2013-08-21Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/21563
Socio-technical Change and the Politics of Urban Infrastructure
Managing Energy in Berlin between Dictatorship and Democracy
This paper reconstructs the trajectory of energy efficiency policies in Berlin from the 1920s to today in order to illustrate how the shifting political and socioeconomic conditions of a city can shape urban energy provision and consumption. Taking a long-term perspective on the relationship between urban transitions and energy policy, it investigates how the geo-political turbulence, regime diversity and socioeconomic volatility experienced by 20th-century Berlin influenced strategies of electricity generation and use in the city. Drawing on different ways of conceptualising change to socio-technical systems in the literature, the paper’s findings present a more differentiated picture of urban energy transitions than notions of path dependency and transition pathways imply, highlighting the importance of non-linear trends, political contestation and crisis discourses in and beyond the city and their relevance for reconfiguring urban energy systems today.
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