Cities addressing climate change: Introducing a tripartite model for sustainable partnership

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    In recent times, climate change has emerged as one of the most challenging political and scientific issues of our times. The Brundtland Report and Rio Conference highlighted the significance of local actions as means of securing global sustainable development. This is further emphasized by the projection that 70% of the world's population will live in cities by 2050 (UN-HABITAT, 2008). With ever increasing trends in urban consumption and production practices, a call for action against climate change is often seen as a way to foster sustainable development. Considerable attention is now being paid to determine what urban sustainability would include. OECD (n.d.) says that "cities are centres of innovation and can advance clean energy systems, sustainable transportation, waste management and spatial development strategies to reduce greenhouse gases. With access to up to date climate science, impacts and vulnerability assessment, local authorities can also work with local stakeholders to design and implement effective adaptation strategies." In present times however, cities try to respond to climate change through programs and initiatives in the absence of any integrated, continuous and long-term strategy. To change this situation, we propose that programs and initiatives must be financially beneficial to all stakeholders. Collaboration between local government, local businesses and residents is a necessary condition. Success depends on creating a balanced win-win situation for all stakeholders. This paper looks at how political, business and individual responses can be integrated in a conceptual model that positively addresses climate change in a municipal context and is also fiscally sustainable.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)227-235
    Number of pages9
    JournalSustainable Cities and Society
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec. 2011


    • Climate change and cities
    • Public-private cooperation
    • Sustainable urban development


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