Urban Sustainability and Climate Change Resilience

The Urban Sustainability and Climate Change Resilience Department focuses on how urban areas worldwide can transition towards more sustainable and resilient development pathways in environmental challenges and climate change dynamics.

The ongoing shift towards urbanization has a profound effect on the spatial distribution of cities, their resource consumption, their environmental impact and their liveability. Climate change and its direct consequences, such as floods, droughts and heatwaves, have adverse repercussions on physical infrastructures, transport systems, water and energy supply and the provision of ecosystems goods and services.

Against this background, the department looks at the relationship between the natural and built environment, at the role of green infrastructure and nature-based solutions, at how innovations related to the management of water, energy and transport systems can contribute to improving environmental performance and at how land use and urban spatial form influence urban sustainability. The cluster also looks into how to implement effective and efficient climate change adaptation and mitigation actions, how to measure the effects and evaluate the performance of the actions, and how cities can achieve resilience.

The governance of socio-technological evolution and innovation and transition processes also constitutes a key area of interest of the cluster.

Specific questions addressed by the cluster include: Which factors influence the transition to sustainable and resilient urban areas? How can climate change risks and vulnerabilities be reduced through improved land management and other mitigation and adaptation interventions? To what extent do smart cities and technological innovations enhance environmental performance? What is the role of green infrastructure and nature-based solutions in the transition towards sustainable and resilient urban areas?

Meet the Urban Sustainability & Climate Change Resilience Department

Dr. Alberto Gianoli | Head of Urban Sustainability & Climate Change Resilience Department

Alberto Gianoli is an economist and management specialist with experience as a researcher and consultant in the areas of urban environment and infrastructure, project and infrastructure finance, climate change adaptation and mitigation. 

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Elena Marie Enseñado | Specialist in Nature-based Climate Change Adaptation Planning

Elena Marie Enseñado works as an Urban Environment, Sustainability, and Climate Change specialist. Her thematic interests include climate change and environmental planning, learning for socio-technical transitions and social-ecological resilience.

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Dr. Alexander Los | Specialist in Urban Environment and Climate Change

Dr Alexander Los is a physicist and expert in Urban Environment and Climate Change. He focuses his research on urban environment modelling using satellite-based observations, Citizen Sensing and climate change data.

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Laura Quadros Aniche | Specialist in Urban Sustainability and Climate Change

Laura Quadros Aniche works in education, advisory, and research. Her expertise focuses on nature-based solutions, ecosystem services, climate adaptation and resilience, urban living labs, participatory processes and legitimacy.

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Maarten Zeehandelaar

Dr. Paul Rabé | Lead Specialist in Urban Land Governance

Paul Rabé is a political scientist by training with a doctoral degree in policy, planning and development. His research and professional interests focus on land governance and access to land in urban and peri-urban areas.

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Dr Qian Ke | Senior Specialist in Urban Sustainability & Climate Change Resilience

Dr Qian Ke is a specialist in the Urban Sustainability & Climate Change Resilience Department at IHS. She is involved in teaching the Urban Environment, Sustainability & Climate Change Master track, and other research and advisory projects.

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Maarten Zeehandelaar

Somesh Sharma | Specialist in Environment and Sustainable Development Planning

Somesh is involved in teaching, research, advisory and designing tailor-made training programs. His main thematic areas of focus are public finance, inclusive smart cities, and nature-based solutions for sustainable development planning.

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Dr. Peter Scholten | Senior Specialist in Governance of Sustainable Urban Resources

Dr Peter Scholten is a governance and sustainability specialist, and the focus of his expertise is on governance, integrated planning and leadership strategies in complex decision-making environments. 

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Maarten Zeehandelaar

Julia Skinner | Senior Specialist in Green Cities and Urban Social Development

Julia Skinner is an architect and urban social development specialist. A major part of her work concerned slum upgrading and affordable housing, green cities and sustainability, solid waste management, and circular economy. 

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Photo by Nihat Sinan Erul on Unsplash

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