Municipal transitions: The social, energy, and spatial dynamics of sociotechnical change in South Tyrol, Italy
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With the aim of proposing recommendations on how to use social and territorial specificities as levers for wider achievement of climate and energy targets at local level, this research analyses territories as sociotechnical systems. Defining the territory as a sociotechnical system allows us to underline the interrelations between space, energy and society. Groups of municipalities in a region can be identified with respect to their potential production of renewable energy by means of well-known data-mining approaches. Similar municipalities linking together can share ideas and promote collaborations, supporting clever social planning in the transition towards a new energy system. The methodology is applied to the South Tyrol case study (Italy). Results show eight different spatially-based sociotechnical systems within the coherent cultural and institutional context of South Tyrol. In particular, this paper observes eight different systems in terms of (1) different renewable energy sourcepreferences in semi-urban and rural contexts; (2) different links with other local planning, management, and policy needs; (3) different socio-demographicspecificities of individuals and families; (4) presence of different kinds of stakeholders or of (5) different socio-spatial organizations based on land cover. Each energy system has its own specificities and potentialities, including social and spatial dimensions, that can address a more balanced, inclusive, equal, and accelerated energy transition at the local and translocal scale.