In this article, we take stock of the findings from conceptual and empirical work on the role of transition initiatives for accelerating transitions as input for modeling acceleration dynamics. We applied the qualitative modeling approach of causal loop diagrams to capture the dynamics of a single transition initiative evolving within its regional context. In doing so, we aim to address two key challenges in transition modeling, namely conceptualization, and the framing of empirical insights obtained for various case study regions in a consistent modeling framework. Our results show that through this systematic approach one can translate conceptual and qualitative empirical work into a transition model design. Moreover, the causal loop diagrams can be used as discussion tools to support dialogue among researchers and stakeholders, and may support a comparison of transition dynamics across case-study regions. We reflect on main limitations related to empirical model validation (lack of data) and to model structure (high level of aggregation), and describe next steps for moving from a qualitative single transition initiative to a quantitative multiple transition initiatives model.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Acceleration, Causal loop diagrams, Qualitative modeling, Sustainability transitions, Transition governance, Transition initiatives
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.3390/su9071254, hdl.handle.net/1765/100954
Journal Sustainability (Switzerland)
Grant This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme; grant id fp7/603654 - Accelerating and Rescaling Transitions to Sustainability (ARTS)
Citation
Valkering, P.J, Yücel, G. (Gönenç), Gebetsroither-Geringer, E. (Ernst), Markvica, K. (Karin), Meynaerts, E. (Erika), & Frantzeskaki, N. (2017). Accelerating transition dynamics in city regions: A qualitative modeling perspective. Sustainability (Switzerland), 9(7). doi:10.3390/su9071254