Policy narratives on wooden multi-storey construction and implications for technology innovation system governance

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The development and acceleration of Wooden Multi-storey Construction (WMC) as a set of innovative building technologies has gained political support and attracted public interest in Finland, as in some other forest-rich European countries. The market share of WMC, however, remains low. The technological innovation system (TIS) around WMC in Finland has been assessed as being in its formative stages, but its governance remain poorly understood. This paper analyses policy narratives on WMC in Finland and reflects these against the governance of TIS. Thematic interviews with 17 experts were conducted in 2018–2019 and complemented with a review of secondary materials and observation in wood construction-related events. Four policy narratives were identified, out of which three were “pro-WMC”: (1) the bioeconomy narrative, which sees WMC as a means to advance a more sustainable bioeconomy (2) the climate change narrative, WMC as way to enhance low-carbon cities and building, and (3) the wood industry narrative, seeing WMC as a means to create demand for high-value wood-based products, and/or to reform the construction sector, whereas (4) the counter WMC narrative questioned the public sector's role in supporting WMC and the environmental benefits of WMC. The policy measures highlighted in these narratives to accelerate WMC varied highly, which demonstrates the contestations regarding goals and means of supporting the WMC niche. The absence of a common vision among the actors in the TIS does not result in an optimal and efficient platform for accelerating WMC market diffusion. Accordingly, the findings indicate the need for more coordinated efforts among the “pro-WMC” key players to empower the WMC niche effectively.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102409
JournalForest Policy and Economics
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 1172 Environmental sciences
  • 4112 Forestry
  • 512 Business and Management
  • Bioeconomy
  • Building
  • Market diffusion
  • Finland
  • Low-carbon
  • Policy

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