Topic outline

  • Cities, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Goals 

    The course dwells on climate change and its impact on cities, as well as on the Sustainable Development Goals through understanding of concepts, theories,  discussions and case studies

     Source: CEPT

    Instructor(s) Darshini Mahadevia

    As Taught in Monsoon 2017

    Level Master Students of Planning, Architecture, Technology and Management; Final Year Bachelor Students of Planning and Architecture

    Type lecture and seminar

  • Module 1: Introduction to climate change and sustainable development

    • Session 1

      Introduction to climate change

      • Climate change phenomena (Science), impacts, adaptation, mitigation, key terms
      • Meeting the challenge of climate change by other actions
      • Linking Development and Climate Change Related Efforts, Sustainable Development, Conventional vs Sustainable approach; Notion of equitable development


      • Session 2-3

        Concepts – Millennium Development Goals, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), their achievement status globally and in India, and link with cities

        • Linkages: SDGs and Climate Change
        • Direct linkage with SDGs 1, 7, 11, 13
        • But also with Goal 2 (climate change and food security), 5, 10, water, coastal ecosystems, institutional reforms (Not essential to go into details)
        • India’s MDG achievements
        • SDGs and Cities and their Links with Cities


        • Session 4-5

          Climate change and cities – CC’s impacts on Cities and Cities/ urbanization impacting CC

          Visiting Faculty, Dr. Minal Pathak

          • Concepts – Climate Change and its Impacts on cities;
          • Impacts on Global South and Cities within, including impacts on economy and overall well-being.
          • Local solutions to meet global targets. Integration local-national-global
          • Development lags due to exclusive or inequitable urban development causing larger impacts


          • Modul 2: Adressing climate change: Options and Pathways

            • Session 6

              Low Carbon Development – Need, Options and Pathways

              • Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSP) for 2 degree and 1.5 degree change in temperature in relation to pre-industrial era
              • Paris Agreement (NDC)
              • Concepts – Mitigation, low carbon cities


              • Session 7

                India’s Policies (Mitigation)

                • Global Agreements and Targets on Mitigating Climate Change
                • Tasks for Cities in general & Tasks for Cities in India in Particular in the context of the National Commitments (NDCs – Nationally Determined Commitments)
                • 1.5 degree scenario’s implications for India in general and cities in particular


                • IPCC Website data on the NDCs
                • GoI 2011, National Action Plan on Climate Change. Executive Summary.
                • GoI 2015, India’s Nationally Determined Commitments (INDCs) NDC%20TO%20UNFCCC.pdf
                • Dhar S., M. Pathak, & P.R. Shukla (2013): “What Does a 2 degree Scenario Mean for India” in Low Carbon City: A guidebook for City Planners and Practitioners. UNEP Riso Centre. (suggested reading) (Section 4)
                • Session 8

                  Case Presentation by Students from Literature Search

                  Sections of Assessment, Reports (Mid term). Students will select from the list

                  • Session 9

                    Adaptation and Resilience Efforts in Cities and SDG links using case studies

                    • What if the world fails to deliver on its promises- in the event of catastrophic climate change, what are the measures for adapting to residual climate change?
                    • The session discusses the challenges to adaptation, options and possibilities with a focus on cities in developing countries


                    • Section 10-11

                      Sectoral Interventions for climate compatible development

                      • How will climate change impact key urban sectors?
                      • What are the major contributing sectors where is the potential for action?
                      • Discussion on co-benefits of sectoral actions, SDGs’ achievements and both mitigation and adaptation, which have strong links with the development agenda and hence the SDGs.
                      • Both, mitigation and adaptation have strong links with development agenda.
                      • Session 10


                        • Transport and Contribution to Climate Change – Global and National scenarios
                        • Mitigation Pathways and Initiatives at Global level and in India
                        • Transport Infrastructure adaptation to Climate Change


                        • Session 11

                          Housing and vulnerability

                          • Contribution of Housing to GHG emissions
                          • Future floor space demand, and energy impacts (from materials, energy consumption from air conditioning, etc) in India
                          • Housing vulnerability and adaptation issues
                          • Case of Guwahati – conflict of housing rights vs environmental agendas


                          • Session 12

                            Green cover and urban heat island impacts

                            • Heat and vulnerability
                            • Likely heat scenarios due to climate change in Indian case
                            • Impacts on well being


                            • Module 3: Implementation and Mainstreaming

                              • Session 13-14

                                Governance Issues related to Resilience, Adaptation and Mitigation, role of State, Market and Civil Society (To bring Indian cases)

                                • Link with goal 16 (participation and inclusiveness in decision making)
                                • National sub-national integration


                                • Session 15-16

                                  Case Study preparation by students taking examples from Indian Cities and presentation.

                                  The cases will focus on impacts, adaptation and resilience building efforts made and required