Work package 3: Analysis of success factors and constraints for transition trajectories

Research message

Work package 3 will use qualitative and quantitative research methods (interviews, secondary documents, and surveys) to understand the success factors and constraints for the scaling-up and diffusion of community initiatives that help transition to a low-carbon economy. 

Main aims

The main aims of this research are:

  • to identify initiatives which are particularly successful in moving towards a sustainable, low-carbon society, which fosters prosperity, wellbeing, quality of life, and biodiversity protection; and identify initiatives with strong potential but with more limited impact and scope;
  • to examine the success factors for the emergence and up-scaling of successful initiatives as well as constraints and obstacles in regards to their institutionalisation and up-scaling;
  • to provide initial recommendations for transition strategies which focus on activities across multiple domains.

Main outcomes

This WP assesses the processes and conditions that favour the emergence, take-off, development, and acceleration of bottom-up initiatives; evaluates the societal, social, attitudinal, and behavioural transformation processes involved; and assesses the persistence of initiatives and potential spin-off projects, as well as emergence of networks. This systematic analysis includes the identification of institutional arrangements and political environments at various scales, which seem particularly conducive for local initiatives to emerge, to diffuse, to persist and to up-scale. Similarly, constraints, obstacles, and challenges for up-scaling and institutionalisation will be identified. Through this WP, we will pay particular attention to the spill-over effects from specific initiatives, and identify the changes in networks that have occurred through these initiatives.

Main outputs

  • Data collection database of success factors and constraints (collected through interviews, focus groups, surveys, and secondary data such as reports, memos, social media)
  • Summary reports on case study findings regarding the most important factors for the development, up-scaling, and diffusion of community-based initiatives.
  • Report on qualitative success factors which will present synthetic and comparable information about the critical factors (including policy contexts, network and group dynamics.
  • Community organisation, and individual changes behind the success, persistence and up-scaling of single initiatives.

Practical use

This WP will provide recommendations on the success factors that enable community-based initiatives to become real green development strategies, enhancing wellbeing and prosperity, and preserving biodiversity, while cutting across multiple domains. Our recommendations will also include an analysis of the most important factors needed to up-scale and mainstream initiatives, allow for the persistence and transferability of projects, create rebound effects, and minimize green paradox effects. We will consider the Smart Cities and Communities European Innovation Partnership and present the factors that will contribute to the development of innovative solutions in regards to energy and transportation. We will also ensure that societal and environmental justice considerations are incorporated into the recommendations.