What should we do in the face of climate emergency?

DESIGN MASTERCLASS – Partie 2 – du 15 au 24 juin

Parameters & decisions

Tuesday 15th June | 9am-1pm CET

Martin Schlaepfer, Senior lecturer in Biodiversity and Sustainability, UNIGE

Practical advice for incorporating biodiversity and climate into projects and plans

In this lecture we will cover different approaches to ensuring that biodiversity and climate related concerns are integrated into projects and plans. First, we will discuss theoretical notions such as negative externalities and telescoping that are particularly relevant in developed cities such as Geneva. Then, we will cover different visions of sustainability, existing targets (for both climate and biodiversity), possible pathways to reach these targets, and indicators that measure progress. Finally, we look at existing tools that can mainstream biodiversity and ecosystem services. Ensuite, nous aborderons différentes visions de la durabilité, les objectifs existants (pour le climat et la biodiversité), les voies possibles pour atteindre ces objectifs et les indicateurs qui mesurent les progrès. Enfin, nous nous pencherons sur les outils existants qui peuvent intégrer la biodiversité et les services écosystémiques.

Wednesday 16th June | 9am-1pm CET

Pierre Hollmuller, Physicist, scientific assistant, Institute for Environmental Sciences – UNIGE

Energy systems: from resource to use, challenges and opportunities

Energy is omnipresent, in the form of the most various demands, which can be satisfied from diverse resources, through a myriad of transformers allowing extraction, transport, storage and adaptation to the desired use. During this conference we will present the basic concepts and challenges for understanding the energy system as a whole, with a focus on the domain of buildings (which represents a good 40% of the demand of our societies). Within this framework, we will discuss the challenges related to renewable energies (decarbonization) as well as the decrease in demand (efficiency, sobriety).

Thursday 17 June | 9am-1pm CET

Aristide Athanassiadis, Laboratory for Human-Environment Relations in Urban Systems-EPFL

Urban Metabolism: a tool for urban transitions
Part A

Cities are perhaps the most complex human invention. They are the arena where social, economic, environmental, cultural, political challenges collide. To navigate through this complexity, urban metabolism proposes a prism through which the interconnections between these challenges can be explored, understood and analysed in order to propose transition strategies. In this seminar, the origins of this concept will be presented as well as how it is currently used in academia, policy making and practice. In addition, practical tools of how to carry out a metabolic analysis for territories will be presented in order to best comprehend how to reduce their environmental footprint

Tuesday 22nd June | 9am-1pm CET

Aristide Athanassiadis, Laboratory for Human-Environment Relations in Urban Systems-EPFL

Urban Metabolism: a tool for urban transitions
Part B

Wednesday 23rd June | 9am-1pm CET

Anthony Lehmann, Dpt. Forel for Environmental and Aquatic Sciences, enviroSPACE, UNIGE

From Ecosystem Services to Sustainable Developmen

In this course, we explore the evolution of the concept of Ecosystem Services highlighted in the 2005 UN report entitled “Millennium Ecosystem Assessment” which led to the creation of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) ten years later. We will analyse the data and tools used to quantify and map these services, and we will examine the limitations of this approach when addressing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This reflection will lead us to the concept of the Nexus formed by the different SDGs and their dependence on services provided by nature.

Thursday 24th June | 9am-1pm CET

Gregory Giuliani, Head of the Digital Earth Unit (GRID-Geneva) – UNIGE

Global warming mapping

The Swiss Data Cube is a new digital technology for efficiently organizing Earth observation data (in particular satellite data) by gathering all satellite images in space and time for a given period and a specific region. Switzerland is the second country in the world to have a “data cube” after Australia. There are numerous possibilities for analyzing this standardized data and for applications, particularly in monitoring the evolution of the territory in order to anticipate the future. In addition, the algorithms developed on this platform are shared and can be reused for various projects. In this presentation, we will explain how this technology is used to help decision-makers better understand environmental issues (and in particular the impacts of climate change) . Thus ideally descision-makers can make decisions based on evidence.

Thursday 24 June | 2pm-6pm CET

Alexandre Hedjazi, Institute for Environmental Sciences – UNIGE

The parameters of natural solutions

The confrontation with the climate emergency and with the project of a zero-carbon society requires a multiple approach, both highly technological and very attentive to the lessons that nature has to offer. This intervention will focus on a precise and imaginative understanding of the tricks, tools and methods that systematic observation of biological systems can reveal to us.