LSE Cities convened a session on “Cities and the New Climate Economy: Infrastructure, Innovation and the Spatial Fix” at the World Urban Forum (WUF7) in Medellin, Colombia on 10 April 2014. Attended by a diverse group of urban practitioners, researchers and policy makers, the session was structured around ongoing work for the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate and the cities workstream of the Commission’s New Climate Economy (NCE) project which LSE Cities is leading.
The overall aim of NCE is to provide independent and authoritative evidence on the relationship between actions which can strengthen economic performance and those which reduce the risk of dangerous climate change. It has been repeatedly argued that cities have a unique opportunity to build a different model of economic growth – one which achieves the benefits of growth but with significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions alongside co-benefits such as improved health. And it is commonly understood that this will require a focus on actions that are systematically important for how cities function including decisions around urban form, transport and innovation policy.
This interactive session chaired by Edgar Pieterse, Director of the African Centre for Cities at Cape Town University brought together insights and perspectives that are currently emerging through urban research and practice in relation to the current debate around cities in a New Climate Economy. It included presentations by LSE Cities Executive Director, Philipp Rode on the current NCE Cities research, Eduarda La Rocque, President of Instituto Pereira Passos, on an emerging green and inclusive economy in Rio de Janeiro and Luis Fernando Ulloa, Sustainability Director at Financiera del Desarrollo on Colombia’s Sustainable Cities Programme.