Navigating transitions for sustainable infrastructures - The case of a new high-speed railway station in Jingmen, China

Xinyu Liu*, Daan Schraven, Mark de Bruijne, Martin de Jong, Marcel Hertogh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
91 Downloads (Pure)


Sustainable development and Circular Economy (CE) have drawn massive attention worldwide. Construction practices consume large amounts of materials, resources and energy. Sustainability and CE could play a big role in reduction efforts. However, the potential influence of both concepts on the planning and construction of large infrastructures remains unexplored. This paper investigates how professionals involved in a high-speed railway station project in the Chinese city of Jingmen envision the use of sustainability and CE for the planning and construction of the railway station and its surrounding areas. We reviewed policy documents and interviewed local professionals with the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) framework. The analysis reveals opportunities for improvement towards sustainability and the interdependence between the dimensions in the TBL framework for the railway station and its surroundings. The case shows that local professionals identify ample opportunities for improvement (presented as "sustainability ideas"), but none appear truly sustainable. These insights provide evidence that the hierarchical introduction of transition(s) creates a cognitive silo for local professionals when envisioning sustainability ideas. In the TBL framework, this study finds a useful and novel approach to break down the silos, because the TBL stresses the interdependence between the various sustainability dimensions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4197
Number of pages21
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • China
  • Circular Economy (CE)
  • Jingmen
  • Railway station
  • Sustainability
  • Transport infrastructure
  • Triple Bottom Line (TBL)


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