Urban Infrastructural Innovation and Sustainable Lifestyles

Funded by: The National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan


June 2016 to March 2021


National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan
The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Japan
International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), Japan

PSI researchers:

Ritsuko Ozaki

Professor Fred Steward

Background, summary and aims

The project seeks to move beyond the conventionally separate approaches to behavioural research on individuals, and innovation research in organisations. Instead, we start with a systemic network perspective which embraces a diversity of both individuals and organisations. Although this approach can be applied at multiple sites and scales, we choose to focus on the urban level for two reasons. First, it is a manageable and meaningful space for the sustainability of key systems such as housing, mobility and local energy networks. Second, it is also linked to the prevalent governance systems in all countries which operate at the urban level.

The project explores different transition pathways to sustainability, investigating (a) what innovative infrastructures in cities facilitate more sustainable ways of living and how, and (b) how successful examples in one city can be transferred to other. We will be exploring different stakeholders’ views and expectations of sustainable infrastructures and how they the diffusion can be facilitated. The study will be conducted through both primary (literature) and secondary (interviews) research.