Climate Urbanism

Climate change demands urgent action. This call is heard most loudly in rapidly growing urban areas. Cities are key to implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement; a coordinated policy effort to combat climate change and adapt to its effects.

By focusing on cities as the most appropriate site of action and prioritising the protection of infrastructures, climate urbanism is transforming the fabric of everyday life.

This theme examines the history, processes and implications of the rise of climate urbanism as a model for urban development.

Research Questions

  • What is climate urbanism and how does it differ from other models of urbanisation?
  • What perspectives inform climate urbanism and with what consequences for how we plan and govern our cities?
  • How, where, and why is climate urbanism embraced, promoted, or contested?
  • How is climate urbanism transforming the physical and social fabric of urban life?


Papers and reports


  • Castán Broto, V. (2019). Urban energy landscapes. Cambridge University Press.
  • Castán Broto, V., & Westman, L. (2019). Urban Sustainability and Justice: Just Sustainabilities and Environmental Planning. Zed Books Ltd.

Research projects

  • Low Carbon Action in Ordinary Cities (LOACT) (PI: Professor Vanesa Castán Broto).Funder: European Research Council
  • Community Energy and Sustainable Energy Transitions in Ethiopia, Malawi and Mozambique (CESET) (PI: Professor Vanesa Castán Broto) Funders: Economic and Social Research Council and the Global Challenges Research Fund
  • Tales from long ago: the lost lakes of Bengaluru and their relevance for modern times (PI: Dr Hita Unnikrishnan) Funder: British Academy Newton International Fellowship
  • Off-Grid Cities: The financial mediations of life off the grid in two African Cities  (PI: Dr Enora Robin) Funder: Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship
  • Community Energy and Just Energy Transitions in Ghana (PI: Dr Enora Robin) Funder: University of Sheffield and Global Challenges Research Fund