Urban Management Tools for Climate Change (UMTCC)

Enhancing urban climate resilience and low carbon development in the practice of urban management

Duration    3 weeks
Dates    11 June – 29 June 2018
Tuition fee     2,750*
Language    English
IHS application deadline    EU: 11 May 2018/non-EU: 11 April 2018**
Admissions information    Requirements and application procedure
NFP information

   Procedure and deadlines

Partner    UN Habitat
Abbreviation code    UMTCC 2018
Course information

 Desislava Yordanova 

Course coordinator

 Stelios Grafakos

Please note that for EU participants, the VAT of 21% will apply. The tuition fee stated above is excluding the VAT.

** If you require a visa, we advise you to apply at least one month before the IHS application deadline.

Apply now 


Cities are increasingly expected to undertake concrete actions to adapt to sea level rise, floods, droughts and other natural disasters exacerbated by climate change and climate variability. At the same time the planning and implementation of low carbon development strategies should support also national plans, contribute to climate change mitigation as well as result in other multiple local benefits. Mixing state of the art knowledge on climate change adaptation, resilience and low carbon development with hands-on tools for urban practitioners and on-site visits, the course offers participants the opportunity to learn the approaches, unlocking climatic challenges faced by cities today. Jointly run with the UN-Habitat, this course introduces climate change as an integral part of sustainability and the main strategies for mitigation and adaptation.

This course offers the opportunity to national and urban policy makers, city officials and planners to gain knowledge of cities’ vulnerabilities and their linkages with other human factors exacerbating climate stresses, such as land use management and planning decisions. The course will showcase different city and community-based management tools and approaches dealing with the need for adaptation and mitigation. It does so by utilizing lectures and discussions, serious gaming and simulations, data inventories analysis and action-planning group exercises. Participants will be engaged in group work using different tools for GHG emissions inventory, climate change actions prioritization (CLIMACT Prio tool), an online data base of climate technologies and actions (the Climate tech wiki) and UN–Habitat climate change related tools.


By the end of the course participants will gain understanding and ability to apply key components of climate change planning with attention to vulnerability assessment, GHG emission inventories, climate action prioritization and climate change action plans. They will also learn to analyse low carbon urban development options and test their ability to negotiate climate action strategies under climatic uncertainty. Finally they will better understand the opportunities and challenges that cities have in relation to securing funds and mainstreaming climate change policies and actions into existing plans.


Module 1: Introduction to Climate Change and Vulnerability.
Cities are considered the most vulnerable areas to sea level rise, storm surges, floods and droughts. Mapping the most at risk areas of a city with relevant climate impact-agents is a fundamental step in understanding how to reduce a city’s vulnerability. Participants will get acquainted with a range of vulnerability assessment tools and will acquire knowledge and skills on how to perform a vulnerability assessment and vulnerability mapping at a city based on a case study. In addition, participants will get an introduction to decision support tools for climate change.

Module 2: Climate change adaptation: Land, water and disaster management.
Cities should adapt to both long-term trends associated with climate change (e.g. sea level rise) and to extreme events such as flooding. After centuries of land reclamation, the Netherlands transforms land into lakes, builds floating houses and roads, and experiments with rooftop gardens. Based on theory and best practices, participants will acquire knowledge of different adaptation strategies from concrete cases. Different types of approaches, such as community based and ecosystem based adaptation will be addressed within this module.

Module 3: Climate change mitigation: Energy, transport and carbon markets.
Cities can play an essential role in mitigating climate change. They can reduce energy consumption, promote renewable sources of energy or they can trade carbon credits under the Flexible Mechanisms of the Kyoto protocol. The latter is becoming a lucrative business for ‘green’ and ‘clean’ cities. GHG emissions inventories and abatement potential assessment are becoming vital tools for city’s climate mitigation planning. Participants will have the chance to perform a GHG inventory at a city level and prioritize relevant climate mitigation actions.

Module 4: Local climate change action plans
Local Climate Change (CC) Action Plans translate - often vague - strategies for adaption and mitigation into concrete actions. Local CC action plans are based on vulnerability assessment, mitigation and adaptation assessment and consider the (financial) constraints of the particular city. Participants will analyze and evaluate detailed assessment reports of various case studies and will develop a local climate change action plan for a specific city.


The course will be a blend of lectures, case studies, participants’ presentations, group exercises, simulation exercises and excursions/field visits. Participants will be engaged mainly in group work by using different tools for vulnerability mapping, GHG emissions inventory, climate change prioritization and an online data base of climate technologies and actions. From the onset of the course, participants will apply theory and best practices to actual group work. Local Climate Change Action Plans will be prepared by participants, including a vulnerability assessment, adaptation and mitigation actions assessment along with concrete plans and financial arrangements. Rotterdam is one of the 40 cities of the Clinton initiative, therefore the course will look at the Rotterdam Climate Initiative and Rotterdam Climate Proof Programs and a range of innovative plans and actions – such as ‘floating communities’ - that aim to transform a polluting harbor city, below sea level, into a ‘CO2 neutral’ and climate proof city.

CLIMACT Prio tool & Climate techwiki

The Climate Actions Prioritization (CLIMACT Prio) tool, developed by IHS, is a climate decision support and capacity building tool for the prioritization and assessment of climate mitigation and/or adaptation actions at a local level. Climate Tech-Wiki offers detailed information on a broad set of mitigation and adaptation technologies and actions within the wider context of low emission and low vulnerability development. Participants will have the chance to use the CLIMACT Prio tool and Climate Tech-wiki database in combination with different material and case studies from the Cities in Climate Change Initiative programme of UN – Habitat.

IHS is proud to announce that this course is jointly developed with UN-HABITAT.


How to apply

Interested in participating in this post-graduate diploma course? Make use of the IHS online application system. Find out more about the application procedure and admission requirements.


If you are still searching for a sponsor, have a look at our section on available funding opportunities.

If your question is related to the Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP), please refer to this webpage before inquiring further.