Territorial planning and urban transformative capacities. Preliminary reflections on the case of Valencia in Spain

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The role of urban areas for sustainability transitions is crucial. Urban unsustainability problems seem to be persistent and a sense of urgency about how to speed up purposive urban transformation is growing. Accordingly, the research community is paying increasing attention to place-based approaches to identify the essential factors for accelerating urban sustainability transitions. This work-in progress is based on Wolfram’s urban transformative capacity conceptual framework (2016) for the analysis of the transition processes in the particular case of Valencia, Spain. The aim is to apply the framework as an analytical tool and to develop an exploratory assessment based on in-depth stakeholder interviews which identifies strategic implications for policy making and urban planning in order to accelerate transitions. In particular, the role of spatial planning (and planners) at metropolitan level have been examined in relation to its capacity of translating and incorporating innovative practices to accelerate urban sustainability transitions. At this level, implications in terms of rationalities, governance, instruments and techniques are shown in the conclusions. Although the research is circumscribed to the city of Valencia, its implications may be valuable for other contexts to enable comparative research.
spatial planning, urban planning, sustainability transitions, Valencia