Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Vicarious scale and instrumental imaginaries in community sustainable transitions

Aiken, Gerald Taylor, Eadson, Will, Hobson, Kersty ORCID: and Dinnie, Liz 2022. Vicarious scale and instrumental imaginaries in community sustainable transitions. Global Environmental Change 75 , 102543.

[thumbnail of 1-s2.0-S0959378022000814-main.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (700kB) | Preview


Community initiatives are often charged with scaling-up: growing, deepening their impacts, and seeding off new projects. The desire to scale-up comes from both within the community initiatives themselves, and is also encouraged by all levels of policy, from local government, to national and international frameworks such as the IPCC. This paper adds to critiques of this agenda, by leaning on human geography writings on scale, and introducing the concept of ‘vicarious scale’. This concept is drawn from empirical work which highlights the double move of scaling-up. This double move, first, restricts and contains community within a local, small, or narrow limit. Then, concurrently, expects this restricted community to have displaced effects: at a higher scale, or a distant point in time. It argues that the scaling-up expectations are both placed onto community initiatives and emerge from within them, and that these expectations are both counterproductive to realizing the full potential of community, and accompany an insertion of instrumental logic onto and into these community initiatives. Appreciating vicarious scale also has important practical implications for communities—not least being wary of the counterproductive and corrosive effects a will-to-grow can have.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0959-3780
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 May 2022
Date of Acceptance: 18 May 2022
Last Modified: 23 May 2023 23:18

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics