Keynote speech at Futurs Urbains conference

CESER Director, Richard Dawson, delivered a keynote speech at the international Futurs Urbains conference in Paris this week.  Richard delivered a talk that introduced CESER’s innovative Urban Integrated Assessment Facility and then reflected on lessons learned in London and Durban on the process of integrated modelling.  This included consideration of the technical challenges of modelling, the extent to which they meet policy needs, role of stakeholders in model development and application, barriers to their uptake and the value of and effort required for integration.

One key issue for teams embarking upon an integrated assessment must realise is that it does not provide all the answers or ‘design variables’ BUT it does stimulate the conversations and interactions that are needed to drive forward climate adaptation and mitigation agendas.

Although integrated assessment, in urban areas and elsewhere, comes at extra effort, Richard concluded that it was worthwhile – indeed essential for many of the world’s sustainability challenges because it enables teams to develop a collective understanding of policies concerning multiple pressures, urban functions and stakeholders.  Of course, there remain many challenges – not least transferability of these sophisticated modelling systems and communicating their results to wide audiences.

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