UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy


Climate, Innovation and Sustainability Policy (Route Specific) (STEP0025)

Investment in infrastructure and associated innovation is increasingly prominent within public policy addressing climate change and sustainability, as governments face the urgent need to improve living standards and mitigate and adapt to climate change. As the demands on infrastructure systems are growing, there is evidence that many infrastructure systems negatively impact economic, social and environmental systems by supporting the destruction of the natural environment and biodiversity, contributing to climate change, and exacerbating social inequalities. In addition to this, the continued evolution of infrastructure technologies offers ways to operate infrastructures more efficiently, deliver better quality services, and in some cases, shift from large-scale networks to decentralised systems.

This module focuses on the practical skills, contextual knowledge and analytical approaches needed to work effectively as policy professionals on infrastructure innovation for climate and sustainability. The module examines the institutional arrangements and governance of infrastructure systems, alongside decision-making processes and the mobilisation of technical expertise for planning and delivery. Students will learn about new approaches to conceptualising infrastructure demand, governance challenges and trends in institutional and regulatory reform, funding and financing, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and how infrastructures contribute to social and economic inequalities across the Global North and South. The module covers a range of case studies and practical exercises on water, stormwater, waste, energy, communications and transport systems, to develop the skills required to evaluate technical, policy and regulatory solutions for climate and sustainability problems.

Module catalogue