Low Carbon City: A Guidebook for City Planners and Practioners

Low Carbon City: A Guidebook for City Planners and Practioners

UNEP guidebook for city planners concerning low carbon cities and transport systems, with a focus on India.

Produced as part of a larger United Nations Environment Programme project called Promoting Low Carbon Transport in India (LCT), this guidebook is aimed toward city planners, transport division executives, and urban transport consultants. Basic guidance is provided on how to incorporate global climate objectives, targets, and policies into planning; how to align development and climate change agendas with city level planning; and how to delineate win-win options that deliver multiple co-benefits on top of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Excluding an initial introduction the guidebook comprises six chapters, the first being a brief primer on the science of climate change. The following chapter offers a short history of global climate negotiations, a definition of the term ‘low carbon’ within the context of global emissions targets and carbon price trajectories, and discussion on alternate development pathways to achieving low carbon scenarios. A specific focus on India follows, with an explanation of what low carbon development means to the country. The methodology in this chapter is for a national level assessment of low carbon scenarios for India. The guidebook then focuses in on India’s cities, discussing what low carbon development at the national level mean to them, as well as aligning low carbon city planning and national development pathways. The penultimate chapter links mitigation and adaptation, presenting a framework for climate compatible development and outlining the co-benefits approach. Finally, the guidebook finishes with a concluding chapter in which the authors reiterate the urgent task before city planners regarding the scale and import of climate change, as well as the guidebooks’ remit and objectives. It is hoped that this document will represent a further step in the right direction, toward a low carbon future for urban India.

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