Urban Updates: environment & climate change

As urban environment is a main focus area at IHS, we have an entire specialisation dedicated to it! As the activity of the Urban Environment and Climate Change (UECC) team extends beyond the classroom, we share a few of their latest news below. 
You can get insights from:

  • a video interview with Dr. Stelios Grafakos, on the climate action multi-criteria prioritization tool
  • the most recent UN-Habitat book UECC contributed to: Sustainable Urbanization in the Paris Agreement
  • a European online platform for urban resilience, with featured interviews of Dr. Stelios Grafakos


Prioritizing Climate Actions: interview with Stelios Grafakos

During a UNDP workshop in Bangkok, Stelios Grafakos - Head of Urban Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change, shares insights about the tool the team developed. This interview offers more in-depth information about the Multiple Criteria Analysis tool for prioritising actions towards sustainable development.

Local and national governments need to incorporate priorities in the decision making process, when it comes to taking action towards sustainable development. There are always many possible actions, but it's important to choose the ones who will deliver most benefits. The multi-criteria analysis is complementary to the cost-benefit analysis and it helps measure other benefits that cannot me monetized, such as the quality of life etc. These two approaches can be efficient when used together. 

Would you like to know more? View the entire video interview here or check out the Climate Actions Prioritization (CLIMACT Prio) tool!


IHS contributes in new UN Habitat Publication

The Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) has contributed in the new UN Habitat publication, "Sustainable Urbanization in the Paris Agreement", a comparative review of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for Urban Content".

Dr. Stelios Grafakos of the Urban Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change specialization served as a co-author, while Elena Marie Ensenado and Kate Trigg (now affiliated with RISBO, Erasmus University Rotterdam) served as contributors. 

"In this publication, UN-Habitat analyzes the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) towards the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, with a special focus on the urban context, in order to understand better the roles of member states in urban climate action. The result is very encouraging: over two-thirds – 110 out of 163 – of the submitted NDCs show clear urban references and content, establishing the relationship between sustainable urbanization and climate action. Through the New Urban Agenda and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, UN-Habitat stands ready to support member states to implement their NDCs."

Download the publication here at the UN Habitat's page.

Source: SUSTAIN website


Urban resilience video talks

If you are interested in urban resilience, you should definitely have a look at this audio-visual guidance application for municipalities in the climate change adaptation process. This initiative is part of the European research project RAMSES - Science for Cities in Transition. Among the many interviewees, Dr. Stelios Grafakos also shares his insights in four different video talks, which you can access below:

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