Facilitating Low-Carbon Living? A Comparison of Intervention Measures in Different Community-Based Initiatives

Schäfer, Martina; Hielscher, Sabine; Haas, Willi; Hausknost, DanielORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0496-5526; Leitner, Michaela; Kunze, Iris and Mandl, SylviaORCID: https://orcid.org/0009-0009-5870-3597 (2018) Facilitating Low-Carbon Living? A Comparison of Intervention Measures in Different Community-Based Initiatives. Sustainability, 10 (4), 1047. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041047

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Abstract

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.

Item Type: Article in Academic Journal
Keywords: low-carbon municipalities; intentional communities; ecovillages; social practice theories; interventions in practices; low-carbon measures
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2023 08:22
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2023 08:22
DOI: 10.3390/su10041047
ISSN: 2071-1050
URI: https://irihs.ihs.ac.at/id/eprint/6733

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