TURAS expert contact:
Johanna Varghese
embedded researcher in the ...



The transition challenge

Securing equitable and efficient resource flows to and within communities often fails due to a lack of knowledge sharing and coordination between different actors. Inflexible governance structures, silo planning culture and long-standing conflicts of interest can stand in the way of successful local urban transition processes. Moreover, pioneers of sustainable activities are often confined to small niches and do not effectively cooperate with established actors such as sectoral federations, trade unions, schools, public institutions or large companies. The splintering in many disconnected or even competing projects exacerbates the limited availability of resources for driving transition.

The TURAS integrated approach

Local communities, innovators, academics and governmental institutions hold diverse knowledge on how to access resources. If connected, these different knowledge cultures can strengthen community capital and the relationships between the social, environmental and economic realms to activate local place.


inclusive communities adaptive governance structures

Creating systemic Knowledge

In this integrated project, co-creating local knowledge and developing a shared sense of place is the starting point for community-driven transition. Breaking down complex issues and facilitating collective system thinking helps to unlock community capital and helps to create meaningful transition narratives.

  • ...generating a collective (qualitative and quantitative) database of history, identity and assets as a shared local platform and source of knowledge

  • ...facilitating collective systems-thinking by connecting diverse knowledge on complex issues into meaningful narratives

  • ...facilitating system-thinking and knowledge-brokering between established actors in business or public agencies and pioneers of sustainable and socially innovative economic activities

  • ...providing steps to generate and test new, local business ideas in real world simulation by focussing on user-centred design, systemic interactions and entrepreneurship

Developing shared visions

A range of tools and activities facilitates connectivity between different cultures of resource holders and helps to develop a visionary dialogue based on the needs of communities and places.

  • ...creating a database hat helps understanding needs of communities so that decisions can be more relevant to them. Community groups can share solutions and visions with other groups

  • information at the micro-level of how innovative business models can be tailored to meet the needs of communities and places

  • ...providing a framework in which niche actors can engage in meaningful and constructive cooperation with actors of the economic establishment

  • ...providing high level information on practical solutions and case studies for overcoming resource barriers to realise project ideas

  • ...offering a road map that facilitates visioning activities for communities

  • ...promoting shared values across the community and allowing new synergies and social networks to emerge
    ...building shared visions by drawing on a collective history of place

  • ...facilitating multiple stakeholders to formulate a vision for planning or development activities by going through several iterations between specific themes and the overall system

Developing integrated strategies

Providing a framework for collaboration as well as skilled facilitation supports the connection of diverse fields and knowledges and enables diverse actors to create holistic strategies rooted in place.

  • ...guiding community actors through steps that support a reflective process before, during and after a project at different scales

  • ...setting up an innovative multi-stakeholder alliance coordinated and moderated by the local authority with the aim of fostering sustainability transition of key local economic sectors

  • ...providing a framework connecting local authorities, entrepreneurs and representative members of the community and pre-testing possible business opportunities formulated around strategic urban sustainability challenges

Implementing transition activities

Tangible projects and events facilitate connectivity between diverse knowledge cultures and resource holders and provide guidance on how to acquire resources to implement change.

  • ...making groups in the city visible and have the opportunity to connect and learn from each other

  • ...supporting implementation by showing potential economic, institutional and creative leverage and how they could be used for realisation

  • ...testing the feasibility of business opportunities in participatory workshops. Methods include partial simulations, run-throughs of service process and self assessment surveys

  • ...creating guidelines and an online tool for setting-up and implementing community projects through case study models and links to resources

  • ...providing a road map for implementation through stories on how other communities did it


Please get in touch with our expert contact for additional material.