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RESEARCH
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Emerging Grassroots Energy Communities

The phenomena of ’emergence’ of small scale niches in the energy sector, often on the basis of contrarian positions to incumbent models of energy governance, is the focus of this research. Conducted as part of a three-paper dissertation, this research first charts the evolution of the U.S. energy sectors, both technologically and in terms of its political economy. Second, it suggests a means of articulating a departure or transition from the status quo based on a reflexive and comparative approach to equity, justice and sustainability. Third, it presents two cases–disparate in their socio-economic, political and regulatory circumstances–to highlight socio-spatial processes of cooptation and subversion of community-led local energy initiatives.

Related publications:

  • Adil, A. and Ko, Y. (2016) Socio-technical Evolution of Decentralized Energy Systems: A Critical Review and Implications for Urban Planning and Policy. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 57, 1025-1037
  • Adil, A. “Societal Impacts of Emerging Grassroots Energy Communities: A Capabilities based Assessment” in Energy Impacts: A Multidisciplinary Exploration of North American Energy Development, Edited by Jeffrey B. Jacquet, Julia H. Haggerty, and Gene L. Theodori. University of Colorado Press [Invited, accepted for publication]
  • Adil, A. Geography of Energy Democracy: A Multi-theoretical Examination of Two Grassroots Energy Communities in the State of Texas Environment and Planning D: Society and Spaces [in preparation]

Related presentations:

  • Adil, A. (2017), Environmental Sustainability, Economic Equity and Social Justice: Can Local Energy Initiatives have it all? Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning 57th Annual Conference, Oct 12th– 15th, Denver, CO
  • Adil, A. (2017), More than Sustainability: A three-axis continuum to assess the capacity of grassroots energy transitions to promote economic equity and social justice. First Annual Energy Impacts Symposium 2017. July 26-27th, Columbus, OH

Urban Resilience: A Call to Re-framing Planning Discourses 

With its more optimistic and hopeful approach to dealing with climate and other challenges facing cities across the globe, resilience has overtaken sustainability as the next big buzzword. It is both a conceptual notion and, increasingly, a practical approach to adaptation as well as post-crisis recovery. This project, to be published as part of an edited volume on urban resilience, problematizes the translation of this systems-oriented functionalist concept into urban planning. The chapter will end with a ‘call to action’ to revise and rethink how the concept might better serve those communities, particularly in shrinking cities, which are often left out by the mainstream approaches to resilience. This chapter is being co-authored with Dr. Ivonne Audirac, co-founder of the Shrinking Cities International Research Network (SCIRN).

Related publications:

Related presentations:

  • Adil, A. (2016), From Vulnerability to Resilience: A theoretical framework for resilient energy systems from sociotechnical and socio-ecological perspective, American Association of Geographers Annual Conference 2016. Mar 29th- Apr 2nd, San Francisco, CA