Global Context

THE WELL-TEMPERED CITY: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations and Human Behavior Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life –written by Jonathan Rose, a leading thinker

“Jonathan Rose’s non-stop tour of the city—an in depth account of its history, theory, and practice—is exhilarating and complete, wherein compassion, Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier, and contemporary scientific thinking finally come to rest together. This is a hugely satisfying poem—rich in history, thought and deeply felt throughout,” wrote Philip Glass in a book review.

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Climate Change Adaptation is now given the same priority as Climate Change Mitigation

In September 2015, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. “The vital importance of water and water-related trade-offs with climate policy has largely been ignored to date. At first glance, water plays no role in the Paris agreement. Upon closer examination, however, we see that climate policy will have far-reaching implications for the availability of water and vice versa,” wrote Ines Dombrowsky.

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Can Cities Stop Runway Climate Change?

Mayors and policymakers have the power to significantly reduce the threat of climate change through the infrastructure decisions they make in the next five years. A new report by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) and Stockholm Environment Institute points to a hopeful path for cities and their leaders. “Our leaders are capable of acting, have acted, want to act. We might be able to buy ourselves a little time here,” says Seth Schultz.

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“It is imperative that we act on the underlying causes of excess stormwater events, namely climate change,” stated Gustavo Alanís-Ortega, JPAC Chair, North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation

North American communities that are on the front lines of managing excess stormwater flows need strong engagement from governments and civil society to develop and implement sustainable solutions to this widespread problem. “The steps we take now will help future generations. One of the first steps policy makers should take is to properly assess how vulnerable our communities are to the damaging effects of excess stormwater,” stated Gustavo Alanís-Ortega.

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How can smart planning help cities adapt to climate change?

“The Value of Green Infrastructure for Urban Climate Adaptation is intended as a resource for planners and decision makers at all levels of government. The innovative examples we review indicate that green infrastructure investments can provide a cost-effective way to enhance community resilience and prosperity,” said Steve Winkelman.

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Intensity Units: An Effective Approach to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

“The debate about Climate Change has generated a policy war between proponents of “hard caps” versus those who favour “intensity unit” approaches to regulating discharges of greenhouse gases. The author argues that intensity units are an effective tool for measuring performance in reducing pollution and ensuring that the public interest is protected,” wrote Peter Krahn.

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