Journal Article

Perspectives on urban transformation research: transformations in, of, and by cities

This recent article by DRIFTer Katharina Hölscher and friend of DRIFT Niki Frantzeskaki outlines three perspectives on urban transformations: transformation in, of, and by cities. These perspectives help explain, structure and integrate the emerging urban transformations research field.
The narrative of ‘urban transformations’ epitomises the hope that cities provide rich opportunities for contributing to local and global sustainability and resilience. Urban transformation research is developing a rich yet consistent research agenda, offering opportunities for integrating multiple perspectives and disciplines concerned with radical change towards desirable urban systems.
We outline three perspectives on urban transformations in, of and by cities as a structuring approach for integrating knowledge about urban transformations. We illustrate how each perspective helps detangle different questions about urban transformations while also raising awareness about their limitations. Each perspective brings distinct insights about urban transformations to ultimately support research and practice on transformations for sustainability and resilience. Future research should endeavour to bridge across the three perspectives to address their respective limitations.
Hölscher, K & Frantzeskaki, N. (2021). Perspectives on urban transformation research: transformations in, of, and by cities. Urban Transformations. 3
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February 24, 2021