World Bank and Partners Host Symposium on Cities and Climate Change

© URS20092 July 2009: The fifth Urban Research Symposium, which took place from 28 June-1 July 2009, in Marseille, France, was co-organized by the World Bank, the French ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Town and Country Planning, and the French Agency for Development around the theme “Cities and Climate Change: Responding to the Urgent Agenda.”

The event, which received the support of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and other partners, brought together over 600 participants from 82 countries and aimed at advancing the research agenda on climate change from a city's perspective. The meeting focused on the following five research clusters: understanding and measuring how cities impact, and are impacted by, climate change; planning efficiently and effectively to increase the resilience of cities; improving management, coordination, and planning of cities to meet climate change challenges; understanding how and why cities respond to climate change; and understanding and reducing vulnerability of urban populations to climate change.

As a follow-up to the symposium, a handbook and a collection of research papers are expected to be produced. The handbook will focus on practical applications of dealing with the challenge of climate change and cities and will target decision makers. The collection of research papers will target academics and researchers. Both knowledge products will emphasize policy implications, including mitigation and adaptation strategies, as well as new options for financing policies and technologies. [Symposium Website]