Learning to Steer: New Directions for Urban Climate Change Mitigation

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 4:10:00 PM - Wednesday, April 5, 2017 5:30:00 PM
Rm.149(basement), Earth Sciences Building, 5 Bancroft Ave.
Memorial Lecture

Eric Krause Memorial Lecture 

SARA HUGHES, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, and Senior Fellow, Global Cities Institute, University of Toronto & University of Toronto Mississauga 

ABSTRACT: What does it take to steer a city in a new direction? The increasingly ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets being set by city governments raise questions about how and whether city governments can deliver on the kind of fundamental changes they would require. In many ways reducing urban GHG emissions means city governments will have act in partnership and cooperation with other actors. In this talk I draw on the experiences of New York City, Los Angeles, and Toronto with reducing GHG emissions. I find that there are shared practices these cities have used that are foundational to the task of steering for climate change mitigation, and that can provide lessons for other cities going forward. The next step is to scale up many of the interventions cities are already experimenting with and I argue that steering practices can help to facilitate this shift.

BRIEF BIO: Sara Hughes is an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department, a Bissel-Heyd Fellow with the Center for the Study of the United States, and a Senior Fellow with the Global Cities Institute at the University of Toronto. Her research and teaching focus on urban governance and urban environmental politics and policymaking. Current projects examine the implementation of climate change policy in large cities, transitions in urban waste management, the determinants of policy attention in local governments, and community engagement practices for sustainable cities.