Making and mobilising place: The governance of Greater Manchester’s decarbonisation ambitions

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The urgent need to address the current climate crisis has highlighted the need to shift from planning to implementing decarbonisation strategies. Despite the importance of shifting towards the implementation of strategic plans and the increasing ubiquity of place-based approaches to decarbonisation, few studies have considered the dynamic of how place is mobilised and the scales at which narratives are translated into action. The aim of the article is to understand the ways in which place and scale are incorporated into the governance of place-based decarbonisation visions by drawing upon a relational framing. Based on semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders and a document review, the article focuses on how place is used to develop and justify two different approaches for supporting localised decarbonisation, Local Area Energy Plans and the Energy Innovation Agency in Greater Manchester, UK, a city region aiming to achieve carbon neutrality by 2038. The findings reveal that achieving localised decarbonisation ambitions is contingent upon the interaction between multiple places and scales, as well as the need for an overarching guiding framework. The authors conclude that Greater Manchester’s decarbonisation ambitions incorporate both absolute and imagined understandings of place, with place being both created and mobilised to achieve decarbonisation ambitions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-170
Number of pages14
JournalNorsk Geografisk Tidsskrift
Issue number3
Early online date27 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023


  • decarbonisation
  • governance
  • place-based approaches
  • scale


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