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LO-ACT: Low Carbon Action in Ordinary Cities

Description

The challenge of LO-ACT is to enable low carbon urban development in medium and small cities in rapidly urbanising areas in East, Central and West Africa, South Asia and South East Asia. The majority of emissions in the next century will be emitted by infrastructures that are yet to be built, particularly in rapidly urbanising areas where infrastructure is lacking. Population forecasts suggest that most population growth will take place in small and medium cities. Yet, to date, research on climate action has focused on showcasing strongly branded, successful initiatives in global cities. The low carbon transition depends on myriad of actions in ordinary cities, that is, cities outside global networks of climate innovation and leadership.
LO-ACT will address this critical gap by delivering the first multi-dimensional, large scale assessment of low carbon action in ordinary cities. It will contribute a new framework to understand global environmental politics and urban governance.
First, LO-ACT will analyse the imaginaries of local action that have shaped global environmental politics over 30 years (Objective 1).The work programme will also analyse the mobility of low carbon urban policies in transport, energy, and housing across different urban contexts (Objective 2).LO-ACT will deliver a comparative analysis of urban trajectories in 113 ordinary cities, and five in-depth ethnographic case studies (Objective 3).Finally, it will provide a critical assessment of governance theory and a revised framework to acknowledge the messy and ordinary contexts of urban action (Objective 4).
LO-ACT will bring together an interdisciplinary, international team of researchers, an international network of academic advisors, and four regional hubs that will support context-specific data collection and analysis. The research will contribute to the fields of human geography, urban studies, environmental politics, sustainability transitions and science and technology studies.
More information about the project available here

Research Team

  • Prof. ​ Vanesa Castán-Broto, University of Sheffield, UK – ​Principal Investigator
  • Dr.​ Cassidy Johnson, University College London, UK
  • Dr.​ James Patterson, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
  • Dr. Ping Huang, University of Sheffield, UK
  • Dr. Linda Westman, University of Sheffield, UK
  • Ms. Erika Conchis, University of Sheffield, UK – ​Project Administrator

Publications

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme Grant Agreement No 804051 — LO-ACT — ERC-2018-STG

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