of ARTS, TESS and PATHWAYS projects. The conference was focused on the exchange between the researchers involved in all the 3 projects and invited guests, revolving around the questions of methodology, co-production and future of sustainability transitions research and practice.

It was preceded by a joint workshop held as part of the EU Week of Cities and Regions, titled “Cities as actors of open innovation. Accelerating transition towards sustainable and low-carbon societies” where all 3 projects had an opportunity to engage with local, national and European stakeholders. The discussions between the projects were reflected in the series of 3 policy briefs (D6.26) addressing issues pertinent to sustainability transitions:
1. Beyond upscaling? Multiple pathways to accelerate sustainability transitions,
2. Tracing impact and showcasing success of transition initiatives,
3. Role of science in sustainability transitions.
Description of results
Based on the outputs listed above, WP6 produced the following key results:
• strengthening the European community of frontrunners of sustainability transitions, across countries and sectors, thanks to organising the Informed Cities conference series and investing in further development of the platform;
• integrating the bottom-up perspective into research and policy discussions thanks to bringing in the representatives of transition initiatives from the ARTS regions into various fora as part of the Transition Talks series and other events;
• testing of a new mechanism for knowledge brokerage and improved two-way communication between the European research project and the local community it is active in, thanks to working with 5 citizen bloggers/blogger teams;
• exploring new partnerships for accelerating sustainability transitions, by connecting researchers, transition initiatives representatives and arts and culture community, thanks to the different cooperation projects,
• producing a wealth of materials, written and visual, that make complex research questions and results accessible to a wider audience, in particular to local policy makers and communities, as well as creating platforms to foster and strengthen such cross-sectoral cooperation.

3.6. WP7

Task 7.1. Quality management and academic excellence
The coordinator of the project lead and oversaw the development of a transdisciplinary methodology that was the backbone of the entire project, with a step-by-step methodology architecture development to guide the case study and cross-case comparative work as well as the engagement in the transition regions with policy and community actors. The transdisciplinary methodology document is the Application Guide that includes 10 steps that guided the research of the ARTS project and was reviewed and praised as a good scientific practice during the mid-term review meeting in June 2015 (D7.1).
The assembly of the Academic Transition Platform was a successful forum that reviewed and stayed very critical and constructive to the research methodology and the research deliverables of the ARTS project. The engagement with our Academic Transition Platform members continuous also outside the Webinars, with the coordinator of the project sitting in Academic Advisory boards of their projects (TESS and GLAMURS) and with involvement in Scientific Workshops with Prof. Sarah Burch in Canada (21-22 November 2016 in Toronto), with Prof. Timon McPhearson in Quito (UN Habitat III Workshop on The Urban Planet, 18.10.2016 in Habitat Xchange pavilion), with Prof. Lars Coenen cooperating in a common publication on Urban Sustainability Transitions and with Prof. Ricardo Garcia Mira and Dr. Adina Dumitru co-organising two Pressure Cooker workshops one in 2014 in Rotterdam on the “Role of civil society in sustainability transitions’ and one in 2015 in A Coruna on ‘Governance of Sustainability Transitions’. The establishment of the Academic Transition Platform has been a useful means for continuous feedback and exchange. In the Description of the Work we foresaw the need for 3 Academic Transition Platform meetings but over the course of the project we found the exchange and dynamic created during these meetings very stimulating and useful for the project and for the members of the platform and in total we realised five platform meetings.
- Academic Transition Platform #1 – 19.06.2014 Webinar, Activities: Review D.6.20 and parts from the DoW
- Academic Transition Platform #2 – 18.06.2014 Budapest meeting, Activities: Review D.6.20 D.5.02 and draft version of D.2.1
- Academic Transition Platform #3 – 05.02.2015 Webinar, Activities: D.2.1 Application Guide, D.2.3 Governance Context Report
- Academic Transition Platform #4 – 22.09.2015 Webinar, Activities: D.2.1 Application Guide including new methodology steps and D.3.2 Case study reports
- Academic Transition Platform #5 – 03.06.2016 Webinar, Activities: Review D.2.4 Synthesis Report and D.4.1 Dynamics and Strategies.
The results from this series of webinars has been summarized in deliverable D7.2.

Task 7.2 Knowledge and communication management
The scientific dissemination activities coordinated from WP7 included presentations and keynotes of the scientific coordinator in various fora throughout the lifetime of the project. Overall there were 15 keynote presentations in top-level conferences and in city policy for a. Indicatively we present those with the larger audiences.
- 26-28.02.2016 ECOLISE General Assembly Meeting #2 at Rotterdam, the Netherlands. DRIFT ARTS team hosted and organized the General Assembly meeting of the ECOLISE pan-European network of networks of community initiatives for sustainability. The meeting was facilitated by Niki Frantzeskaki, and ARTS researchers Steffen Maschmayer and Giorgia Silvestri contributed not only on organizational tasks and program organizing activities but also participated actively in the discussions with representatives of large networks of community initiatives like GAIA, Transition Town, Transition Movement.
- 11-12.05.2015 European Union Scoping workshop on ‘Transformations to Sustainability” Niki Frantzeskaki participated in the scoping workshop and contributed input on how current research within the ARTS project can showcase new topics for research and new practices for engaging with communities. Total participants: 30 people
- 29.June – 2.July 2015 – Belmont Forum, Boulder, Colorado, USA. Niki Frantzeskaki participated in the Belmont Forum Scoping Workshop on Food, Water & Energy for Sustainable Global Urbanization: Accelerating Transitions to Sustainable Consumption and Production. Total participants: 50 people (approximately)
- 11.10.2016 European Week of Regions and Cities, Brussels. Session URB11A1 Cities as actors of open innovation: Accelerating Transition Towards Sustainable and Low-Carbon Societies. Niki Frantzeskaki replaced Florian Kern (SPRU) in the session presenting key messages from the ARTS research that are relevant to local governments and EU policy on cities. The presentation of the session was shared with the panel participants and EU representatives and is also shared via the project website.
- 02-03.03.2016 Urban Future Global Conference, Graz, Austria ) Niki Frantzeskaki gave a keynote presentation on Urban Sustainability Transitions with a focus on how cities play a role in testing and facilitating practices and solutions for sustainability, and resilience considering low-carbon performance. The session was entitled “Facilitating the transition towards sustainable cities”, 2nd March 2016 at 11:00-12:30. The conference brought together 2,000 participants mainly city officers and officers from cities’ development agencies.
- 05.07.2016 3rd Open European Day, Bonn, Germany. Niki Frantzeskaki participated in presenting findigns from ARTS co-production process across all the regions as an approach to connect research, policy and community in a session organized by the EEA under the Theme 3 ‘Climate services: Producing, transferring and using climate knowledge”, Session 3C responding to the question “How can cities set up a co-creation process for acquiring resilience knowledge and who should they involve?”. The Open European Day gathered around 200 city officers and researchers on cities across Europe.
- 18.05.2016 European Environment Agency Knowledge Seminar on Sustainability Transitions, convened by the Scientific Committee of the EEA. Niki Frantzeskaki presented the research findings of ARTS and the key messages from the cross-case study analysis and synthesis.
- 18.10.2016 UN HABITAT III, Quito, Ecquador. Niki Frantzeskaki moderated the EC convened session on Innovating Cities, disseminated material from ARTS together with Ania Rok (ICLEI) and held numerous dialogues from participants from Latin American cities about the ways to understand and intervene in local sustainability dynamics in their cities discussing findings from ARTS. Size of Audience: an unprecedented number of 10,000 participants.
- 30.05.2016 European Green Week 2016 – Organised and chaired the session ‘Social innovation for accelerating transitions to sustainable cities’. In this session, ARTS, TESS, PATHWAYS, GREEN SURGE were cooperatively presented findings from different activities of transition initiatives and how they contribute in innovating in cities.
- 15.01.2015 Future Earth Meeting in European Union on Sustainable Urbanisation. Niki Frantzeskaki presented ARTS objectives in a meeting with 10 other projects including: GREEN SURGE, PHENOTYPE, OPENNESS, OPERAS, TURAS, and more. The meeting resulted in getting to know the other coordinators of these nature-based solution research projects and to interface for forthcoming events and edited special issues.
- 17.04.2015 IUCN Leaders for Nature - Niki Frantzeskaki participated in the forum of IUCN that gathered over 150 participants from business, cities, practitioners and scientists to discuss on the possibilities of a green economy and how different actors of society can play a role in it. Niki presented in a discussion group the early findings of ARTS and how civil society initiatives contribute to establishing nature-based solutions in cities. Total participants: 150 people
- 29.09.2015 JPI Urban Europe Conference on the Strategic Research Agenda. Niki Frantzeskaki gave a presentation about urban sustainability transitions presenting results and insights from the ARTS research ‘packaged’ for informing the SRIA implementation and the broader European Urban Agenda. Size of Audience: 200 people.
- 17.11.2015 Nature Based Solutions Conference, Bonn, Germany. Niki Frantzeskaki gave a keynote presentation on the potential of nature-based solutions in accelerating urban sustainability transitions. The presentation was invited as a book chapter contribution to an edited volume on the frontiers research on nature-based solutions that will be published in 2017.
- 26.11.2014 – Volvo Environmental Science Awards Symposium, Stockholm – Niki Frantzeskaki gave a keynote presentation on Urban Sustainability Transitions with a focus on the ARTS work. Size of audience: 500 people including the scientific committee of the Volvo Awards and the Royal Academy of Sciences of Sweden.
- 01.12.2014 EU Renaturing Cities with Nature-based solutions, Milan, Italy – Niki Frantzeskaki gave a presentation on Urban transitions with Nature-based solutions. Size of audience: 80 people (approximately)
- 13-14.05.2014 European Conference Renaturing Cities: Addressing Environmental Challenges and the Effects of the Economic Crisis through nature-based solutions, in Brussels. Niki Frantzeskaki presented a poster and acted as moderator during the discussions of the panel discussion on inclusivity in the cities. Audience size: 200 people.

Description of results
Based on the outputs described above, the main results of WP7 include:
• A constructive and productive dialogue with sister projects GLAMURS, TESS, PATHWAYS and TRANSIT that created a common mission on understanding social innovation in cities and city-networks.
• The common presence of ARTS, TESS, PATHWAYS and GLAMURS in scientific events and in policy events in Europe with complementary messages based on evidence based research from different cities across Europe.

Potential Impact:
4.1. WP2

Potential impact
The potential impact of this work package is related to the advancement of transition theory and the conceptual underpinning of the acceleration phase in transition processes. The main addressee is the scientific community, especially scholars from sustainability transition, grassroots innovations, transition management, environmental policy and spatial planning as well as urban and regional governance. With our research and the result achieved in WP2 we:
o Improved the understanding of local transition processes and mechanisms to accelerate a sustainability transition,
o Conceptually underpinned the acceleration phase of the multi-phase concept of transitions,
o Introduced agency related strategies and outlined the role of collective and individual actors for transition processes,
o Introduced a multi-lever governance perspective that allowed us to identify the link of local transition initiatives with multiple scales, from local, over regional and national to European,
o Considered cross-domain and cross-sector dynamics on transitions,
o Introduced a spatial perspective on transition process at a city-regional scale.
Overall, these achievements will lead to well informed and advanced studies on urban sustainability transitions, will contribute to a better understanding and improved knowledge on transition dynamics, will bring forward transition theory through an empirically underpinned robust theoretical framework will allow policy makers and planners to develop and implement adequate measures to foster sustainability transitions in their cities.
Main dissemination activities
Results of WP2 were disseminated at international scientific conferences, thereunder at:
o Informed Cities Forum in Rotterdam (March 2015)
o International Sustainability Transition Conference in Brighton (August 2015)
o EUGEO congress on the Geography of Europe in Budapest (September 2015)
o Transformation conference in Stockholm (October 2015)
o Informed Cities Forum in Dresden (June 2016)
o International Sustainability Transition Conference in Wuppertal (September 2016)
The results of the cross case analysis on acceleration mechanisms and the governance context as well as the conceptual framework were qualified in peer-reviewed papers:
o Ehnert, F.; Kern, F.; Borgström, S; Gorissen, L., Maschmeyer, S and Egermann, M. (submitted to Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions): City-Regions in a Context of Multi-level Governance: A Comparison of Urban Sustainability Transitions in Four European City-Regions.
o Ehnert, F. et al. (to be submitted 2017): A Tale of Five Cities: A Comparative Analysis of Accelerating Local Sustainability Transitions in Brighton, Dresden, Genk and Stockholm
o Frantzeskaki, N., Kern, F. and Egermann, M. (to be submitted 2017): Conceptual framework to study the acceleration phase of sustainability transitions.

Exploitation of results
The scientific results of WP2 were used to apply for further national and European research funds in order to deepen several theoretical and conceptual aspects of the ARTS conceptual framework. For example, in the case of Germany results were exploited together with the City of Dresden in the frame of the “Future City Initiative” (2015-2018) of the German Federal Government. For deepening research questions derived from the ARTS project regarding inclusiveness and common welfare of local transition initiatives, a research project was started together with national Ministry of Environment and the German Federal Environmental Agency.

4.2. WP3

Potential impacts
Much of the impact of work done under WP3 is bound up with the workshops and preparation of the acceleration roadmaps described in detail below under WP5. Here we report on dissemination activities and other impacts not covered below. An impact across all five city-regions of work undertaken in WP3 was productively to convene space for a range of existing initiatives to come together and discuss issues of acceleration. In many cases, across all five city-regions, this was the first time that some of the initiatives had met each other and this was a valuable precursor to the development of roadmaps later in the project. Work done in WP3 was therefore essential preparation for the development of roadmaps.
Main dissemination activities
There has also been substantial dissemination of results from WP3, often in conjunction with work completed in WP5, in a range of fora, including: directly to participants and other local stakeholders in the project; local press; national and international conferences; and a range of academic publications, for example the Journal of Cleaner Production and (potentially) Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions.
Exploitation of results
In many cases it is difficult to distinguish impacts that result specifically from work done under WP3 and those which result from the totality of work done across all WPs.

4.3. WP4

Potential impact
The main potential impact of the modelling work of WP4 is to further support collective learning among representatives of transition initiatives, supporting institutions and other stakeholders to enhance the impact of local initiatives for moving sustainability transitions forward. To this end, further simulation game applications in similar workshops may be undertaken to support the ongoing discussion about the transition dynamics in different city-regions. Further model improvements and streamlining the gaming process is thereby recommended to enhance the game’s learning potential. A further potential impact can be assumed on the transition research community and the modeller community to further integrate their work as we could show the value of the participatory modelling for the research team as well as for the modellers. This will also be reflected by a special session at the next International Sustainability Transitions (IST) Conference 2017 on participatory modelling and a journal publication on this topic.

Main dissemination activities
Our main dissemination activities have been:
• Presentation of final results at scientific conferences and workshops, notably:
o 3 papers presented at the 7th International Sustainability Transitions (IST) Conference, Wuppertal, Germany, 6-9 September 2016.
o 2 presentations at the ARTS, TESS & PATHWAYS final conference, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 13-14 October 2016
o Plenary presentation at the PATHWAYS-SOER 2020 workshop, Copenhagen, 21-22 November 2016
• Facilitating simulation gaming workshops as an integral part of the research work has equally contributed to the dissemination of our results towards local authorities and transition initiatives, in particular the gaming workshop organised at the 5th Informed Cities Forum, 16-17 June 2016, Dresden (Germany). In addition, the following city-regional gaming workshops have been carried out:
o Genk, June 10th 2016
o Dresden, June 22nd 2016
o Stockholm, September 1st 2016
o Brighton, September 19th 2016
• Dissemination of results to the wider policy community through the ARTS policy brief no. 5 ‘When Science and Play Collide’.
In addition, WP4 partners are planning to submit at least 2 journal publications to further disseminate our work (see the list of planned scientific, peer reviewed publications below).

Exploitation of results
The ARTS research team will make the simulation model, its conceptual and technical documentation, guidelines for a gaming workshop and all game materials available online so that anyone willing to test, replicate or further develop the game can contribute to this project.

4.4. WP5

Potential impact (impact – actor specific)
The Brighton roadmap included a range of next steps to be taken by a number of local stakeholders which will contribute to the further acceleration of the transition in Brighton and Hove. One of the follow up action will be that Prof G. Mackerron agreed to chair a sustainability city working group which will ensure that the lessons learned from the project will continue to have local impact. Other follow up activities which have already been completed included an information WS which was held in partnership with the University of Brighton to help local stakeholders to learn about a new infrastructure project in the city and influence its development. The stakeholder WSs also produced a variety of intermediate impacts directly. Participants reported how the opportunity to hear, first-hand, about contemporary issues facing the City Council and their proposed response was particularly valuable to them. The first WS in particular produced ’a very encouraging and instructive debate’ according to one participant, whilst many valued how the workshops brought different people and organizations together to develop collective acceleration strategies. In Genk the co-creative set up of the project increased the relevance of the research for the local city which augmented engagement and motivation of local change makers, the city administration, community work, and initiatives. The project also renewed attention for ecological sustainability locally. Indirectly, the co-reflection sessions inspired, accelerated or promoted new collaborations and new initiatives (such as the upcycling initiative, the mini library initiative, food & city event, the Connecting project etc). The mapping exercise was a good exercise to make local people realize that much more is happening on environmental sustainability than previously thought while the in depth study of the role of initiatives in the sustainability dynamics raised awareness that even though initiatives might appear to be relatively small or modest, some initiatives catalyze rather large societal impacts or induced positive spill-over effects far beyond the city borders. The in depth study also revealed some pioneering examples of new governance arrangements like the Public-Civic Heempark model for eco-friendly lifestyles, food production and nature education. The recommendation to set up a similar model for bringing together all initiatives related to a circular economy received a lot of positive feedback, both from citizens and civil servants and given Genk’s ambition in becoming a circular hotspot, this idea has a good chance of implementation. In Dresden one of the core local impacts of the project is the successful application of the City of Dresden for the “Future City” funding program, which was supported by the TR team. The involved stakeholder network for urban transition towards sustainability was strengthened through the transdisciplinary work and supports the anchoring and implementation of the project outcomes – in particular the roadmap key recommendations. A particular event generating public awareness for urban transition initiatives and dynamics was the hosting of the 2016 ICLEI “Informed Cities Forum” on “People, Partnerships and Power - Building Alliances for Urban Sustainability Transitions. In Stockholm the different activities throughout the project indicates a reawakening of the municipalities realizing the potentials of local TIs and the possibilities to interact more with them. The inclusion of public-civic partnerships as local TIs in the study showcased this to the other participants. For this to happen it is crucial to further clarify the linkages between TI activities and overarching regional and municipal sustainability goals and ambitions, which was found being an important trigger for engagement among officials. More generally the continuous and carefully designed interactive activities created grounds for continued interactions between the stakeholders of which some are already showing results (for example btw some of the artists and TIs). Several of the TIs also clearly expressed the importance of being selected for an EU research project for their visibility and legitimacy. Finally, the main outcomes from the project forms the basis for a Local Interaction Node in Stockholm within the Mistra Urban Futures network of co-creative urban platforms for sustainable development. The establishment is coordinated by TR leader S. Borgström and in collaboration with an urban lab with expertise in design thinking processes.
Main dissemination activities
Throughout the project in Brighton many local dissemination events aimed at non-academic audiences were undertaken by the local research team. Key events where also documented on the blog in order to reach a wider audience (e.g. the workshops which produced the acceleration roadmap). Just over 80 local stakeholders participating in the workshop series overall. One of the main disseminations was a final evening event aimed at local stakeholders Nov 22 2016. It was attended by around 40 local stakeholders, including participants in TI, local green NGOs and was opened by Gill Mitchell, Deputy Leader of the Council and Chair of the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee who welcomed the findings of the project. The project team introduced the key findings as well as key recommendations for local actors from the project and launched the acceleration roadmap which was co-produced with local stakeholders. The event closed with a panel debate in which local stakeholders reflected on the main outcomes of the project and about ways to take sustainability action in Brighton and Hove forward. The roadmap was also uploaded to the Sussex University website (and posted onto other sites locally by a transition initiative) and a news item about the project was written. The roadmap was also mentioned in the local sustainability bulletin produced by the sustainability team of the Brighton and Hove council (6th of December 2016). In Genk, overall approximately 100 local people have been involved in the activities. Genk also took citizens with them to the Informed Cities Forums and the blogger highlighted beautiful transformative examples of Genk. Reports on activities and research results were communicated through documentation and feedback moments that allowed questions for clarification. The final feedback moments to the Bench of Aldermen and to the city administration were introduced by the Mayor himself. The even wider outreach is that the main findings have been summarized in a paper that is accepted in the Journal for Cleaner Production and the TR leader L. Gorissen was invited to present the results in 4 different occasions (research, public, private seminar) in Perth Australia and the main conclusions will be widely communicated to other change makers and cities in Flanders. In Dresden examples of dissemination activities towards the general public – beyond the “roadmap” document – are participations in the annual local Umundu transition festival, participations in the Local Agenda 21 “Future Festival” and diverse public presentations like for example on occasion of the “Dresden Long Night of Science”. A particular dissemination activity was the co-operation with the local “Sukuma”-initiative to implement the ARTS video competition by awarding amateur films presenting local “Stories of Change” and screening them at local cinemas. Moreover, the information on the identified 100+ transition initiatives were included as a layer in the online thematic city-map of the City of Dresden and are now visible for Dresden citizens. The main dissemination activities in Stockholm include two newspaper articles in Landets Fria Tidning (in June 2015 and 2016) presenting the ambitions as well as preliminary results, the T-Lab/Transition Platform meeting event (Oct 2015) where a large diversity of actors met and interacted based on the project’s present insights, the project public activities being part of the program of the Färgfabriken project Experiment Stockholm reaching about 10.000 people, the presentation and discussion about the drafted roadmap with about 40 regional and municipal officials working with sustainability in the region (Sept 2016), the establishment and management of the project specific Facebook group with 86 members as well as posting project news in another group also administered by the TR leader S. Borgström that concerns research and practice for the future Stockholm-Mälaren region with more than 300 members. The project events and activities has also been highlighted at the SRC website, Twitter and Facebook feed as well as in the annual reports. Two of the TIs have written blogposts with reflections from the project and especially the roadmap.

4.5. WP6

Activities implemented as part of WP6 had a number of key impacts that will continue beyond the project. The potential impact can be described for different types of actors, including researchers, representatives of local transition initiatives and policy makers, especially on the local level.
In the case of researchers, especially the ones involved in the ARTS project, the entire set-up of the project encouraged them to experiment with new ways of working in a local community. The research partners had an opportunity to interact with transition initiatives representatives not just as objects of study but self-reflective and critical actors, agents of sustainability transitions and producers of knowledge. For some of them this was a new experience but has definitely influenced their understanding of research and innovation, linking academic excellence and societal impact.
The WP6 knowledge brokerage and social learning activities supported the researchers in this regard, by offering new spaces for exchange and co-creation (e.g. the Informed Cities Fora) but also by establishing cooperation with new actors, such as bloggers and, most notably, arts and culture community. In some cases, such as Dresden or Stockholm, this cooperation will most definitely be continued, leading to new transdisciplinary projects and greater stakeholder involvement.
For the representatives of local transition initiatives, the ARTS project was an opportunity to network with like-minded individuals and organisations, locally and on the European level. This had led to improved flow of information and learning, strengthening the impact on the local level. This exchange will be continued in the framework of ECOLISE, a European network of community-led sustainability initiatives, co-founded by the ARTS partners.
For policy makers the ARTS project was a chance to connect with the grassroots level, the wealth of impressive sustainability-related activities that can easily fall under the radar (or choose to stay there willingly). By providing a space for dialogue and learning, the ARTS project managed to connect a number of unusual suspects, bringing in new voices into policy discussions and building trust to enable future cooperation. One of the most notable examples was Mundano, a Brazilian graffiti artist working to empower waste pickers around the world, who was invited as a keynote speaker at the 2016 Informed Cities Forum, an inspiring meeting that led to many new ideas and cooperation opportunities, including Mundano’s speech at the UN Habitat III conference.

Main dissemination activities
The project dissemination was divided between activities in the ARTS regions, EU-wide dissemination of project activities and results, as well as networking with other projects and initiatives.
In terms of EU wide dissemination, the following channels were used: ARTS website and blog, ARTS Twitter account (587 followers), Informed Cities Facebook page (1600 likes, average weekly reach 1200 people) and other media, as well as already established channels of the partners, most notably ICLEI Europe with its website, newsletter and social media channels targeting local government representatives and urban experts across Europe. In addition to project events, the project partners invested a lot of efforts to make the project visible at key events across Europe and beyond, presenting the project activities and results at (among others) the UN Habitat III Conference, the EU Green Week, the EU Week of Cities and Regions, the 8th European Conference of Sustainable Cities and Towns, URBACT Summer University and the International Sustainability Transitions Conference.
In terms of networking and building synergies, the ARTS project engaged actively with many institutions, programmes and initiatives across Europe and beyond, including e.g. the European Environment Agency, the European Economic and Social Committee, URBACT, JPI Urban Europe, Actors of Urban Change programme, ECOLISE (co-founded by the ARTS partners, together with the Transition Network, Permaculture Association and the Global Ecovillage Network), Future Earth, Salzburg Global, as well as many research organisations and projects.

Exploitation of results
All materials developed as part of WP6 are published online and will remain easily accessible thanks to the upgraded Informed Cities platform. Project results, most notably the policy briefs (Transition Reads) will be distributed via online channels and events organised by ICLEI Europe to make sure they reach as many local government representatives as possible.
The results will also be carried over into new projects involving ARTS consortium partners, most notably Horizon 2020 CONNECTING on nature-based solutions.

4.6. WP7


The activities undertaken within WP7 had as a main impact that ARTS insights and new narrative of sustainability transitions (the acceleration mechanisms and the focus on transition initiatives) appealed to a wider audience from academic scholars in the USA and Australia, to policy audiences like the European Environment Agency and the different city councils in the transition city-regions.

Another impact is the shift of focus from ‘governing’ to ‘collaborating’ and ‘facilitating’ that many city officers and planners may realise due to the interactions with the ARTS WP5 teams and due to the knowledge dissemination and outreaching activities in policy and practice audiences.

Main dissemination activities

• The outreach of ARTS scientific findings and especially the acceleration mechanisms have been debated and shared with scientific schools across the globe through our Academic Transition Platform engagement, such as in Australia, in Canada (with a fruitful cooperation with Chair Prof. Sarah Burch), in the United States of America (with a continuous cooperation with Prof. Arnim Wiek, Assist. Prof. Thaddeus Miller and Associate Prof. McPhearson) as well as in South Korea (with a continuous cooperation with Assoc. Prof. Marc Wolfram).
• The production to a Special Issue on the theme of ‘Urban Transformations to Sustainability’ in the journal Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability in which a positioning paper from led by ARTS and including inputs from TESS, GLAMURS, PATHWAYS and TRANSIT on ‘The role of civil society in sustainability transitions’ features together with positioning papers from the Academic Transition Platform members as well.
• Common Policy briefs with ARTS, TESS and PATHWAYS on Low-carbon transitions to sustainability covering three thematic angles:
o Beyond upscaling? Multiple pathways to accelerate sustainability transitions
o Tracing impact and showcasing success of transition initiatives
o Role of science in sustainability transitions
• Common Policy briefs with ARTS, and GLAMURS on the ‘magic ingredient’ that is ‘the role of civil society in sustainability transitions’
Scientific papers (accepted and under review):
o Kabisch, N., Frantzeskaki, N., Artmann, M., Davis, M., Haase, D., Knapp, S. Korn, H., Naumann, S., Pauleit, S., Stadler, J., Zaunberger, K., Bonn, A. et al. (2016), Nature-based solutions to climate change mitigation and adaptation in urban areas –perspectives on indicators, knowledge gaps, opportunities and barriers for action, Ecology and Society, 21 (2):39. [online] URL:
Cooperation between ARTS and GREEN SURGE.
o Wolfram, M., and Frantzeskaki, N, (2016), Cities and Systemic Change for Sustainability: Prevailing Epistemologies and an Emerging Research Agenda, Sustainability, 8, DOI: 10.3390.

o Frantzeskaki, N., Borgstrom, S., Gorissen, L., Egermann, M., and Ehnert, F., (2017), Nature-based solutions accelerating urban sustainability transitions in cities, in Kabisch, N., Korn, H., Stadler. J., and Bonn, A., (Eds), Nature-based Solutions to Climate Change Adaptation in Urban Areas - Linkages between Science, Policy and Practice, SPRINGER.

o Haase, D., Kabisch, S., Haase, A., Frantzeskaki, N., et al, Greening cities to be socially inclusive? These about the endeavour of the mutualism of society and ecology in cities, Submitted in: Habitat International, (Accepted).
Cooperation between GREEN SURGE and ARTS

o Burch, S., Andrachuk, M., Carey, D., Frantzeskaki, N., Schroeder, H., Mischkowski, N., and Loorbach, D., Governing and accelerating transformative entrepreneurship: exploring the potential for small business innovation on sustainability for urban transitions, Submitted in: Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (Revision submitted in November 2016).

Cooperation with Academic Transition Platform member and ARTS.

o Frantzeskaki, N., Dumitru, A., et al (2017), The good, the bad and the ugly? The roles of civil society in sustainability transitions, Submitted in: Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (Revision to be submitted in February 2017).
Cooperation with ARTS, TESS, GLAMURS and PATHWAYS and with members of the Academic Transition Platform.

o Spira, F., Frantzeskaki, N., Moore, M.L. and Loorbach, D., Conceptualising scaling in sustainability transitions, Submitted in: Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, (Submitted in November 2016).

o Gorissen, L., Spira, F., Meyers, E., Velkering, P., and Frantzeskaki, N., (2017), Moving towards systemic change? Investigating acceleration dynamics of urban sustainability transitions in the Belgian City of Genk, Journal of Cleaner Production, Article in Press.

o Loorbach, D., Frantzeskaki, N., and Avelino, F., (2017), Sustainability Transitions Research: Transforming Science and Practice for Societal Change, Annual Review of Environment and Resources, Vol. 42: (Volume publication date November 2017)

Exploitable Results

o The Academic Transition Platform as an approach to receive feedback and at the same time to outreach academic communities outside Europe is now replicated as an approach in the Horizon 2020 project CONNECTING and in proposals of transnational projects e.g. with the Canadian Research Council of Social Sciences and Humanities TRANSFORM.
o The majority of the papers will be open access so as to be accessible.

List of Websites:
ARTS website:
Website contact person: Matthew Bach (DRIFT) –