Dr Sebastian Fastenrath

Research Fellow in Resilient Cities


Sebastian joined MSSI in November 2017, working alongside the ‘City of Melbourne Chair of Resilient Cities’. By generating knowledge and expertise through collaborative research and engagement, Sebastian contributes to the development of urban and regional innovations, resilience and sustainability research, and policy making.

Coming from an interdisciplinary background, Sebastian’s work is focused on questions at the interface of economic and urban geography, innovation and transition studies. He is particularly interested in place-based innovation, resilient urban and regional development, governance, and interactive knowledge generation between actors from public, private and academic sectors.

He received his PhD in Human Geography at the University of Cologne, Germany, with research on urban sustainability transitions in the building and construction sector. Sebastian’s work has been published in renowned international journals, such as Applied Geography, Regional Studies, Journal of Cleaner Production or Professional Geographer.

His current projects Urban Resilience In Action and Gippsland Smart Specialization Strategy are both focused on applicable solutions, cross-sectoral cooperation and place-based innovation. Sebastian's core research questions are: How are resilience and sustainability strategies translated into practice? What drives processes of change and innovation in urban and regional contexts? What are barriers and challenges? To what extent does political decision-making play a role?

Recent publications:

Fastenrath, S. & Coenen, L. (2020) Future-proof cities through governance experiments? Insights from the Resilient Melbourne Strategy, Regional Studies, DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2020.1744551

Fastenrath, S., Goedgebuure. L., Schoen, M. (2020) G-S3 EU Study Mission. Innovation systems in action – Report. pp. 1-101. Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne, RMIT University’s European Union Centre of Excellence for Smart Specialisation and Regional Policy.

Bush, J., Coffey, B., Fastenrath, S. (2020) Governing urban greening at a metropolitan scale: an analysis of the Living Melbourne strategy, Australian Planner, DOI: 10.1080/07293682.2020.1739093

Fastenrath, S., Gleeson, B., Coenen, L., Acuto, M., Kosovac, A. (2019) Healthy and sustainable cities: issues and opportunities in Melbourne’s knowledge system to transition to a healthy and sustainable city. Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute and Connected Cities Lab, University of Melbourne.

Fastenrath, S. Acuto, M. Coenen, L. Keele, S. (2019) 'What next after 100 Resilient Cities funding ends?', The Conversation.

Fastenrath, S. Coenen, L. Davidson, K. (2019) Urban Resilience in Action: the Resilient Melbourne Strategy as Transformative Urban Innovation Policy?. Sustainability. 11 (3), 693.

Fastenrath, S. & Braun, B. (2018) Lost in Transition? Directions for an Economic Geography of Urban Sustainability Transitions. Sustainability. 10 (7), 2434.

Fastenrath S., Preller B. (2018) Freiburg: The Emblematic Green City. In Green Building Transitions. The Urban Book Series. Springer, Cham, pp 69-97.

Fastenrath S. (2018) Brisbane: A Disrupted Green Building Trajectory. In Green Building Transitions. The Urban Book Series. Springer, Cham, pp 133-157.

Fastenrath, S. & Braun, B. (2018) Ambivalent urban sustainability transitions: Insights from Brisbane's building sector.Journal of Cleaner Production. 176. 581-589.

Fastenrath, S. & Braun, B. (2018) Sustainability transition pathways in the building sector: Energy-efficient building in Freiburg (Germany). Applied Geography. 90. 339-349.

Preller, B., Affolderbach, J., Schulz, C., Fastenrath, S., Braun, B. (2017) Interactive knowledge generation in urban green building transitionsProfessional Geographer. 69 (2), 214-224.

See all staff profiles