Web-Talk Series: Cities and Climate

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Cities and Climate is the thematic focus of the DWIH New Delhi for 2020-21. This webinar series will explore the crucial role cities worldwide play in view of climate change and sustainable development.

The webinar series will deal with themes relevant to developing as well as developed countries. It will present good practices, international projects, research, and recommendations for cities to adapt to climate-change. The webinar will have panels with scientists, experts, decision-makers, and professionals across disciplines from India and abroad.

Day 1: Urban mobility

Worldwide by 2030, about 70% of world’s population is predicted to live in cities. This means more passenger vehicles and larger impact on the environment but also a strong need for development of infrastructure in cities and greater availability of public transport as well. As cities try to adapt to these needs, researchers and policy makers across the globe are working to make the future of mobility smarter and more sustainable.

In our first international webinar together with our colleagues in DWIH New York and DWIH Moscow, we look at research and case studies from urban city transport across 5 countries. Researchers from India, Germany, Moscow and United states of America will present newer technologies, research and good practice examples as they work on the opportunities and challenges of urban mobility. Discussion will focus around smart mobility for cities including:

  • Alternate modes of transport
  • Transport modelling/ simulation
  •  Intelligent transport systems

Sustainable development is one of the key areas of Indo-German Cooperation, highlighted at the 2019 Inter-governmental consultations with a joint declaration on Green Urban Mobility.

Day 2: Urban flooding

Worldwide, several cities face flooding every year. Floods in urban areas occur not only due to weather conditions such as heavy rainfall and flooding of water bodies but also infrastructural issues in cities. Reports of international climate change committees suggest that there is significant influence of climate change on flooding. Unregulated construction for housing and commercial properties, encroachment of land, as well as mismanagement of drainage systems are some of the factors contributing to accumulation of water in cities.

Every year, as urban floods bring cities to a halt, many problems arise, such as water logging in low lying areas, collapse of public transport systems, and increased possibility of infections and disease spread. Understandably, coastal cities are more prone to these.

The webinar will have panel discussions on flood management in cities as well as on increasing resilience of cities to flooding.

Day 3: The corona pandemic as an epistemic opportunity – studying sources of pollution

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, human activity has seen a decrease of historic proportions. Air, road and rail travel is reduced to a minimum, production of non-essential goods has come down, in many cases to zero, construction sites are closed. But of course, not all types of activities have been halted. For example, energy production remains at full capacity, and so does agricultural production. Also, humans, and the villages and cities in which they live, continue to consume food and energy and hence to produce waste.

This changed constellation of activities and their outputs offers a unique opportunity for many strands of environmental science research. New avenues for research are opening in the context of a few research questions:

  • What are the proportions of the sources of air pollution and river water pollution?
  • Wildlife consequences of the changes in the pollution patterns due to the pandemic?
  • Other questions of relevance

In this webinar environmental science researchers from India and Germany will come together to give examples of how the coronavirus pandemic is helping us to tackle scientific questions in new ways, perhaps to provide solutions to old formerly intractable puzzles.

Event Information

July 28, 2020, 6:00 PM to July 30, 2020, 7:00 PM

Organizer: DWIH New Delhi