The Chair is ready for participating at 2018 Cities and Climate Change Science Conference

The Conference is co-organised by IPCC and will be held in Edmonton, Canada, from March 5-7.

Jaume Albertí, leader of the Sustainable Construction and Energy Research Line at the Chair, will take part in the event with a talk on the need to find a method to evaluate cities’ sustainability, and the importance of basing such a method on the application of life cycle assessment.

CitiesIPCC conference homebase at Edmonton, Canada, a city with a wide range of significant urban sustainable initiatives. Credits: CitiesIPCC.

CitiesIPCC conference homebase at Edmonton, Canada, a city with a wide range of significant urban sustainable initiatives. Credits: CitiesIPCC.

The World Bank Group has stated that “cities consume as much as 80 percent of energy production worldwide and account for a roughly equal share of global greenhouse gas emissions.” “This makes us think that if the problem is mainly caused by cities, we should find the solution through this main actor,” says Jaume Albertí, leader of the Sustainable Construction and Energy Research Line at the UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change ESCI-UPF and participant of the CitiesIPCC Cities and Climate Change Science Conference.

This event aims to improve scientific knowledge and to stimulate research underpinning effective and efficient urban responses to climate change, as well as to provide inputs to the products of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), according to CitiesIPCC organisers. This unique international event will be held from March 5-7 in Edmonton (Alberta, Canada).


More research is needed

Today sees the start of the “Cities and Climate Change Science Conference: Fostering new scientific knowledge for cities based on science, practice and policy,” a top international conference in which researchers working within the field of the environment and sustainable development are participating. It consists of a multi-day programme composed by plenary and thematic parallel sessions, and scientific poster presentations. This forum also supports the implementation of the Paris Agreement (2015), the New Urban Agenda (2016), and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2015.

According to organisers, this event seeks to motivate the next frontier of research focused on the science of cities and climate change by identifying the research and knowledge gaps, as well as establishing a global agenda based on the recognition of these gaps by the academic, practitioner and urban policy-making communities. Another objective is to inspire global and regional research that will lead to peer-reviewed publications and scientific reports, co-designed and co-produced knowledge leading to effective and inclusive urban practices.

The last conference’s overall goal is to stimulate the research on cities and climate change during the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) cycle, organised by IPCC members, and define a set of key research themes and questions that can be addressed in advance of the IPCC’s AR7 Special Report.


Life cycle assessment applied to cities

The intervention of the the PhD student within the TyLCA Project of the Chair, Jaume Albertí, will be held within the thematic parallel session entitled “Infrastructure Transitions and Urban Form” on March 6. This session will present an “overview of the science and the practice of assessing multiple sustainability outcomes in cities with a focus on urban infrastructure, presenting both research advances and city-application examples,” as pointed out by organisers.

The event’s agenda will be divided into two rounds intended to respond the following questions: for the first round: What transboundary life cycle based tools are cities using to assess different aspects of sustainability? For the second round: What is the science of addressing health and resilience outcomes in cities? Are these linked with other sustainability outcomes in cities?

As a part of the first round, Albertí will present a talk aimed at raising awareness on the need to define a methodology for evaluating the sustainability of cities. “The current guidelines and standards do not take into account all the aspects for assessing the environmental impacts of urban regions, such as the holistic perspective, the life cycle perspective, the multi-impact point of view, and the possibility to compare results among cities,” explains the researcher. Thus, with the aim of addressing the lack of assessment methods which hinders the development of sustainability standards, “we are developing an assessment method based on life cycle assessment (LCA),” he adds.

In a context where cities are playing a leading role in the contribution to feeding the climate change problem, “this conference is a very important forum because it implies the recognition of cities as a relevant actor in the fight against the climate change,” stresses Albertí. But, “as much progress as we have made, the hardest work still lies ahead,” highlight the Conference’s organisers while emphasising the goal of the event.


“A global initiative for the United Nations”

Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), one of the Conference’s organisers, is responsible for sponsoring the excepcional assistance of the Chair in the event due to Jaume Albertí’s competitive proposal. SDSN, composed by over 700 member institutions, where the Chair actively contributes, mobilises global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.

Fore more information, see Press Release: "World Scientists, Local Leaders Map Research Agenda for Cities and Climate Change for Coming Years"



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