The paper suggests that the challenge of sustainability demands a shift of the attention of environmental planning and policy to the transition of socio-technological systems. Deliberate planning for sustainability then becomes a question of addressing governance structures of socio-technological systems, calling attention to how such governance structures emerge, stabilize and become dominant, which functions governance structures have to serve to become efficient, and how they can be made subject to deliberate and purposeful shaping and transition. Taking this approach, research in planning and policymaking for sustainability has to work with issues of understanding how actors and networks configure, requirements to effective networks and metagovernance of governance networks. Research within innovation systems, transition management and technology systems combined with planning and experimental activities provides both a theoretical and empirical body of knowledge of such governance processes. The paper presents these approaches and demonstrates how they can be used in relation to the process of developing bio-fuel systems for transportation.
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Democratic Network Governance in Europe - Past and Future Research, Roskilde University, 2006