JUSTRA Cities Network

Research Network on Just Sustainability Transitions in Cities

JUSTRA Cities aims to deepen, translate, and connect knowledge and practice on just sustainability transitions in and around cities.

What is this network about?

We are researching how just sustainability transitions manifest in cities. Our research question is: How do people contribute to just sustainability transitions in cities, and how can their transformative potential be increased? We are particularly interested in the potential of networks and translocal connections to empower people for transformative change. In addition to our research, we want to promote these ideas through our publication series and event series.

What methods do we use?

Besides researching networks, we are a network ourselves. Creating a translocal and transdisciplinary network around just sustainability transitions in cities is a method for developing actionable knowledge that bridges across the fields of sustainability transitions, environmental justice and urban planning. This includes experimenting with several methods to co-produce, deepen and translate actionable knowledge by:

Publication Series Just Sustainability Transitions

Exploring the intersections of justice, sustainability and transformative change

A demonstration in a city center

Event Series on Just Sustainability Transitions

Contributing to informed academic and public debates on (in)justice and (un)sustainability

Research on Just Sustainability Transitions

Understanding the role of translocal networks in knowledge sharing and co-production

How does our network make an impact?

Our transdisciplinary network is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is a method to gather and develop knowledge, and on the other hand, it serves to share and diffuse actionable knowledge. Justice and sustainability are deeply contested concepts, not only in academia but also in the practice of entrepreneurs, activists and policymakers. We approach these societal actors not as mere objects of study or ‘respondents’, but rather as partners in the co-production of actionable knowledge. 

Through our open-source Wiki and online events, we have and will continue to invite and engage hundreds of people from all over the world to share and debate evidence, insights, and challenges on how justice and sustainability manifest in their own communities, cities, networks and research fields.

  • Dr. Julia Wittmayer (Theme lead)
    Julia works as assistant professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam and has worked as (action) researcher in sustainability transitions at DRIFT since 2008. With a background in social and cultural anthropology, she focuses on changing social relations between and meaning making of societal actors in processes of social change.

Last but not least, the theme is constantly exploring synergies and connections with other projects such as the UrbanA-project on sustainable and just cities, the SONNET-project on social innovation in the energy transition, and the Design Impact Transition (DIT) Platform.

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