Written by Peter Tinkasiimire
Week two of the course was guided by Professor Martin Patel and involved deep discussions on Global and Regional Energy outlook, Energy Efficiency, Renewables, Life Cycle Assessment as well as key site visits.
The course wrap up was kicked off by Mr. Laurent Horvath who gave an inspirational talk about goals in life and clean-tech opportunities in relation to sustainable cities. He also discussed the importance of collaboration and stakeholder engagement in creating the desired impact and change in the world.
This was followed by a presentation on the psychological perspective as a tool to protect the environment and avert climate change. Insight was given on determinants of decision making like values, self-efficacy social norms, emotions et cetera. The presentation also touched base on lessons for interventions such as, recognition of different values, dissemination of enough information, importance of social norms , and so forth.
Dr. Alexander Hedjazi drew from his expertise in urban planning to give a presentation on how to take stock of interconnected systems when in transition. He touched base on transition planning which involves cross-agency and cross-sector interaction assessment and Integrated Environmental Risk Management.
From the discussions above, I feel that SDG 9, which is to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable is best associated with the day’s presentations because global dynamics of change have created the necessity of building smart cities which can be monitored and make people happy. The increasing population growth trends triggered by high birth rates in some parts of the world as well as immigrants from other countries, has increased pressure on the environment and necessitated more energy so as to to cater for the increasing numbers. In addition, there is a need to look into the clean technology opportunities in order to minmize the climate change impact.
Borrowing from Dr. Hedjazi`s presentation, this necessitates transitional planning in order to assess the sensitivity of the situation, capacity assessment and vulnerability assessment. It is also important to note that cross-agency and cross-sector interaction must be assessed. Vulnerabilities are compounded and if if ignored can have detrimental impacts. Therefore an inclusive approach should be used to wholistically address all risk elements.
- Policy makers should work more with psychologists.
- Increased role of technology in influencing people’s behaviour eg. smart user interfaces. It should be fun and stylish as well as interactive to keep people interested.
(2) Global Environment Policy Program, The 2030 Agenda, Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within Government, Business & Civil Society ; 2015