ARC3-2 Initiating Workshop in New York City September 17-19, 2013

by | July 19, 2013
Categories: Events, News



UCCRN’s first major publication was Climate Change and Cities: First Assessment Report of the Urban Climate Change Research Network (ARC3) (ISBN-10: 1107004209) published by Cambridge University Press in 2011. The ARC3 report represents a four-year effort by 100 authors from dozens of cities around the world, and is the first-ever global, interdisciplinary, cross-regional, science-based assessment to address climate risks, adaptation, mitigation, and policy mechanisms relevant to cities. The full report can be found on our website:

To facilitate ongoing and active learning, the content of UCCRN’s second solutions-based assessment (ARC3-2) will be developed through a series of workshops, including meetings at global events of leading urban climate stakeholders.

The first in this series, the UCCRN ARC3-2 International Initiating Workshop, was held at Columbia University on September 17-19, 2013.


Workshop Summary

One hundred ten urban climate change experts, stakeholders, and practitioners from over 50 cities in Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa and the Americas gathered for the Initiating Workshop for the Second Assessment Report on Climate Change and Cities (ARC3-2), held at the Columbia Earth Institute September 17-19, 2013. The goals were to define the structure of the assessment, assign chapter authors, agree on outlines, set the timeline, develop the Case Study Docking Station, build capacity for urban climate-related responses, and plan stakeholder engagement.

The ARC3-2 Initiating Workshop was led by the Co-Editors Cynthia Rosenzweig, NASA GISS and Columbia University; William D. Solecki, Hunter College of CUNY; Shagun Mehrotra, Milano at the New School; Shobhakar Dhakal, Asian Institute of Technology ; and Patricia Romero-Lankao, the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

ARC3-2 will focus on new topics crucial to urban decision-makers as they take on the challenges associated with adapting to the already-changing climate and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, the root cause of climate change. These topics include housing and informal settlements, sanitation, urban ecology and biodiversity, urban finance and the private sector, and coastal zones. Four cross-cutting themes were identified that will be addressed in all of the chapters: Urban Planning and Design; Mitigation and Adaptation: Barriers, Bridges, and Co-Benefits; Equity and Environmental Justice; and Economics, Finance, and Private Sector. Urban sector topics covered in the first ARC3 report (Urban Energy, Water and Wastewater, Urban Transportation Systems, and Human Health) will be updated in ARC3-2 to reflect new research findings since 2010.

Based on feedback that the case studies in ARC3 were particularly useful, a Case Study Docking Station (CSDS) in ARC3-2 will be a web-based, extractable database for research and practice. The CSDS will enable comparisons across a range of social, bio-physical, cultural, economic, and political contexts. At the workshop, authors identified relevant case studies for their chapters.

A diversity of cities and countries were represented among the authors for each chapter. At the end of the workshop, author teams presented their chapter outlines, case study targets, and plans for stakeholder engagement to the full group. To facilitate engagement with city decision-makers, ARC3-2 chapter author meetings will be scheduled as side events at international meetings of leading urban stakeholders, such as the World Urban Forum. ARC3-2 is scheduled to be published in advance of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held in Paris in 2015.

A key stakeholder for ARC3-2 is the Durban Adaptation Charter (DAC). The Durban Adaptation Charter was adopted in 2011 by 114 signatories, representing 950 local governments organizations from 27 countries. The DAC commits Local Governments to climate actions at the local level where livelihoods are affected, water supply and food security threatened, and where infrastructure is damaged as a result of climate impacts. ARC3-2 will serve as a knowledge base to provide Local Governments with reliable information on climate risks to guide their adaptation and mitigation strategies.


Key Themes that emerged during the ARC3-2 Workshop

The workshop agenda included four, 2-hour chapter working sessions in addition to time for group discussion. Some of the key themes that emerged during the workshop were:

1)      ARC3-2 must remain relevant to city stakeholders. Co-production of knowledge through side events at city stakeholder conferences is an effective way to accomplish this goal.

2)      A strategy for communications and outreach is essential. To ensure that ARC3-2 is an accessible and useful resource for cities, an ad-hoc group was formed during the workshop to address communications and outreach. These are essential components of stakeholder engagement for ARC3-2.

3)      Mitigation and adaptation in cities need to be considered synergistically. ARC3-2 will create an important knowledge base for both mitigation and adaptation in cities, and action plans should take both into account.

4)      UCCRN Regional Hubs will enable network-based and locally tailored knowledge sharing. UCCRN Regional Hubs are under development in Australia, Paris, Latin America, and Asia. They will serve as go-to places for cities to gather key information and a platform for scholars and stakeholders to interact.

5)      Assessing the impact of the first ARC3 will contribute to the development of ARC3-2. UCCRN Secretariat is undertaking a survey of the users of the first ARC3 to determine how the first Assessment was used and to gather suggestions for enhancing the effectiveness of ARC3-2.

Download a PDF of the Workshop Report Here

The workshop was generously sponsored by:

JICA logo siemens logo nasa logo
African_Development_Bank_AfDB_logo              epa idb aalborg
idrc logo unhab


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