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FRIHUMSAM-Fri prosj.st. hum og sam

Socially Inclusive Transformations to Sustainability

Alternative title: Sosialt Inkluderende Transformasjoner til Bærekraft

Awarded: NOK 1.5 mill.

SoTrans will explore the relationships between two of the critical societal challenges of our time: transformations to sustainability and efforts to overcome social inequality and exclusion. While there is growing attention to how transformative change comes about, less attention has been paid to the manner in which it is planned and implemented. The group will explore theories, strategies and policies on how socially inclusive transformations can be achieved. It will also focus on how these challenges are lived on the ground, including the experiences of people that are working for this or affected by them. In this project we ask: How can we investigate the justice dimensions of transformations towards sustainable societies? In what ways do sustainability policies and practices produce or re-produce social inequalities? How can socially inclusive strategies be developed and implemented? The project represents a collaboration between two research groups that were evaluated by the SAMEVAL Panel for Human Geography: the Climate Change and Transformations to Sustainability group and the Urban Transformations group. Through coordinated activities, collaborations, and PhD courses, the SoTrans project will renew their research and strengthen the links to national and international research environments.

The Research Group for this proposal brings together two groups that are closely aligned in their objectives and approaches. One group has been focusing on Climate Change and Transformations to Sustainability. Since the SAMEVAL report was published in 2018, Professor Andrea Nightingale has been added to this group, together with two Ph.D. students. The other group focuses on Urban Transformations. Themes of equity, social justice, and inclusion are common to both groups, and form a basis for scientific research and renewal on “socially inclusive transformations to sustainability.” Members of both groups are involved in the INCLUDE center, where Per Gunnar Røe leads Work Package 2: “Energy Spaces and Flows”, focusing on the social justice aspects of urban sustainability strategies, and the development of socially inclusive strategies for decarbonization and energy transitions in city regions. Three PhDs have been added to the group, and the INCLUDE center will engage two other professors at the department; David Jordhus-Lier and Bjørnar Sæther. This network project will explore the relationships between two critical societal challenges of our time: Climate change and transformations to sustainability and efforts to overcome social inequality and exclusion. How can we understand, conceptualize, and investigate the equity dimensions of transformations towards sustainable societies? In what ways do sustainability policies and practices produce or re-produce social inequalities? How can socially inclusive strategies be developed, implemented, and assessed? The initiative is inspired by the work on environmental, climate, and urban justice, focusing on distribution (what and where are the injustices), recognition (who is ignored and marginalized), and procedures (is there a fair and democratic process), and research on vulnerability, adaptation, and resilience that focuses on addressing the root causes of environmental degradation and social injustices.

Funding scheme:

FRIHUMSAM-Fri prosj.st. hum og sam