Prof Ina Horlings

Prof Ina Horlings

Transforming places together: citizens and community engagement responding to climate change

ESI State of the Art talk

An Environment and Sustainability Institute research event
Date7 June 2022
Time16:00 to 17:00
PlaceHybrid - ESI Trevithick Room and on Teams.

The ESI community will be sent a calendar invitation. If you are not part of this list and would like to attend, please email

This talk will be presented by visiting academic, Prof Ina Horlings from the University of Groningen.

The simple evidence of global ambient temperature rises, changing rainfall patterns and more frequent and extreme weather events are indisputable and will severely impact communities and society as a whole. Incremental adaptation and coping strategies (such as building higher dikes) may not be enough to protect communities from greater risks in the future. Scholarly attention has therefore shifted to the concept of transformative adaptation to address the root causes of climate risks, shifting systems away from unsustainable, unjust and unequal trajectories. The key topic which will be discussed is how transformative citizens initiatives and resourceful communities take the lead in transforming places together. An emergence of citizens initiatives in the field of food, energy and nature can be witnessed taking matters in their own hand within the ‘do-it yourself’ democracy. This creates dilemma’s when collaborating with spatial planners. Networked movements such as transition towns and eco-villages contribute to the ‘up-, out- and deep-scaling’ of community strategies, while engaging in capacity building and different dimensions of transformation. A conclusion so far is that key conditions for  the development of place-based transformative responses to climate change are capacity building, inclusive governance, place leadership, ‘inner’ transformation and the scaling of successful practices.





Lummina (Ina) Horlings is affiliated as Prof. Socio-Spatial planning at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. She has an educational background in social geography and finalised a PhD in Policy Sciences. Her research focus recently shifted to the topic of transformative citizens’ and community responses to climate change. She is an active fellow within the RSA as member of the Research Committee. She was also involved in the RSA Research Network on ‘Leadership in Urban and Regional Development’. Lummina Horlings participated in several INTERREG projects, co-coordinated the Marie Curie ITN program SUSPLACE on sustainable place-shaping ( , and is currently co-initiator and partner in the Marie Curie ITN project RECOMS on resourceful communities (  She edited several books, on Passion (2009), Vital Coalitions (2010), Leadership (2012), and the role of Culture in Regional Development (2015), and has written many peer-reviewed scientific articles. She is member of the academic board of the Platform Sustainable Society in Groningen.

ProviderEnvironment and Sustainability Institute
OrganizerEnvironment and Sustainability Institute

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