Berner Humangeographisches Kolloquium

23 November 2021

Dr. Huiwen Gong: Green windows of opportunity and sustainability transitions in latecomer cities: evidence from China

The development of green industries in regions and cities is increasingly seen as important to the current discussion on the geographies of sustainability transitions. The opening of green windows of opportunity for technological, institutional, and market reasons presents both opportunities and challenges for many cities in the world today. In this regard, latecomer cities appear to have many advantages (notably, the presence of institutional voids, strong social ties, space for experimentation, available land and other resources, strong place leadership, etc.) (Yu and Gibbs, 2018, 2019). At the same time, they also face major challenges in important aspects such as weak endogenous innovation capabilities and the absence of agglomeration economies (Eder and Trippl, 2019; Trippl et al., 2017). Based on cases of green pathway developments in Chinese latecomer cities, this presentation reveals how advantages can be maintained and challenges be tackled in latecomer cities when green windows open. It highlights important dimensions that latecomer cities need to consider in order to realize sustainable transformations.