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Transitions to SCP in Cities: Niches of Internet Biking and Circular Urban Agriculture
Cities have emerged as focal points for transitions towards sustainability, which is becoming increasingly urgent because of accelerating urbanisation trends. Whereas many cities around the world are already developing climate adaptation visions, pathways and action plans, limited attention and efforts are dedicated to Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG12). Nevertheless, SCP in cities contributes hugely to the environmental footprint of cities, to a large extent due to importing products that are produced elsewhere. In theory on Sustainability Transitions, one of the starting points is that novelty emerge in niches, which can evolve around new sustainable and social innovations, including new sustainable and alternative consumption practices. This paper presents two cases using a niche-transitions framework. The first case consists of Circular Urban Agriculture in the Dutch city of The Hague consisting of three initiatives: (i) the Edible Park, a local permaculture initiative, (ii) Urban Farmers, a vertical farming business, and (iii) Haagse Zwam, a micro-firm that collects coffee waste locally, which is used to grow mushrooms. The second case consists of internet biking in the Chinese city of Hangzhou. The case describes the rise of internet biking initially leading to a quick increase of both internet biking firms competing among each other and issues on the streets and other public places, which were successfully addressed. These two cases illustrate opportunities and relevance for SCP in cities and also show that SCP in cities is a matter of addressing different domains of consumption, while local production and prosumers are important, as well as that it requires social innovation. A final point is that more attention and research is needed on how SCP and CE in cities relate one another and what possible synergies and pitfalls can be. This abstract is proposed as part of the SCP in cities paper session proposal organised by Jaco Quist, Patrick Schroeder and Anna Davies.