A process for the diffusion of sustainable innovations : a Seaholm Power case study

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Roy, Adam C.

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This master’s report is an assessment of a theoretical process by which the concepts of sustainability can enter into the conventional system of development, primarily focusing on the physical development and growth of the urban environment. A context-specific definition of sustainability is first derived and then inserted within the classic theory of Diffusion of Innovations in an attempt to articulate the concept of sustainable innovation diffusion. The redevelopment of the Seaholm Power Plant in Austin, Texas is then used as a case study. Specifically, carrying forward previous research on a conceptual plan for adapting the power plant’s dormant condenser infrastructure into a commercial-scale rainwater harvesting system is presented as a demonstration project for promoting sustainable innovations. Applying a systemsthinking approach to resolving the challenges of implementing alternative technologies and practices into the Seaholm case study reveals both the mechanisms for encouraging and the barriers limiting the adoption of sustainable development strategies.



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