The Chair lends support to the global research agenda on cities and climate change

The UNESCO Chair ESCI-UPF endorses the CitiesIPCC Joint Statement “The science we need for the cities we want: working together to implement the global research agenda on cities and climate change.”

From March 5-7, 2018, several leading urban and scientific global organisations presented this statement at the CitiesIPCC Cities and Climate Change Science Conference, gathered in Edmonton, Canada.

citiesipcc

Jakarta, Indonesia, featured image of the conference promotion campaign. Source: CitiesIPCC.

In order to pursue a significant improvement in methodologies supporting life cycle applications to climate change mitigation in cities, the UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change ESCI-UPF has endorsed the CitiesIPCC Joint Statement aimed at stimulating research on cities and climate change, and encouraging science-based action. “The science we need for the cities we want: working together to implement the global research agenda on cities and climate change,” is the claim of this statement on the occasion of the 2018 CitiesIPCC Cities and Climate Change Science Conference, held in Edmonton, Canada, March 5-7. As highlighted by the science, policy and practitioner participants at the event, “the need for structured engagement between city stakeholders and the scientific community is long overdue, and urban climate science is needed to provide the rigorous evidence-base for urban policy-making.”

According to CitiesIPCC partner organisations, “a new interface for science and cities should seek to promote the sharing of knowledge, expertise, curricula and personnel between different institutions.” Therefore, the global research and action agenda on cities and climate change “strongly connects with the Chair’s long-term mission to meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges, including the promotion of scientific research, cooperation, education and communication on sustainable development of products and services at national and international level for the benefit of the environment and society,” says Pere Fullana i Palmer, director of the UNESCO Chair ESCI-UPF.

 

LCA and sustainability

“Research at the Chair focuses on delivering knowledge-based tools and information to city stakeholders such as governance, policy-makers, planners, decision-makers or manufacturers. In particular, the Sustainable Construction and Energy Research Line at the Chair aims to develop and implement a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)— worldwide-established tool for the evaluation of environmental sustainability of systems, such as products or services— method to evaluate cities,” explains Jaume Albertí, leader of the Research Line and participant at the Conference.

“The LCA has been applied to most of the urban hierarchy, from the construction products to construction systems, as well as to buildings and neighborhoods. However, there is no established scientific methodology to perform an LCA of a more complex system: the city,” stresses Albertí. “To analyse and compare cities’ sustainability we have to take into account all the methods, criteria and concepts applied in the lower levels of study, considering cities as a complex system that require a holistic approach,” he adds. It is in this regard that the environmental impact per inhabitant, as well as how do these inhabitants live become relevant. “The tyLCA Project at the Chair, in particular, has pointed out that, through the acquired experience and feedback from cities, the city LCA method can be refined to allow the comparison among the results of different urban regions and rank cities in terms of sustainability behaviour,” explains the researcher and leader of the tyLCA Project.

 

Cities leadership

“The leadership shown by cities at COP21 in Paris will remain critically important in the years ahead as the world works to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals, and other international global agendas, and prevent the worst impacts of climate change,” as stressed by the 10 leading urban and scientific global partner organisations responsible for releasing this initiative on March 7, 2018. Since then, more than 15 organisations have endorsed the CitiesIPCC Joint Statement, including the UNESCO Chair ESCI-UPF, honoured signatory of the statement.

Organisations interested to move the cities and climate change research and action agenda forward are invited to endorse this joint statement.

 

For more information about the tyLCA Project at the Chair please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

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