Project-based practices for promoting a sustainability transition in a city organization and its urban context

Hanna Lehtimäki, Ari Jokinen, Jatta Pitkänen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Projects have become vital in initiating urban sustainability changes. In this study, we address the research gap regarding the dual role of a project in advancing change in public organizations and helping them to adopt roles in initiating and steering urban sustainability transitions. From a practice-theory perspective, we present longitudinal participatory action research on the activities of a project management team in a city organization. Our results show how praxes of a project team without hierarchical authoritative power to give orders or delegate change-related activities in the host organization create organization-level outcomes in the city's organization and urban living lab contexts amongst external stakeholders. We contribute to project management studies by increasing the understanding of how short-term project activities foster long-term strategic changes in siloed and departmentalized host organizations while at the same time creating outcomes in the external urban living lab context. This provides novel insights into the evolving intermediary roles of projects that support city organizations in acting as leaders in urban sustainability transitions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102516
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Action research
  • Circular economy
  • Intermediation
  • Project management
  • Project-as-practice
  • Public organization
  • Urban sustainability transition

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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