Transition towards and of sustainability: Understanding sustainability as performative

Anette Hallin, Tina Karrbom Gustavsson, Peter Dobers

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

22 Citeringar (Scopus)
59 Nedladdningar (Pure)


Our purpose is to explore the concept of “sustainability” when understood from a performative perspective, i.e. as a concept that is filled with meaning across time. Drawing on a 10 year-long study of the digital footprint of Stockholm Royal Seaport, claimed to be northern Europe's largest sustainable urban development district, we show that “sustainability” emerged as the project became associated with particular places, projects, histories, and technologies. This means that “sustainability” was local in that it was situated in the particular spatial context of the project; temporal in that it was situated in a particular time; and political in that it expressed particular values and perspectives. The study contributes to explaining why “sustainability” remains—and always will remain—a contested concept, which is why sustainability transitions are complex. Consequently, we suggest that the transition towards sustainability always involves the transition of sustainability, something that needs to be acknowledged in order for a transition to actually become sustainable.

Sidor (från-till)1948-1957
TidskriftBusiness Strategy and the Environment
StatusPublicerad - maj 2021
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


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