IRDR SC member Shuaib Lwasa at the UGEC Conference on Urban Transitions and Transformations

The 2nd International UGEC Conference on Urban Transitions and Transformations: Science, Synthesis and Policy” last 6-8 November concluded with forward-looking approaches to new research directions, new collaborations and generation of knowledge in understanding the links between urbanization and global environmental change.

Organized by the Urbanization and Global Environmental Change (UGEC) and the National Taipei University, the event gathered diverse group of researchers, funders, practitioners and policy-makers in Taipei, Taiwan.

Creating a dynamic setting conducive to dialogue, plenary sessions were conducted consisting of diverse panel of experts. IRDR SC member Shuaib Lwasa from Makarere University in Kampala, Uganda was a co-session organizer for “Regional Perspectives on Urban Transformations for Adaptation to Climate Change: Strategies, Policies and Plans. This session consisted of discussions on Vietnam’s transforming urban risk governance, exploring possible transformation pathways for African cities, exploring health risks in urban Latin America and Asia and politics of devolution in Africa and its implications for urban disaster risk reduction and management.

The study and understanding of current urban transitions and transformations requires multi-dimensional approaches that explore human behavior including lifestyle changes, political and economic agendas, and the adequacy of governance structures to deliver urban sustainability – particularly in a time of uncertainty where biophysical tipping points and thresholds have the potential to curb human progress and well-being.

The conference was divided into four integrative themes, (1) Urbanization Patterns and Processes, (2) Urban Responses to Climate Change: Adaptation, Mitigation and Transformation, (3) Global Environmental Change, Urban Health and Well-Being and (4) Equity and Environmental Justice in Urban Areas. These are intended to bring together perspectives from across the social and natural sciences, and humanities to better understand urban environmental issues in a more integrated, interdisciplinary and trans disciplinary way.

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