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19th European Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production – Circular Europe for Sustainability: Design, Production and Consumption

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Sustainable Consumption and Production and required social change in cities: case presentations

Cities have emerged as focal points for transitions towards sustainability, which is becoming increasingly urgent because of accelerated urbanisation trends. Many cities around the world are already developing climate action plans that build on climate adaptation visions and pathways. However, limited attention and efforts are spent on Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG12), whereas SCP in cities contributes hugely to the environmental footprint of cities partly indirectly due to indirect impact in production elsewhere and transportation. Nowadays most consumers live in cities and urban consumption patterns and lifestyles are driven by technological and social innovations, fashions and styles, and global and local challenges. The consumption patterns and lifestyle choices of the people who live in the city are thus key for bringing about sustainable consumption and production. Therefore, SCP in cities is an important topic in the Knowledge Action Network on Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SSCP) that is part of the Future Earth research platform ( . There are important differences between cities in the global North and South both in terms of challenges and possible solutions, which is acknowledged and calls for different approaches and strategies. In addition to a dialogue session presenting and discussing progress and current scoping of research agendas in the KAN, this paper session seeks contribution to show current state and progress on SCP in cities and required social change, based on the KAN’s Working Groups of “social change beyond consumerism” and “SCP in cities”. Contributions are particularly invited on, but not limited to: (i) Conceptual and theoretical contributions on social and socio-technical change for SCP in cities, ranging from the individual level and behavioural approaches to the potential of network and practice approaches, and the level of social and socio-technical systems, (ii) Progress and examples in studies of urban metabolism, both addressing current state, progress in development of tools and methods and cases, as well as studies looking into options and pathways to reduce the current environmental impacts of SCP in cities and their urban metabolism, (iii), Cases and examples of SCP in cities ranging from alternative consumption practices to local bottom-up initiatives, and examples of best practices of prosumers and local production. Also papers addressing the pros and cons from examples of the sharing economy are very much welcomed, as are papers linking SCP in cities and behavioural change to the transition to a Circular Economy. Also examples of interventions and bottom-up initiates are welcomed, and (iv) In addition, contributions on futures, scenarios, transitions and pathways of SCP in cities and related social and economic change are invited, as well as on participatory (research) approaches for (future) SCP in cities are highly welcomed. The following presentations are proposed, based on separately submitted abstracts: (1) Marlyne Sahakian et al, Green public spaces in the cities of South and Southeast Asia: Addressing the challenges towards sustainable wellbeing, (2) Klaus Hubacek et al, Citywide physical and virtual carbon balances as significant leverage points for global urban decarbonisation, (3) Jaco Quist et al, Transitions to SCP in Cities: Niches of Internet Biking and Circular Urban Agriculture

Jaco Quist
TU Delft


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