Local strategic planning processes and sustainability transitions in infrastructure sectors

Bernhard Truffer*, Eckhard Störmer, Max Maurer, Annette Ruef

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Sustainability transitions have repeatedly been demanded in various economic sectors to confront global environmental problems. The present paper analyses the role of strategic planning processes for improving the prospects of achieving sustainable transitions in infrastructure sectors. Current planning approaches in these sectors tend to perpetuate the established socio-technical configurations by neglecting context uncertainties, by ignoring radical system alternatives and by focusing on narrow value considerations. In order to improve the prospects for sustainable transitions, more reflexive and discursive strategic planning methods are needed. We present the 'Regional Infrastructure Foresight' methodology as a specific procedural proposal and analyse results from its application to a case study in the Swiss sanitation sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-269
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Policy and Governance
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010


  • Environmental decision-making
  • Infrastructure sectors
  • Sanitation
  • Socio-technical systems
  • Strategic planning
  • Sustainable transitions


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