Quotation Schäfer, Martina, Hielscher, Sabine, Haas, Willi, Hausknost, Daniel, Leitner, Michaela, Kunze, Iris, Mandl, Sylvia. 2018. Facilitating Low-Carbon Living? A Comparison of Intervention Measures in Different Community-Based Initiatives. Sustainability. 10 (4), 1047




The challenge of facilitating a shift towards sustainable housing, food and mobility has been taken up by diverse community-based initiatives ranging from “top-down” approaches in low-carbon municipalities to “bottom-up” approaches in intentional communities. This paper compares intervention measures in four case study areas belonging to these two types, focusing on their potential of re-configuring daily housing, food, and mobility practices. Taking up critics on dominant intervention framings of diffusing low-carbon technical innovations and changing individual behavior, we draw on social practice theory for the empirical analysis of four case studies. Framing interventions in relation to re-configuring daily practices, the paper reveals differences and weaknesses of current low-carbon measures of community-based initiatives in Germany and Austria. Low-carbon municipalities mainly focus on introducing technologies and offering additional infrastructure and information to promote low-carbon practices. They avoid interfering into residents’ daily lives and do not restrict carbon-intensive practices. In contrast, intentional communities base their interventions on the collective creation of shared visions, decisions, and rules and thus provide social and material structures, which foster everyday low-carbon practices and discourage carbon-intensive ones. The paper discusses the relevance of organizational and governance structures for implementing different types of low-carbon measures and points to opportunities for broadening current policy strategies.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Sustainability
Citation Index SSCI
WU-Journal-Rating new STRAT-C
Language English
Title Facilitating Low-Carbon Living? A Comparison of Intervention Measures in Different Community-Based Initiatives
Volume 10
Number 4
Year 2018
Page from 1047
Reviewed? Y
URL https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/10/4/1047
DOI https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041047
Open Access Y
Open Access Link https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/10/4/1047


Hausknost, Daniel (Details)
Haas, Willi (Universität für Bodenkultur, Austria)
Hielscher, Sabine (TU Berlin, Germany)
Kunze, Iris (Universität für Bodenkultur, Austria)
Leitner, Michaela (ÖIN, Austria)
Mandl, Sylvia (ÖIN, Austria)
Schäfer, Martina (TU Berlin, Germany)
Institute for Social Change and Sustainability IN (Details)
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