Socio-Technical Innovations in Urban Logistics: New Attempts for a Diffusion Strategy

Evelyn Fischer

Procedia Engineering (1877-7058), Vol. 178, pp. 534-542 (2017)

DOI: 10.1016/j.proeng.2017.01.103

Keywords: actor-network theory; adoption; innovation diffusion; socio-technical analysis; socio-technical co-evolution; sustainable urban logistics

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Popular diffusion strategies of technical innovations are so far characterized by a type of linear modelling, following the principles of causal communication chains from the developer to the adopter. From this perspective, neither the consumer nor the technology itself is understood as an actor in the diffusion process. Especially in times in which our understanding of the functioning of social systems increase, we should use this knowledge for the initiation of system change. Diverse environmental, health and economic problems are especially in urban agglomerations of working; living and supply reason enough for implementing a sustainable infrastructure in urban logistics. This paper aims to offer an understanding of technology equally operating with humans in actor networks, which influences our behaviour. So to change our behaviour, we have to start changing our interaction models with technology and offer attractive conditions for more sustainable uses. Thus, the diffusion of an innovation won’t be the question anymore, but the translation of lifestyles into actor networks, like sustainable structures for intermodal interchanges. This paper can be assigned to the area of governance and policy development and should be read as an attempt for the development of systemic implementation strategies in urban logistics.