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The transition to sustainable construction in Botswana: a multi-level perspective

Ntshwene, K. (2019) The transition to sustainable construction in Botswana: a multi-level perspective. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

Interest in sustainable construction has grown in developing countries. The Government of Botswana has over the years introduced a number of initiatives with the potential to transform the construction sector to sustainability. It is noted from a socio-technical perspective that transition depends on changes in technologies, infrastructures, institutions, social practices, markets and regulations among others. The multi level perspective (MLP) approach draws attention to ways in which these configurations change to fulfil societal functions. It has been used in the western world in historical case studies to trace socio-technical changes. What is less clear is how a combination of discrete initiatives can support a transition in a less economically developed country. The multi-level perspective (MLP) has been used to study transition from one socio-technical system to another. MLP in this study is applied to a single sector; the construction sector in Botswana, to analyse the contribution of a combination of different initiatives to an ongoing sustainable transition. These include a demonstration project, environmental impact assessment and a new construction board. Opportunities and challenges that have/are being created by the initiatives are examined in the process. A mixture of in-depth interviews and document analysis were used to study the impact of the initiatives on the construction sector, the reasons for these effects and their implications for the transition to sustainable construction. It has been found that the initiatives influenced on-going efforts towards professionalization in the construction sector. Other effects include introduction of new governance techniques from abroad, produced a valuable ecological profiling of the country and transferring knowledge and technology both within and outside of BOTEC. The MLP focus on visions, learning and development of social networks in transitions have been used to help account for these outcomes. The analysis identified a number of opportunities that the initiatives introduced, but which have yet to be fully exploited. The contribution of the thesis is a reflection on the potential of discrete innovations to contribute to a transition and the use of MLP to study an emergent transition in the construction sector in Botswana.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Schweber, L.
Thesis/Report Department:School of the Built Environment
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of the Built Environment
ID Code:88415

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