Urban Change Agents

Civil Entrepreneurs as Drivers for Urban Transition Processes in Cape Town

What are “Urban Change Agents”? Why can citizen-based projects in Cape Town be acknowledged as harbouring transformative power to drive transition processes towards a more socially just, climate-friendly and resource-efficient urban development?

The dissertation by Nadine Kuhla von Bergmann (Founder of Creative Climate Cities) sheds light on the transformative power of civil initiatives who perform within transformative action fields (e.g. reuse and recycle, low-carbon mobility, urban agriculture, education).

Cape Town serves as a case study to describe the transition arena and transition management system of civil actors defined as “Urban Change Agents”. The research findings deliver insights into the motivation, goals, resources and tools used by Urban Change Agents. The thesis unfolds the range of impacts that Urban Change Agents’ projects are achieving and reveals the barriers preventing the projects from scaling.

As a conclusion from the research findings, the “Creative Climate City” is proposed and its leitbild is promoted.

Image source: Roberta Zucchetti, seminar "Change Agents" led by Nadine Kuhla von Bergmann, 2015, Technische Universität Berlin

Link to online version of the dissertation: "Urban change agents: citizen-based projects in Cape Town as drivers of transformative pathways towards a climate-friendly, socially just, economically viable and ressource-efficient urban future"