Toward a spatial perspective on niche development: The case of Bus Rapid Transit

Frans Sengers, Rob Raven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

107 Citations (Scopus)


This paper responds to recent criticism from geographers that the 'local-global' niche model in transition studies is spatially naïve. A number of relevant geography literatures (buzz-pipelines, global production networks, policy mobilities) are mobilized to develop a more geographically nuanced understanding of niche development. The result complements the original model by providing center stage to (1) the spatialities of the production and transfer of knowledge, (2) the geographies of the actor networks involved and (3) the dynamics of embeddedness by which these global networks and knowledge discourses become entangled with place-specific power relationships, institutions and infrastructures. To illustrate this empirically, we trace the tortuous innovation journey of Bus Rapid Transit - a promising new mode of urban transportation that is spreading rapidly across the globe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-182
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Bus Rapid Transit
  • Geography of transitions
  • Local-global
  • Niches

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