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Diffusion of Environmental Technology in a Megacity - A case study of Mexico City
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2013 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In a world recently declared urban, each day technology plays a more important role in society. A majority of people seem to believe in technology not only for solving everyday problems and for supporting the current production and economic systems, but also for the redress of environmental problems that are caused to a large extent by the same technology that has driven society to the current standards. In this direction, megacities (i.e. cities with more than ten million inhabitants) represent a valuable example of both the problems caused by high urbanization rates and the possibility of solving them using technology. However, the mere development of technology does not guarantee its immediate adoption and successful implementation by a given society.

In this thesis, one of the largest megacities in the world (i.e. in terms of population) was chosen as a case study for the analysis of the adoption and diffusion of environmental technology. Mexico City is studied through a set of interviews with local stakeholders from academia, government, industry and other external organizations such as non-profit organizations and international institutions. This approach resulted in the identification of different obstacles to the adoption and implementation of technologies, but also led to a successful case of technology adoption that allowed for the understanding of important traits that facilitated not only such adoption, but also the subsequent diffusion and spread to other cities.

Although the thesis has a strong focus on the demand side (in this case Mexico City), the supply side (in this case the Swedish environmental technology sector) is also considered and analyzed. By using statistical data of common enterprise and economic nature, the composition of the sector was described and analyzed with the intention to identify important areas and behavioral traits that could give insight into the hindrances that the sector faces when exporting its offerings. Given the interest that the Swedish government has put in the sector for contributing to the country’s economic growth, the different studies commissioned for the assessment of the sector are also discussed in this thesis. The different conclusions and suggestions made by the different agencies entrusted with this task are shown and analyzed.

Conclusions are drawn regarding the need for designing strategies that consider local conditions, that are flexible and adaptive to a highly dynamic environment and that pay particular attention to the development of strong demonstration projects that facilitate overcoming the distrust normally created when new technologies are introduced in a society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013. , 73 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1574
Keyword [en]
Technology Diffusion, Environmental Technology, Megacities, Mexico City
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-88401ISBN: 978-91-7519-697-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-88401DiVA: diva2:603002
Presentation
2013-02-01, ACAS, Hus A, Campus Valla, Linköping University, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Megatech
Funder
Vinnova
Available from: 2013-02-15 Created: 2013-02-04 Last updated: 2013-02-15Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Megacities: turning ten million faces at Swedish environmental technology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Megacities: turning ten million faces at Swedish environmental technology
2011 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The world is facing a tremendous challenge with its current urbanization trend. In particular, two types of cities–i.e. emerging and transitional–are of interest given their rapid population growth and the subsequent pressure put on its infrastructure and logistics and on its surrounding environment. This can represent huge business opportunities for companies in Sweden, where population growth has stabilized and a lot of these problems have been already addressed. At the same time, the host city can benefit from the solution of some of their problems and a push towards a more sustainable development. In this article, the key dynamics for successful up-scaling and diffusion of environmental technologies in emerging markets are analyzed based on a case-study. The identification of key local stakeholders, such as governmental and non-governmental institutions (NGOs), intermediary institutions, industry representatives and academia was the raw material for a first round of interviews. The latter, provided an insight of what are the barriers to success, having in mind the specific social and economic context of the venue and its inhabitants/government’s perceptions of their current environmental situation.

Keyword
Megacities, Environmental technology, Sustainable development, Emerging markets
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-67601 (URN)
Conference
The R&D Management Conference 2011, 28-30 June, Norrköping, Sweden
Projects
Megatech
Available from: 2012-01-09 Created: 2011-04-19 Last updated: 2013-02-15Bibliographically approved
2. Lessons from the spread of Bus Rapid Transit in Latin America
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lessons from the spread of Bus Rapid Transit in Latin America
2013 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 50, 82-90 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Technological transitions and governance theories are employed for the analysis of the dissemination behavior of Bus Rapid Transit systems in Latin America. This process presents interesting characteristics and traits that seem to facilitate the overcoming of barriers and act as catalysts for the adoption of innovation. The present study uses a systems perspective to explore the dynamics of Bus Rapid Transit's adoption by different cities in the region and to follow its geographical dissemination, relying on historical data collected on numerous implemented projects.

The resulting analysis provides an insight on the determinants and key points for the concept's expansion, which may be useful for the study of the dissemination of environmental technologies in cities. Contextualized, solid demonstration projects and incremental innovations, it is here argued, facilitated the adoption of new ways and promoted the dissemination of this urban mobility solution within a homogenous group of cities. A description of the Bus Rapid Transit system's approach to barriers that are also found to hinder the dissemination of environmental technologies provides a learning basis for future dissemination strategies.

Keyword
Transitions; Innovative urban solutions; Technology spreading; Urban transformation; BRT Systems
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-85513 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.11.028 (DOI)000320490600008 ()
Funder
Vinnova
Available from: 2012-11-23 Created: 2012-11-21 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
3. Diffusion of environmental technology: an analysis of export strategies in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Diffusion of environmental technology: an analysis of export strategies in Sweden
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This article analyzes the composition of the Swedish environmental technology sector and describes the reasons behind the more or less recent interest of the government in relying on environmental technology exports to contribute to economic growth. Common enterprise information (i.e. number of companies, turnover and exports) and the sector’s performance in export activities (i.e. exports as a share of turnover) are shown over the last decade. The sector’s behavior is discussed, along with possible explanations and the highlighting of important traits that could be considered when designing and deploying export promotion strategies and plans. Particular environmental areas (as defined by Sweden’s Statistics Agency) are identified as having a significant weight on turnover generation, exports and employment in absolute terms, but do not necessarily perform that well when exports are analyzed as part of their total turnover. This may indicate the influence of these areas’ composition and ownership, as well as the legal constraints and possibly the incentives they have to export their offerings.In addition, the agencies commissioned to assess the sector and its companies – the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities that the sector has to expand into foreign markets, and the conclusions they reached – are shown and discussed. Governance and Diffusion of Innovation theories are used for the analysis of the strategies developed thus far by the government and for the suggestion of other approaches considering the particular characteristics of some markets.

Keyword
Environmental Technology Exports, Governmental Initiatives, Environmental Technology Sector, Diffusion of Innovations
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-88012 (URN)
Funder
Vinnova
Available from: 2013-02-04 Created: 2013-01-28 Last updated: 2013-02-15Bibliographically approved
4. Environmental technology exports: Analyzing Swedish government and firms' initiatives
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental technology exports: Analyzing Swedish government and firms' initiatives
2012 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Some countries have historically relied to a great extent on exports as an important component of theireconomic system. With the current globalization trends and increased competitiveness, promotingexports has therefore become a common strategy in order to boost economic growth. Exports ofenvironmental technologies represent a new window of opportunity for economic growth and acontribution to global sustainability. For this objective, governments provide different initiativesaimed at promoting foreign commerce among firms. The aim of this article is to assess the perceptionof the effectiveness of governmental initiatives for export promotion among Swedish environmentaltechnology firms. In addition, the article addresses firms’ internal initiatives to reach potential foreignmarkets through the use of modern communication channels. Data about 728 Swedish environmentaltechnology companies was collected and analyzed by using a combination of desktop research and aweb-based survey. The findings show a relatively high export orientation among the respondentcompanies. However, a majority of the respondents claim not to be aware of governmental initiativesthat fit their particular needs. Those who do show a high level of participation in such initiatives, butmost could not relate this participation to successful businesses abroad. From the firms’ perspective,presence on the Internet was considered to be a plausible indicator of their internal initiatives tocapture potential foreign customers. An analysis of the companies’ web sites, their languagecustomization options and the information they provide was undertaken. Results show that a largenumber of companies have functional web sites. However, the percentage of web sites with languagecustomization options was relatively low.The findings suggest that governmental initiatives have to consider the particular composition andneeds of the environmental technology sector in order to be more effective. On the other hand,although companies show to be proactive in the use of the Internet for increasing their outreach,language customization must be addressed as an important component when using such a tool. Bothgovernmental and firms’ initiatives remain important contributions to export success. In this regard,collaboration and communication between governmental export promotion agencies and firmsrepresents an important first step.

Keyword
Export Promotion, Perceived Effectiveness, Firm-level analysis, Web site analysis.
National Category
Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-85936 (URN)
Conference
Greening of Industry Network (GIN) 2012, 22-24 October 2012, Linköping, Sweden
Funder
Vinnova
Available from: 2012-12-05 Created: 2012-12-03 Last updated: 2013-02-15Bibliographically approved

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