For more than a decade, firms, governmental organizations, knowledge institutes and other relevant actors in the Sloe Area and Canal Zone have been engaged in multiple initiatives dedicated to the sustainable industrial development of their region. In this article, a reconstruction is made of these developments, using Event Sequence Analysis (ESA), to study how actors built and maintained the collaborations that drive these initiatives, and to study the extent to which these initiatives mutually influence each other. The analysis reveals that there are no direct mutual influences between the developments, but that there are indirect influences based on partially overlapping sources of institutional capacity (i.e. the capacity for collective action). Based on the results, several additions are made to existing models of industrial symbiosis that describe the stages through which industrial symbiosis develops. The first addition is the idea that industrial symbiosis can be understood to build on stable intermediate components that develop autonomously from each other. The second addition is that the development of industrial symbiosis itself can be understood as a stable intermediate for more comprehensive developments at a higher system level. The third addition is that the development of industrial symbiosis can be understood to be embedded in a larger social context that influences the opportunities that actors see for collective action towards industrial symbiosis.

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Journal of Cleaner Production
Department of Public Administration

Spekkink, W. (2013). Building capacity for sustainable regional industrial systems: An event sequence analysis of developments in the Sloe Area and Canal Zone. Journal of Cleaner Production. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.08.028