Governance for System Innovation Sustainable Housing and Building in Flanders (Belgium)

In the case study on system innovation for sustainable housing and building in Flanders, Belgium, system innovation is linked to sustainability, ecological, social, economic, institutional and cultural long-term ambitions. Urban developments in Flanders have been characterized by suburbanization and urban sprawl, as well as by a highly fragmented governance system. Occurring problems have been recognized to some extent as being systemic, as is evident in research, policy analysis and public debates. Still there are divergent views on the actions that are necessary to achieve system innovation. The system is changing at a slow rate but it is prompted by experimental transition management, as well as by external pressures (such as EU climate and energy policies) and new developments in industrial, spatial and housing policy. The direction of this change at this current point remains vague, but is usually framed as “more sustainable” and “energy efficient”. There is hope that socio-technical innovation will help to achieve this transition, but institutional and socio-cultural innovation are seen as equally important as enabling technologies.
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