Transition strategies for metropolitan food clusters

A.L. Gerritsen, E. Giesen, K. Chakravarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Metropolitan food clusters entail the development of a new agri logistic system and promises to produce gains for people, planet, and profit. Establishing a transition towards system innovations like metropolitan food clusters needs strategies to overcome the challenges actors face, because transitions are complex processes which are difficult to manage. To define major challenges and strategies to cope with them a literature study into transition, complexity, and learning theories was conducted. The findings where used in analyzing the case study Greenpark, which is located in an emerging economy. In this article it is concluded that system innovations like metropolitan food clusters need the establishment of niches in which they can foster in an environment based on trust and learning and in which a management style is used which manages order and disorder, aims for innovation, and provides room for self organization. When scaling up to the regime level the challenge arises how to push through existing practices and rules and in this context, the support of an influential actor network is essential. This means connections are necessary between the innovation process inside a niche and people and organizations outside the niche with executive power and involving potential executers of metropolitan food clusters in the design process is a suited way of doing this. The challenge however is to understand and prevent the innovative potential of the niche from weakening because of a management style that is based on hierarchy and control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-411
JournalInternational Journal of Arts & Sciences
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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