The objective of urban sustainability requires sustainable urban transformation (SUT), which is closely related to urban sustainability transitions. This paper contributes to the knowledge and discussion on these fields in two ways. First, it defines SUT as a subset of urban sustainability transitions, consisting of 1) sustainable places and their management and usage, 2) the sustainability transition of the urban development regime and 3) sustainability transitions in related societal sectors. Normative societal goals for both the urban development regime and sustainable urban areas are incorporated in this definition. Second, it describes transition patterns in the complex transformation process of the Rijnhaven area (Rotterdam, The Netherlands), and relates the process to transition literature.

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Journal of Cleaner Production
Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT)

Ernst, L., De Graaf-Van Dinthera, R. E., Peek, G. J., & Loorbach, D. (2016). Sustainable urban transformation and sustainability transitions; conceptual framework and case study. Journal of Cleaner Production, 112, 2988–2999. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.10.136