How European cities plan to repsond ot climate change: Ambitions of 885 cities in the EU-28 : powerpoint

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventSUUCCM: Systematizing and upscaling urban solutions for climate change mitigation 2018 - Berlin, Germany
Duration: 13 Sept 201814 Sept 2018


ConferenceSUUCCM: Systematizing and upscaling urban solutions for climate change mitigation 2018
OtherThe international climate community puts increasing hope into climate solutions at urban scale. Research also increasingly emphasizes the role of cities in climate change mitigation. A main trope of research has been identification of climate action in specific cities, through case studies. These empirically-grounded and bottom-up insights contrast with a dominant strand in climate mitigation research that makes use of global models to explore long-term low-carbon futures, where local solutions can often be minimally represented. The time is ripe to put the scientific investigations on urban climate solutions on more systematic foundations by structuring insights on causal interventions and processes across different time scales, individual behavior and policy choices, and by upscaling urban solutions to a global scale, by typologies or otherwise.

Urban greenhouse gas emissions originate mostly from buildings and transport, and indirectly from the consumption of goods. Obvious intervention points are the land use system, modal shift, and building codes. But a systems approach is needed in finding urban climate solutions- instead of simply adding marginal options, but build on a comprehensive understanding of urban systems, i.e. across different structure, function, processes and actors (Bai et al 2016). Such a comprehensive understanding would not only foster a more causal approach and systems understanding, but also would help designing urban transitions into low-carbon futures. Specific system-relevant issues include cross-sectoral and strategic issues such as the transport/land-use system that is coupled on various temporal and spatial scales; the interaction between technologies and behavior; and the normative implications of low-carbon urban system solutions. Emerging from all these issues, we can then pose the question of urban-scale transition towards low-carbon and sustainable futures.

A big issue is that the coupled transport-land-use system and their components, such as buildings, are deeply intertwined with complex individual and social action and beliefs. Additionally, data quality is often poor, and results are not scalable due to idiosyncratic differences between cities.
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