Tag Archives: david simon

Mistra Urban Futures 2016 Conference

Mistra 2016 Conference LogoRealising Just Cities – Co-production in Action 

When: September 19-20
Optional Workshops – September 21
Location: Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden

Mistra Urban Futures welcomes you to the conference, entitled Realising Just Cities – Co-production in Action. The conference addresses the emerging field of trans-disciplinary co-produced knowledge and research for sustainable and just urban transformations. The principal research activities of Mistra Urban Futures, with its five local interaction platforms, form a point of departure for the conference.

The conference programme will reflect the trans-disciplinary research ethos of Mistra Urban Futures, and the invited speakers will contribute academic and non-academic perspectives on co-production research methodologies and experience.

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Symposium: A Decade of Urbanization & Global Environmental Change

urbanization global environmental change symposiumThe Urbanization and Global Environmental Change Project is proud to announce “A Decade of Urbanization and Global Environmental Change: A UGEC Symposium” on Thursday, February 18, 2016 at the Arizona State University Memorial Union in the Pima Auditorium.  The event starts at 10:00.  It is part of the Sustainability Solutions Festival.

Panelists will draw from their own research and practical expertise to offer insight into the needs and directions of future UGEC research and science-policy-practice linkages, particularly addressing the role of young scholars and students interested in urbanization and sustainability issues.

Click the image for more details, or click here to download the pdf version.


Christopher Boone, Arizona State University, USA


Shuaib Lwasa, Makerere University, Uganda
Patricia Romero-Lankao, National Center for Atmospheric Research, USA
Karen Seto, Yale University, USA
David Simon, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK & Mistra Urban Futures, Sweden

New Publication on the Urban Sustainable Development Goal

Title: Developing and testing the Urban Sustainable Development Goal’s targets and indicators – a five-city study

Authors: David Simon, Helen Arfvidsson, Geetika Anand, Amir Bazaz, Gill Fenna, Kevin Foster, Garima Jain, Stina Hansson, Louise Marix Evans, Nishendra Moodley, Charles Nyambuga, Michael OLOKO, Doris Chandi Ombara, Zarina Patel, Beth Perry, Natasha Primo, Aromar Revi, Brendon Van Niekerk, Alex Wharton and Carol Wright.

Abstract: The campaign for the inclusion of a specifically urban goal within the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was challenging. Numerous divergent interests were involved, while urban areas worldwide are also extremely heterogeneous. It was essential to minimize the number of targets and indicators while still capturing critical urban dimensions relevant to human development. It was also essential to test the targets and indicators. This paper reports the findings of a unique comparative pilot project involving co-production between researchers and local authority officials in five diverse secondary and intermediate cities: Bangalore (Bengaluru), India; Cape Town, South Africa; Gothenburg, Sweden; Greater Manchester, United Kingdom; and Kisumu, Kenya. Each city faced problems in providing all the data required, and each also proposed various changes to maximize the local relevance of particular targets and indicators. This reality check provided invaluable inputs to the process of finalizing the urban SDG prior to the formal announcement of the entire SDG set by the UN Secretary-General in late September 2015.

Keywords:Bangalore / Cape Town / Gothenburg / Greater Manchester / indicators / Kisumu / targets / Urban Sustainable Development Goal

Chapter on Urban Climate Change Adaptation in Africa

Chapter 5: Small Cities and Towns in Africa: Insights into Adaptation Challenges and Potentials

By Ben Wisner, Mark Pelling, Adolfo Mascarenhas, Ailsa Holloway, Babacar Ndong, Papa Faye, Jesse Ribot, and David Simon.

From S. Pauleit et al. (eds), Urban Vulnerability and Climate Change in Africa.


This chapter is a counterpoint to those in the rest of this volume that treat Africa’s large cities. As Simon (Int Dev Plann Rev 36(2):v–xi, 2014) has observed, most study of African urban climate change adaptation has focused on the challenges to large cities. So, by way of heuristic exercise, we attempt to approach a set of questions about small African cities and towns facing climate change. What climate-related hazards are faced by small cities in Africa today and will be confronted in the future? What kind of enabling capacities should be strengthened so that staff in small cities can take the initiative to adapt to climate change? What obstacles do the governments and residents of small cities face in adapting to climate change? What potential is there for risk reduction and improved livelihood security even in the face of climate change? Reviewing literature and using case studies from Eastern, Southern and Western Africa, we find that small cities have potential not only to protect their infrastructure and residents from climate related hazards, but also to serve as catalysts of climate-smart development in their hinterlands. However, governance problems and a lack of finance severely limit the ability of small African cities to realise this potential. More research is urgently needed to inform feasible solutions to bridge these governance and funding gaps.

Click here to download the chapter