International Urban Climate Change Research & Policy Work

Dr. Meyer is engaged in a variety of on-going research, technical assistance provision, and related policy work on climate change and cities, with a primary focus on the problem of raising the finance needed for mitigation and adaptation efforts. Among his current ongoing efforts are:

  • As a long-standing member of the Executive Committee of the International Urban Planning and Environment Association, he has been planning the twice-delayed 2020 symposium of the Association, now scheduled for the summer of 2022 in Taru, Estonia, on the theme of Managing Change. The conference will be focused on both the climate crisis and emerging from the Covid-19 economic contraction as critical changes facing planners.
  • With his colleague Reimund Schwarze, he has a forthcoming critical review of Covid-19: The Great Reset, a policy prescription co-authored by Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum.
  • Addressing the strengths and weaknesses of adaptation and mitigation efforts, he has also reviewed Greenovation: Urban Leadership on Climate Change (Oxford Univ. Press, 2020), a survey of efforts conducted by Professor Joan Fitzgerald of Northeastern University that is an outgrowth of her ongoing Climate Just Cities Project.

Other efforts have been completed, including activities and publications such as:

Meyer, PB, and R. Schwarze. Climate-resilient infrastructure finance in renewable energies: Global challenges ahead and the role of citizen (co-)ownership. Presentation in Session S17 on “Linking urban and rural ecosystems in policy, practice and governance” of URP 2020: Sustainable & Resilient Urban-Rural Partnerships. Leipzig, DE, November 2020.

Meyer, P.B. Moderator, Achieving the Global Urban Research and Action Agenda. Session co-sponsored by the Urban Climate Change Research network and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy. World Urban Forum (WUF10), Abu Dhabi, UAE, February, 2020.

Meyer, P.B., and R. Schwarze. 2019 Financing Climate-Resilient Infrastructure: Determining Risk, Reward, and Return on Investment. Frontiers of Engineering Management. VI(1): 117-127.

Meyer, P.B. Session on Innovative schemes for financing resilient cities. Respondent addressing the efforts by the cities of Leeds, UK, Venice, IT, and Kharkiv, UA, and the new programs of the European Investment Bank, at the European Urban Resilience Forum, Bonn, DE, June, 2019.

Meyer, P.B. and R. Schwarze. Narratives for Integration of Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Recovery. ICLEI Resilient Cities Conference, Bonn, Germany, May 2017.

Schwarze, R., Meyer, P.B., Markandya, A., et al. 2016. Finance Opportunities for Climate Change Solutions in Cities. Resilient Cities 2016 Background Paper. Bonn, Germany: ICLEI -Local Governments for Sustainability.

Meyer, P.B. “Financing Urban Climate Action: Is the Issue Really Creditworthiness?”  8th Researchers Meeting of the International Research Network for Low Carbon Societies, Wuppertal, Germany, September 2016.

Saunders, M.J., and P.B. Meyer. “Climate Change, Economic Decline and Terrorism: External Shocks to Urban Sustainability.” 12th Symposium, International Urban Planning and Environment Association, Lisbon, Portugal, June 2016.

Meyer, P.B., and M.J. Saunders. “Defining Local Planning Objectives During Global Climate Change.” 11th Symposium, International Urban Planning and Environment Association, La Plata, Argentina, September 2014.

Meyer, P.B., and M.J. Saunders. “What Shapes Local Resilience to Unexpected Shocks?”  Building Climate Solutions, the National Council on Science and Environment’s 14th Annual National Conference and Global Forum, Washington, DC, January, 2014

 

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Participation in the Urban Climate Change Research Network

EPSG President Dr. Meyer has been participating in the Urban Climate Change Research Network for seven years. Among his activities for the network have been:

  • Attending the World Urban Forum (WUF10) in Abu Dhabi, UAE in February, 2020 as the representative of the network to recruit new members and engage with other potential collaborators.
  • Announcing the launch of ARC3.3, a series of Special Reports targeted at filling the research gaps identified by the Cities Global Research Agenda at WUF10. The gaps the reports will fill include: Urban Climate Science; Responding to Shocks and Stresses; Informality; Governance; Big Data and IT; Finance; Sustainable Consumption and Production; Urban Planning and Design; Infrastructure; and Behavior. The ARC3.3 Special Reports will be co-produced by a special interactive process of stakeholder and researcher engagement and are scheduled to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2021 and 2022.
  • He has been designated a Lead Author for the Special Report on Finance for ARC 3.3 and will compile research on the economics and finance of urban response to climate change from across the globe as part of his mission.
  • He was one of the lead authors on Chapter 7  on “Economics, Finance and the Role of the Private Sector” in relationship to efforts at urban climate change adaptation and mitigation in Climate Change and Cities: Second Assessment Report of the Urban Climate Change Research Network, an international collaborative volume which was previewed at UNFCCC Cop 21 in Paris in December 2015, was launched formally in cooperation with UNFCCC at UN Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016 after publication by Cambridge University Press and is now available for download.

Cover of Urban Climate Change Research Network Second Assessment Report on Climate Change and Cities (ARC3.2)

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Work with DE-US, a German-United States Collaboration Network

 

 

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Brownfields Community Benefits Project

The E.P. Systems Group, Inc., is are pleased to report that, under the leadership of the  Center for Environmental Policy and Management at the University of Louisville, we continue our work under a $1,000,000 award under the EPA’s Brownfields Training, Research, and Technical Assistance grant program. Together with partners from Symbiont and Lazarus LLC, we are now, in project year two, developing the impact model that is the core of the Brownfields Community Benefits Assessment Tool Kit (BCBAT).  This project is unique in that it will re-examine and augment traditional economic benefit models for redevelopment and in-fill to include a broader set of indicators that have until recently been difficult to systematically measure. It will also explore the efficacy and value of including hyper-local community collected data in these models now that technological advances open the door to systematic and consistent collection of that level of information. The tool kit will be based on an easy to use portable app linked with a web-based desktop portal. The system will use accessible national, state, regional and local data and hyper-local data as the foundation for benefit calculation formulas we develop.

The goal of this project is to enhance community decision makers’ capacity to measure and track the benefits of redeveloping brownfields and thus expand the number of abandoned, vacant, and under-utilized properties that get cleaned up and considered community assets. Our pilot community is a neighborhood in Louisville/Jefferson County Metro, Kentucky, a community that has made huge strides in successful brownfields redevelopment, implemented policies on open data, and developed innovative tracking of vacant, abandoned and contaminated properties.

EPSG President Dr. Meyer is responsible for model development. aspects of the user interface to be developed, and will co-author the users’ manual to be developed.

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Steering Urban Transformations

That was the theme of the tri-lingual (English/Spanish/Portuguese) symposium of the International Urban Planning and Environment Association (IUPEA), held in La Plata, Argentina, in September, 2014.  EPSG Associate Melissa Saunders addressed the issues in Defining Local Planning Objectives During Global Climate Change in a presentation prepared for the symposium.   Her presentation considered the contexts of planning decision-making and how stress due to current events and disasters can distort what would otherwise seem to be rational processes. Dr. Peter Meyer, EPSG President, a member of the IUPEA Board and of the symposium’s organizing committee, delivered her argument in her absence due to illness.

Dr. Meyer is working with the organizing committee for the 12th IUPEA Symposium, scheduled for 2016 in Lisbon, Portugal, as Board liaison. That practitioner-scholar collaboration will be developed on the theme of  “CITIES FOR US: engaging communities and citizens for sustainable development.”

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Urban Climate Change Adaptation

The Urban Climate Change Research Network, an international team led out of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, is currently preparing the Second Assessment Report on Climate Change and Cities for release in December 2015 at the  Conference of Parties (COP) 21 in Paris with case study docking stations and other web data access available for the June 2016 United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III).

The report is a collaboration of over 450 practitioners and scholars from across the globe who are addressing issues associated with implementation at the urban level of the Durban Adaptation Charter for Local Governments. Dr. Peter Meyer, EPSG President, is one of the Lead Authors of the key cross-cutting issues chapter on Economics, Finance and the Role of the Private Sector and will be participating in the publication and launch events.

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“Resilience” is NOT Enough

E.P. Systems Group President Peter Meyer and Associate Melissa Saunders contributed to the 14th annual National Conference on Science and the Environment in Washington in January, 2014.  Addressing the conference theme of “Building Climate Solutions,,” they examined how misuse and misunderstanding of “resilience,” a term that came into wide use after Superstorm Sandy, has confounded state and local government efforts to plan coherently for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

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Raising Investment Funds for Clean Energy Programs & Working with Financial Institutions

EPSG President Peter Meyer will present a webinar offering an introduction to clean energy financing options to small local governments, economic development authorities, and non-profit organizations that wish to seek financing from private institutions to launch clean energy programs on Thursday, December 5, 2013; 2:00-3:30 p.m. EST. Different types of financing and lenders will be reviewed, including how they are likely to respond to the risks and opportunities associated with clean energy program funding. Then, a step-by-step process for approaching lenders will be reviewed, and additional resources for taking these steps will be highlighted. Register now.

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Spurring Local Economic Development with Clean Energy Programs

EPSG President Peter Meyer will be anchoring a webinar hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy from 3:00 to 4:30 on November 7, addressing how communities can use energy efficiency and renewable energy programs as local economic development initiatives. Come and join him and presenters from Babylon, NY and Newton, IA, who will discuss their municipalities’ successes. You can register for free at <https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/372059046>.

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Promoting Energy Investments and Job Creation

Come and join The E.P. Systems Group and its President, Peter Meyer, at the 2013 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference in Washington DC!

The conference, a project of the BlueGreen Alliance and an array of labor and environmental groups, with active participation by local government and community-based organizations, as well as members of the Obama Administration, is April 16-18, with some pre-conference events on April 15.  Check out the array of sessions, spanning everything from improving manufacturing competitiveness to community approaches to improving energy efficiency in homes. Just go to: <http://www.greenjobsconference.org> — multiple options for attendance are available.

The E.P. Systems Group, Inc.,, is a convener of the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference.

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