UNDP and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences collaboratively prepared the China National Human Development Report 2013 on Sustainable and Liveable Cities: Toward Ecological Civilization. This report draws on Professor Shagun Mehrotra’s research on climate change and cities. It observes (p. 55) The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Working Group II) emphasizes urban issues and climate change, with a focus on economic and social dimensions. A science-based foundation similar to the panel is needed for cities. Early climate change impact studies focused on ecosystems and agriculture. For cities, climate science needs to evolve to incorporate complex models on small scales to examine the combined effects of heat islands, air pollution, engineering, architecture and urban design (Rosenzweig, et al., 2010). New information and uncertainty about climate risks need to be integrated into effective and efficient city-level adaptation planning through a risk assessment framework that considers ‘hazards’ and ‘adaptive capacity’ (Mehrotra, et al., 2011). Risk framework—hazards, vulnerability, adaptive capacity—utilized in this report was developed by Professor Shagun Mehrotra in 2009 and has been applied to assess climate change risk and response in cities around the world. At the New School University in New York he mentors the next generation of experts on crafting sustainable development solutions in his course on Climate Change and Cities.
Professor Wang Weiguang, President of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences introduced the report noting: Urbanisation is a historic task for China’s modernization, and has the greatest potential to boost domestic demand. In 2030 China’s urbanisation rate would reach around 70 percent, and nearly one billion people will live in cities. How can China’s cities cope with such enormous population pressure? We must, in accordance with the requirements of ecological civilization, take the right path towards sustainable and livable cities. Read more here.
C. Rosenzweig, W. Solecki, S. A. Hammer and S. Mehrotra, 2010, “Cities Lead the Way in Climate-Change Action,” Nature, 467, pp. 909 – 911.
S. Mehrotra, C. Rosenzweig, W. D. Solecki, C. E. Natenzon, A. Omojola, R. Folorunsho and J. Gilbride, 2011, “Cities, Disasters and Climate Risk,” Climate Change and Cities: First Assessment Report of the Urban Climate Change Research Network, eds. C. Rosenzweig, W. D. Solecki, S. A. Hammer and S. Mehrotra, Cambridge University Press, pp. 15 – 42.