Exploring Eco-Industrial Parks Via a Technological Innovation Systems Lens

Kawasaki Eco Industrial Park (Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan, 2015)
How has the structure and functioning of Technological Innovation Systems contributed to the successful sustainability transition toward Eco-Industrial Parks in South Korea and Japan? This study seeks to advance industrial symbiosis scholarship based on a field-based, empirical analysis of the origins and implementation of Eco-Industrial Parks in South Korea and Japan. It hopes, as well, to contribute policy recommendations based on a clear set of policy targets. The establishment of Eco-Industrial Parks in Japan and South Korea beginning in the 1990s, has drawn attention around the world because of the mutual benefit of these facilities to both economic development and environmental protection. Yet there have been important implementation gaps: successful implementation of Eco-Industrial Parks in these two countries has been less than fully realized. This research analyzes the establishment of Eco-Industrial Parks in South Korea and Japan through a Technological Innovation System framework, a systematic approach to development and diffusion of novel technologies in sociotechnical transition for sustainable future. By focusing on the dynamic process; the role of actors and networks; and institutional factors, the Technological Innovation System framework reveals factors that foster or hamper societal sustainability transitions. A number of prior studies have identified critical success factors and barriers to the implementation of Eco-Industrial Parks (Gibbs, 2003; Gibbs & Deutz, 2005; 2007; Sakr et al., 2011; Tudor, Adam, & Bates, 2007). However, the process of implementing Eco-Industrial Parks has been understudied and remains unclear, especially in terms of the roles of various actors and their activities related to success factors and barriers. The dissertation draws on 16 months of field research in Japan and South Korea in 2014-15, including in-depth interviews of key stakeholders, analysis of available of available data, and field observations of Eco-Industrial Parks. The study finds that the foster and hamper factors to achieve implementation of Eco-Industrial Parks in the policy process across the national and local level and the stakeholders should overcome the challenges based on the local context to achieve the successful implementation of Eco-Industrial Parks.


In Progress

Kyungsun Lee, Terada Ryoichi, David A. Sonnenfeld. “From Pollution Sinks to Eco- Town: Sustainability Transition experience in Minamata, Japan.”
Kyungsun Lee, Cliff I. Davidson, David A. Sonnenfeld. “Exploring Industrial Symbiosis via a Technological Innovation Systems Lens: A Literature Review.”
Kyungsun Lee, David A. Sonnenfeld. “Transition towards A Recycling-Based Society in a City: The Development of Kitakyushu Eco-Town in Japan.”
Kyungsun Lee, David A. Sonnenfeld. “Effects of Political Regime Change on Sustainability Transitions: Eco-Industrial Parks in South Korea, 2002-2016.”