INFRATIME Roundtable “Taking Time, Shaping Time. Pacing Urban Climate Transitions”


On June 29th, 2023, INFRATIME organizes a Roundtable hosted by the STS Italia Conference 2023 in Bologna. Participants from academic and non-academic organizations will provide insights and input to contribute to a science-policy interface for multi-scale climate transition processes.


  • Anna Lisa Boni, Comune di Bologna | Eurocities
  • Vando Borghi, University of Bologna | GRETA
  • Claudio Coletta, University of Bologna | (Chair)
  • Nannan Lundin, VINNOVA
  • Carl Mossfeldt, Climate Transition Office Gothenburg
  • Akito Murayama, The University of Tokyo | Urban Land Use and Planning Unit

In May 2021, the International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol stated that climate change is not a race between countries, but it is “a race against time”.

Indeed, climate transitions to carbon-neutral futures take time: similarly to processes of innovation, they are featured by a future-oriented work, featuring both the adoption of mission-oriented approaches in policies and the use of modelling and simulations in climate science. As a result, long-term scenarios outline possible pathways for the next centuries while medium-term climate targets are set for next decades to pace viable transition pathways.

Climate transitions shape time, too. The long-term pathways interacts with the political cycles and the rhythms of everyday management, as well as with the temporalities silently running through  infrastructural and institutional processes. Frictions between urgency and risks, hopes and delays, legacy and change turn transitions into fragile and contested timescapes, where future past and present merge, collide and are constantly reshuffled. This is increasingly evident in urban and local settings, with experimentations and initiatives bending time to make adaptation and mitigation actions durable. In the European Union, the recently started 100 Climate-Neutral Cities program and the related adoption of the Climate City Contract marks a significant step towards the leading role of cities in addressing the climate crisis.

From a Science and Technology Studies (STS) perspective, the temporal interferences and interactions of technoscientific practices, infrastructures, and governance in urban climate transitions offer a challenging ground to understand and address what Bruno Latour defined “the new climatic regime”: a regime where not only greenhouse gases emissions should significantly decrease, but where new relations with the world should be enacted. A time-based approach to the new climate regime looks at the heterogeneous, uncertain, material, and multiple existence of transitions as a starting point to produce a system change towards an habitable and just planet for humans and non humans.

The round table brings to the fore the temporalities of urban climate transitions form the perspective of scholars, practitioners and decision makers engaged with actual cases of transition in international cities. It will examine the political, scientific, social, technological aspects that compose transitions timescapes, focusing on their practical and experimental dimensions. The discussion intends to contribute to rethink multi-level approaches from a temporal perspective, reflecting upon the pacing and temporal infrastructuring of transition pathways, their missions and incremental character. It aims to strengthen a transdisciplinary dialogue between experiences from the ground and transnational policies, research and practice, science and policy.