Pluralising place frames in urban transition management: net-zero transitions at precinct scale

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This paper is concerned with unpacking net-zero frames and identifying implications for precinct scale urban transition management. Using data from frontrunner interviews and secondary sources in a case study on the Monash Technology Precinct (Melbourne, Australia), the analysis points towards four frames of net-zero at precinct scale: ‘Electrify Everything’ focuses on technology development to achieve carbon emissions reductions; ‘Place Matters’ which attends to liveability, mobility, inclusivity, sociality and amenity; ‘Going Green’ which embraces circular economy principles, nature-based solutions and green infrastructures; and ‘Innovation Hotspot’ which emphasises the potential of the precinct to become a major geographical agglomeration for net-zero entrepreneurship, industry development, job creation, international recognition and connectivity. Each of these frames are unpacked in terms of 1) the problem that needs to be addressed; 2) the causal diagnosis in terms of key drivers that give rise to this problem; 3) a moral interpretation of the problem and underpinning drivers; and 4) the type of actions and solutions that follow from this framing. The paper concludes that these frames are important in generating a deeper understanding of what shapes possibilities as well as tensions in accelerating a net-zero precinct transition, because each frame prioritises and enables certain transition strategies and collaborations, while it obscures and challenges others. Ultimately, the paper calls for plausible urban transition management approaches that connect with people, politics and place to consider real-life urban multiplicity, diversity, differences of views, ambiguities and contestation as a reality and potentially generative to transition dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100803
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • Framing
  • Governance
  • Multi-system interactions
  • Net-zero
  • Place
  • Precincts
  • Transition management
  • Urban futures
  • Urban transformation

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