7 May 2012. Cities are increasingly expected to undertake concrete actions to adapt to sea level rise, floods, droughts and other natural disasters exacerbated by climate change and climate variability. In order to better prepare urban policy makers, planners and environmentalists for these challenges, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) in collaboration with the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (HIS) of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, organizes a course on Urban Management Tools for Climate Change, from 4-23 June 2012, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
This course introduces climate change as an integral part of sustainability, its impacts and main strategies for mitigation and adaptation. It consists of a blend of lectures, case studies, participants’ presentations, group exercises, simulation exercises and excursions/field visits. From the onset of the course, participants will apply theory and best practices to actual group work. The course is organized in four modules:
Module 1: Introduction to Climate Change and Vulnerability
Cities are considered the most vulnerable areas to sea level rise, storm surges, floods and droughts. Mapping the most at risk areas of a city with relevant climate impact-agents is a fundamental step in understanding how to reduce a city’s vulnerability. Participants will get acquainted with a range of tools and acquire knowledge and skills on how to perform a vulnerability assessment at a city based on a case study. In addition they will get an introduction to decision support tools for climate change.
Module 2: Climate change adaptation: Land, water and disaster management
Cities should adapt to both long-term trends associated with climate change (e.g. sea level rise) and to extreme events such as flooding. Based on theory and best practices, participants will acquire knowledge of different adaptation strategies from concrete cases. Different types of approaches, such as community based and ecosystem based adaptation will be addressed within this module.
Module 3: Climate change mitigation: Energy, transport and carbon markets
Cities can play an essential role in mitigation of climate change by reducing energy consumption, promoting renewable energy or trading emission tradable permits under the Flexible Mechanisms of the Kyoto protocol. GHG emissions inventories and abatement potential assessment are becoming vital tools for city’s climate mitigation planning. Participants will have the chance to perform a GHG inventory at a city level and prioritize climate mitigation actions.
Week 4: Local climate change action plan
Local climate change plans are based on risk and vulnerability assessment as well as on mitigation and adaptation assessments and, while considering the constraints of the particular city, translate vague strategies in concrete actions. Participants will analyze and evaluate detailed assessment reports of various case studies and furthermore will develop a local climate change action plans for a specific city.