Professor Lars Coenen

Lars is an interdisciplinary expert in innovation studies and economic geography.

Lars Coenen is Professor in Innovation and Sustainability Transitions at the Mohn Centre for Innovation and Regional Development at the Western Norway University of Applied Science in Bergen, Norway. Lars was previously the inaugural ‘City of Melbourne Chair of Resilient Cities’, an initiative between the City of Melbourne and University of Melbourne aimed at improving the city’s resilience to sustainability challenges. In his time as Chair, Lars strengthened Melbourne’s role as a leader in knowledge based urban resilience and leveraged opportunities for collaborative research between universities and cities. Through his work with both the City of Melbourne and the Latrobe Valley Region through the GS3 project focused on regional transitions Lars made a highly connective and academically esteemed contribution to MSSI and the City of Melbourne.

Lars is an interdisciplinary scholar cross-cutting the fields of innovation studies and economic geography. He is well-known internationally for his work on regional and urban innovation and for his pioneering research on the geography of environmental innovation and sustainability transitions. His research interests converge around the geography of innovation: where does innovation happen and why there? What makes cities and regions innovative and to what purpose? What is the role of policy to foster place-based sustainable development and innovation?

His work has been published in leading international journals such as Research Policy, Environment and Planning A and Economic Geography. He is well-known for pioneering research on the geography of sustainability transitions. His paper ‘Environmental Innovation and Sustainability Transitions in Regional Studies’ has been awarded the 2013 best paper award in Regional Studies (co-authored with Bernhard Truffer). In 2017 he co-edited the book ‘Urban Sustainability Transitions’, as part of the Routledge Studies in Sustainability Transitions. He has extensive experience in securing external funding and collaboration in national and international research projects financed by the likes of JPU Urban Europe, European Framework 7 Program and Nordic Energy Research.

Recent publications

Davidson, K., Coenen, L., Acuto, M. and Gleeson, B. (2019) 'Reconfiguring urban governance in an age of rising city networks: A research agenda' , Urban Studies, 56(16).

Coenen, L. and Morgan, K. (2019) 'Evolving geographies of innovation: existing paradigms, critiques and possible alternatives' , Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift - Norwegian Journal of Geography.

Grillitsch, M., Hansen, T., Coenen, L., Miorner, J. and Moodysson, J. (2019) 'Innovation policy for system-wide transformation: The case of strategic innovation programmes (SIPs) in Sweden' , Research Policy, 48(4).

Coenen, L. (2019) 'Regional Innovation', The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Studies, Wiley-Blackwell.

Fuenfschilling, L., Frantzeskaki, N. and Coenen, L. (2019) 'Urban experimentation & sustainability transitions' , European Planning Studies, 27(2).

Fastenrath, S., Coenen, L. and Davidson, K. (2019) 'Urban Resilience in Action: the Resilient Melbourne Strategy as Transformative Urban Innovation Policy?' , Sustainability, 11(3).

von Wirth, T., Fuenfschilling, L., Frantzeskaki, N. and Coenen, L. (2019) 'Impacts of urban living labs on sustainability transitions: mechanisms and strategies for systemic change through experimentation' , European Planning Studies, 27(2).

Coenen, L., Davidson, K. and Gleeson, B. (2019) 'Situating C40 in the Evolution of Networked Urban Climate Governance' , Global Policy, 10(4).

Binz, C., Coenen, L., Murphy, J. and Truffer, B. (2019) 'Geographies of transition—From topical concerns to theoretical engagement: A commentary on the transitions research agenda' , Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 34.

Davidson, K., Coenen, L. and Gleeson, B. (2019) 'A Decade of C40: Research Insights and Agendas for City Networks' , Global Policy, 10(4).

Bugge, M., Coenen, L. and Branstad, A. (2018) 'Governing socio-technical change: Orchestrating demand for assisted living in ageing societies' , Science and Public Policy, 45(4).