Approaches for Transitions Towards Sustainable Development: Status Quo and Challenges

Rui Dong Chang*, Jian Zuo, Zhen Yu Zhao, Veronica Soebarto, George Zillante, Xiao Long Gan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
132 Downloads (Pure)


With the aim of facilitating the long-term transformation towards a sustainable future, the research field of sustainability transition has gained growing attention. A number of approaches have been proposed to understand or even manage the complex societal transition processes towards sustainable development. There are four popular approaches for sustainability transitions, i.e. the multi-phase concept, multi-level perspective, strategic niche management and transition management. However, there is a lack of studies to systematically review and critically reflect on these various approaches in this emerging field. This paper presents a holistic review of the four most common approaches, and more importantly identifies four critical challenges for the future studies on transition approaches. Consequently, the associated future research agenda is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-371
Number of pages13
JournalSustainable Development
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


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