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See detailBlending Scales of Governance: Land Use Policies and Practices in the Small State of Luxembourg
Affolderbach, Julia UL; Carr, Constance UL

in Regional Studies (2016), 50(6), 944-955

Blending scales of governance: land-use policies and practices in the small state of Luxembourg, Regional Studies. While multilevel governance is helpful in understanding the logics behind integrated ... [more ▼]

Blending scales of governance: land-use policies and practices in the small state of Luxembourg, Regional Studies. While multilevel governance is helpful in understanding the logics behind integrated sustainable development policies, this paper argues that relational multi-scalar approaches more accurately explain actual land-use transformations in the small state of Luxembourg. These conclusions are based on surveys of planning policies and observations of land-use patterns related to housing and retail. Additionally, over 60 interviews were performed with local actors. The results reveal how actors blend scales of governance to override national directives to exert changes in land use. Blending scales is not always strategic or advantageous, but is an unavoidable process that characterizes interactions in a small state. [less ▲]

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See detailPowerful sustainable development master - signifiers in urban planning discourses (abstract)
Carr, Constance UL

in de Melo, JJ; Disterheft, A; Caeiro, S (Eds.) et al Proceedings of the 22nd Annual International Sustainable Development Research Society Conference: Rethinking Sustainability Models and Practices (2016)

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See detailBe constructive! Situating sustainability research at the nexus of positivism and reflective positionality
Carr, Constance UL; Hesse, Markus UL

Presentation (2016)

Sustainable development remains a powerful concept across European and global fields of policy-making. Spurred by the all-encompassing threat of climate change, the rhetoric of a great transformation ... [more ▼]

Sustainable development remains a powerful concept across European and global fields of policy-making. Spurred by the all-encompassing threat of climate change, the rhetoric of a great transformation successfully occupies current policy and practice. However, in contrast to the doom and gloom predictions, and in stark contrast to the sheer magnitude of the challenge of dealing with such complex set of problems, recent policy ideas and recipes seem trivial, and overly rationalised and optimistic. With respect to this, there are two interrelated issues that will be explored in this session. First, much of this new rationality of sustainability moults into popular labels such as ‘green’ or ‘smart’ where the city is the primary setting. This search for practical solutions in the city is further buttressed by the ‘sustainability business’ and associated green-washing practices that have emerged, as well as a variety of tools to assess, monitor, evaluate, and certify sustainability initiatives (indicators, metrics, and planning orthodoxies such as density, integrated, or holistic planning) that have become standard practice. Scholars have been active to identify the pitfalls here: Elgert & Krueger (2012) discussed the epistemology of metrics; Wiig (2015) interrogated the corporate strategy of a multi such as IBM behind ‘smart city’; Angelo & Wachsmuth (2015) criticised ‘methodological cityism’ in political ecology; Purcell (2006) showed the limits to localism; Mössner (2013) exposed socio-political limits of green cities. These criticisms highlight that there is something else to explore beyond current notions of sustainability. In this session, we explore further critiques of existing attempts, as well as conceptions of sustainability that embrace more contemporary imaginaries of urban geographies. These include critical reflections on super-optimist projects such as transition towns, or green cities (e.g. localism, methodological city-ism, green-washing in urban marketing), and thoughts on the disparity between the normative of sustainable development and current policy realities (How has this disparity changed? How is it produced? What lays outside the current lens? How has green urbanism changed over time and across places?). The second issue relates to expectations of knowledge proliferation in academia, as research communities are increasingly embedded in contradictory settings, expected to provide results and not problems, to be frank but constructive, and moreover, to be elite, excellent, income-generating as well as critical. In this respect, there is thus good reason to analyse the research-policy nexus, as Woods & Gardner (2011), Pain (2006), and Beaumont et al. (2005) have explored, examine the construction of knowledge claims as Rydin (2007) has explained, and rework some considerations with regards to rationalist modes in sustainable development and emerging sustainability modernities. We thus also want to interrogate the tensions between the construction of positivist sustainability on the one hand, and the position of the critical researcher on the other hand – the treading of the fine line between Dennis Judd’s (2005) claim that urban scholars tend to assume that “everything is always going to hell” (Judd 2005) and Elbert Hubbard’s classical “positive anything is better than negative nothing” (Hawthorne 1902). Concrete questions addressed here are: Who is producing claims to knowledge in practices of sustainable development urbanism? What are the possibilities and limitations for researchers to balance constructive interventionism with realistic limits of sustainable development and all its complexities, messy politics, wicked problems that are observed in human geography? How is it possible to pursue state-led contract work while maintaining critical integrity? What are relevant reflections the ontology, methodology and ethics of applied SD research practice? [less ▲]

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See detailThe power of sustainable development
Carr, Constance UL

in Regions Magazine (2015), 300(4), 11-13

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See detailQuilting around the master-signifier of sustainable development
Carr, Constance UL

Scientific Conference (2015, October)

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See detailThe embodied patchworks of sustainability master-signifiers
Carr, Constance UL

Scientific Conference (2015, July)

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See detailSustainability – The travelling empty-master-signifier
Carr, Constance UL

Scientific Conference (2015, April)

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See detailRaising Sustainability
Carr, Constance UL; Becker, Tom UL; Evrard, Estelle UL et al

in Planning Theory & Practice (2015)

The contributions that follow in this issue of the Interface address some operationalisations of sustainable development that have prevailed in planning policy in recent years.

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See detailBefunde und Interpretationen des Forschungsprojektes SUSTAIN_GOV
Carr, Constance UL

Presentation (2015)

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See detailBefunde und Interpretationen
Carr, Constance UL

Scientific Conference (2015)

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See detailIntegration als konzeptioneller Baustein und Widerspruch der nachhaltigen Raumplanung
Carr, Constance UL; Mcdonough, Evan UL; Telaar, Rainer

in Raumplanung (2015), 182

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See detailSustainability? Local opportunities and scalar contradictions
Carr, Constance UL

Presentation (2015)

In 2014, a colleague and I guest edited a Special Issue of Local Environment. Focus was on the urban and local scale as it is often postulated to be the most appropriate site of sustainability ... [more ▼]

In 2014, a colleague and I guest edited a Special Issue of Local Environment. Focus was on the urban and local scale as it is often postulated to be the most appropriate site of sustainability intervention. But we were also interested in mechanisms of change that higher levels of authority are not able to engage. Clearly, there is a rich diversity of initiatives: Ideas are abound, technologies are available, and projects already exist in a variety of forms and at various stages of maturity. In this way, the issue contributes to the growing catalog of sustainability efforts. Significant, however, was that local initiatives must be viewed not as isolated events, but in association the wider multi-scalar contexts that enable them or inhibit them. If making a better planet ultimately means invoking change on a broad scale – which is the broad goal of sustainable development, sustainability, or sustainability transitions – then ideas have to originate with one or a few bodies, and there must be a process of translating the emerged new practice to anchor it at wider-reaching scales. In this way, the general course can be changed. Yet, it is a path that treads the fine line between alternative niches and mainstream, between counter and accepted practice, between the visionary ‘lone (eco)hero’ and conventional operations, between real change in the mainstream and expropriation of the alternative by the mainstream. At this point, a paradox often arises as local initiatives transgress from micro-local to wider, established and well known spheres. This tension – between what enables and what constrains actors interested in sustainability transitions – is the focus of this contribution. [less ▲]

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See detailPanel Discussion on Sustainable Neighbourhoods: A view on cooperative housing models
Carr, Constance UL

Presentation (2014, December)

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See detailWhither sustainability? Governance and regional integration in the Glatt Valley
Carr, Constance UL; Mcdonough, Evan UL

Scientific Conference (2014, July 11)

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See detailDiscourse Yes, Implementation Maybe: an Immobility and Paralysis of Sustainable Development Policy
Carr, Constance UL

in European Planning Studies (2014), 22(9), 1824-1840

Sustainable development policies are on the move. Cities the world over are reposition-ing, repackaging and remarketing themselves as green and sustainable, and sustainable development is the moniker ... [more ▼]

Sustainable development policies are on the move. Cities the world over are reposition-ing, repackaging and remarketing themselves as green and sustainable, and sustainable development is the moniker imported to spark the process. At the same time, sustainable development, as a normative point of departure, is itself going through cycles of reinterpretation and re-composition. The research in this paper aims to understand this process by mapping the trajectories of sustainable development policies, and understanding sustainable development as a contextually grounded policy in motion. In Luxembourg, as planners are confronted with finding ways to manage growth, sustainable development has come to permeate all levels of the planning system. To understand how this came into being, research methods were employed that include document screening and a series of conversational interviews that were later transcribed and coded. In so doing, the discourse around sustainable development policy could be reconstructed and analysed. The results showed that the multi-scalar, cross-national, and simultaneously micro-level governance structures pose many obstructions to the implementation of sustainable development policies that are imported from abroad. Thus, policy is ultimately immobile, and a policy paralysis can be spoken of. [less ▲]

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See detailSustainability – The travelling paradoxical master-signifier
Carr, Constance UL

Scientific Conference (2014)

Sitting at the nexus of the scholarly literatures of discourse theory, integrative planning, and policy mobility, and this paper shows that the usage of sustainability as a master-signifier results not ... [more ▼]

Sitting at the nexus of the scholarly literatures of discourse theory, integrative planning, and policy mobility, and this paper shows that the usage of sustainability as a master-signifier results not only in new policy discourses, but also in further social spatial contradictions. In both Luxembourg and in Switzerland, governing officials are confronted with coordinating development under growth pressure. In this context, sustainability, along with respective integrative planning procedures, arrives as a guiding principle that enables policy makers to clump together certain sets of disassociate problems in attempts to bring so called order out of disorder. While some aggregation may occur, further fragmentation – and new sets of challenges – is the consequence. Sustainability as the master-signifier, thus, performs a quilting function around which policy-makers can orient, bundle certain sets of problems under a single ideology, and attempt order. The ideology has, however, certain material implications. It is a travelling master-signifier. [less ▲]

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See detailRescaling Sustainability
Carr, Constance UL; Affolderbach, Julia UL

in Local Environment (2014), 19(6), 567-713

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See detailRescaling sustainability? Local opportunities and scalar contradictions
Carr, Constance UL; Affolderbach, Julia UL

in Local Environment (2014), 19(6), 567-571

Detailed reference viewed: 317 (22 UL)