Cities and Climate Change
The aim of this course is to draw on a variety of discourses from human and physical geography, introducing students to a wider, comprehensive understanding of the climate change discourse in the urban context. It also seeks to establish a working interface between the MSc programmes attached to the human and physical geography components within the department, encouraging students to cut across their disciplinary barriers to develop a more nuanced discussion related to the cities and climate change discourse. Key themes to be explored include: urban development and climate change, governance, representation of climate change, urban meteorology, the impacts of future climate change, etc.
This course combines literature from human and physical geography to provide a comprehensive understanding of the debates surrounding cities and climate change. It seeks to supplement the ongoing policy-level discussion on cities and climate change (UN-Habitat, The World Bank, OECD, etc.) with a theoretical/empirical discourse that not only questions if cities can/should be blamed for climate change, but as well explores the usefulness of â€˜climate changeâ€™ as a critical lens for re-examining the urbanization challenges of cities in both the global North and global South. In this aspect, this course explores both the socio-political aspects of the climate change discourse and its physical reality, laying out an argumentative terrain where the two together offers a more sophisticated discourse.
Betsill, M. and H. Bulkeley (2007). "Looking back and thinking ahead: a decade of cities and climate change research." Local Environment 12(5): 447-456.
Cartwright, A., S. Parnell, G. Oelofse and S. Ward, Eds. (2012). Climate change at the city scale: impacts, mitigation and adaptation in Cape Town. Abingdon and New York, Routledge.
Hoornweg, D., M. Freire, M. Lee, J, P. Bhada-Tata and B. Yuen, Eds. (2011). Cities and climate change: responding to an urgent agenda. Washington DC, The World Bank.
Hunt, A. and P. Watkiss (2011). "Climate change impacts and adaptation in cities: a review of the literature." Climate Change 104(1): 13-49.
United Nations Human Settlements Programme (2011). Cities and climate change: global report on human settlements. London and Washington DC, Earthscan.
Stone, B. (2012) The city and the coming climate: climate change in the places we live. Cambridge University Press
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changeâ€™s Fifth Assessment Report (to be published in late 2013).
Jared Diamond (2005) Collapse: how societies choose to fail or survive. Allen Lane
Dodman, D. (2009) Blaming cities for climate change? An analysis of urban greenhouse gas emissions inventories Environment and Urbanization, 21, 185-201