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Elusive targets: Methodological considerations for cities' climate targets
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies (moved 20130630). School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre for Sustainable Communications, CESC.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7466-1448
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies (moved 20130630). School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre for Sustainable Communications, CESC.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5191-9250
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Ecology (moved 20130630). School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre for Sustainable Communications, CESC.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies (moved 20130630). School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre for Sustainable Communications, CESC.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5327-6535
Show others and affiliations
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Cities’ climate targets are dependent on system boundaries and methods of calculations. This article identify, explore and present an overview of methodological considerations of importance in order to facilitate understanding, comparing and setting targets for green house gas emissions and energy use in cities. A survey on how eight European cities set their climate targets is presented. A framework of methodological considerations that are of importance when setting targets for cities is presented. A review of existing GHG accounting protocols, three major sustainable city frameworks and a selection of scientific papers reporting on accounting methodologies was used as a basis for developing the methodological considerations. Four main categories were identified, temporal scope, object for target setting, unit of target, and range of target. For each category there is an in-depth discussion of them in relation to targets for cities. The survey of the European cities showed that there is quite a little awareness of what is, or could be, included in the targets. This makes comparison and benchmarking almost impossible today. It also shows the need for comprehensive and consistent accounting protocols and methodologies.

Keyword [en]
climate, greenhouse gases, city, urban, targets
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-94148OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-94148DiVA: diva2:525522
Note

QS 2012

Available from: 2012-05-08 Created: 2012-05-08 Last updated: 2014-03-31Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Making Futures: On Targets, Measures and Governance in Backcasting and Planning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Making Futures: On Targets, Measures and Governance in Backcasting and Planning
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis is about the making of futures – in the sense of planning, through which the world of tomorrow is crafted, and in the sense of images of the future, developed through the futures studies approach of backcasting. The point of departure for the thesis is that more visionary and strategic forms of planning are needed if the challenges of sustainable development are to be met, and that backcasting, through its long-term, integrative and normative character, can be a helpful tool towards this end.

The thesis explores how backcasting can be used when planning for sustainability by looking into three areas of problems and possibilities. The first of these concerns target setting, for which was found that both backcasting and planning tend to use targets that are elusive, rendering it difficult to understand what is included in the target and what is omitted. As a way to rectify this, a framework of methodological considerations for target setting is presented (Paper I). There is also a need for further methodological development on how to set targets for environmental aspects other than energy and GHG gases.

The second area concerns the identification of measures and actors, where both backcasting and planning were found to have the problem of being techno-biased and/or taking a rather superficial approach to ‘the social’ which means that the socio-technical complexity of everyday life is left unattended (Paper II). This has consequences in terms of delimiting the scope of measures identified and proposed and of the potential of these to result in intended changes. Two approaches are suggested to deal with this: a methodology for developing socio-technical scenarios, in which an iterative identification of objects and agents of change is a central trait (Paper III), and a service-orientated energy efficiency analysis, in which the social logic of energy use is highlighted (Paper IV).

The third area concerns how backcasting can be used in a more explorative approach to the governance of change, instead of leaving this unaddressed and/or unaltered (Paper V). In relation to this, the institutional and political dimensions of planning for sustainability are emphasised, with the focus on path dependency, discursive power and critical junctures (Paper VI).

The connection described between the fields of backcasting and planning for sustainability study and practice is thus beneficial for planning by showing how this could be made more visionary and strategic, while also contributing to the theoretical and methodological advancement of backcasting. One of the main contributions of the thesis is the exploration of how backcasting studies could benefit from including the question of ‘Who?’: Who could make the changes happen? Who should change (whose) lifestyle? Who (what group/s in society) benefits and who loses from the images of the future that are developed? And who is invited to take part in the making of futures and whose futures are being heard? Including the question of ‘who’ highlights the normative character of sustainable development and makes issues of environmental justice and equity visible.

The formulation of images of the future is also a question of resources and ultimately of power. In relation to this there is a need for groups of society besides those in power to be encouraged to develop their images of the (sustainable, desired) future, and to give room for these in policy-making and planning. The openness of the future renders desirability and ethics, and not probability, the basis on which the feasibility of images of the future must be assessed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. 101 p.
Series
Trita-SOM , ISSN 1653-6126 ; 2012-09
Keyword
futures studies, backcasting, planning, governance, sustainable development
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-94151 (URN)978-91-7501-361-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-06-05, E2, Lindstedtsvägen 3, KTH, Stockholm, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
SitCitICT as a motor for transition
Note

QC 20120514

Available from: 2012-05-14 Created: 2012-05-08 Last updated: 2013-05-08Bibliographically approved
2. Contribution of ICT to Climate Targets of Cities: Exploring the potential of Information and Communication Technologies in reducing emissions and energy use from buildings and travel
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Contribution of ICT to Climate Targets of Cities: Exploring the potential of Information and Communication Technologies in reducing emissions and energy use from buildings and travel
2012 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines how ICT solutions can assist in lowering energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from buildings and travel in order to help cities meet their climate targets. It also provides an overview of relevant research intended to furnish new knowledge about the issues involved and to find solutions to social problems.

The first part of the thesis provides an analysis and compilation of critical system boundaries that need to be used for cities to set targets for energy use and GHG emissions. The climate targets of cities are dependent on setting system boundaries and establishing methods of calculations for monitoring whether the targets have been achieved. Today, there is no official standard for how the system boundaries must be set or what calculation methodologies to apply to evaluate the climate targets. Four main categories of system boundaries were identified: the temporal scope, the object of target setting, the unit of target setting, and the target range (e.g. consumer-producer and lifecycle perspective). Eight European cities were examined in relation to how they set climate targets. The examination showed that awareness of what is included in the targets is limited and that there is a need for standardised and consistent protocols and methods of setting climate targets for cities.

In the second part of the thesis, leading Advanced Traveller Information Systems (ATIS) and their functionalities were investigated. The relationship between individual decisions on different travel modes and functionalities of ATIS was investigated through a systematic investigation of the functionality of nine ATIS, mainly from Sweden, Germany, UK and USA. This allowed decisions that could lead to lower energy use and emissions of GHG to be identified. It also resulted in a proposal on requirements for new and improved functionality that could support a reduction in energy use and GHG emissions and a shift to renewable energy sources if implemented in next-generation ATIS.

In the third part of the thesis, ICT applications that can be used to reduce energy use and GHG emissions of buildings within the already built environment were identified. In addition, a brief analysis was made of how different actors such as the tenant, the building owner and the energy provider can reduce energy usage in buildings by means of ICT solutions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. 33 p.
Series
Trita-SOM , ISSN 1653-6126 ; 2012:13
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-100479 (URN)978-91-7501-424-1 (ISBN)
Presentation
2012-08-23, E2, Lindstedsv 3, KTH, Stockholm, 15:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20120809Available from: 2012-08-09 Created: 2012-08-09 Last updated: 2012-08-09Bibliographically approved

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