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Breakout Session Agenda
Connected and Sustainable Socioeconomic Challenge
Themed Breakout Sessions,
Day 2: Friday, May 22, 2009
Time: 10:20–11:40 a.m.
This interactive session focuses on applying the collective intelligence of conference delegates to identify
the main elements of a successful local, sustainable socioeconomic strategy. A moderated discussion,
instead of a speaker line-up, including all delegates provides the opportunity for a broad range of
perspectives and experiences to be shared and debated.
The world is facing an unprecedented convergence of crises: climate change is affecting the way we
currently acquire the planet’s limited natural resources; world populations continue to urbanize beyond limits
never imagined, causing challenges related to urban governance, mobility, and ineffective resource
allocation and management; the economic crisis has reached global heights; and the most productive of
industrialized societies are increasingly experiencing aging populations. In total, the convergence of crises
has cumulated into nothing less than a “perfect storm” unheard of in modern human history in scale and
This situation is manifesting visibly in our cities, where the consequences of these issues are being felt:
increased unemployment, decreased (or no) social integration and resources for infrastructure renewal,
increased traffic and energy shortages, and heightened exposure to the effects of climate change. Local
communities are places where solutions must provide positive impact; and where investment, innovation,
and job creation must occur. Yet, this recognition goes hand-in-hand with the understanding that local
communities can and will succeed only by ensuring effective collaboration between local, national, and
international governments and authorities on the one hand, while mobilizing the four “Ps”—public-private-
people partnerships—on the other hand.
City Governance Models for a Carbon Economy
This session's discussions focus on city governance models for a carbon economy.
Dimitri Zenghelis, Chief Economist, Climate Change Practice, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group
Peter Head, Director, ARUP
What are the long-term visions for connecting cities to the growing carbon economy and how will city
governance models likely evolve over time? The session focuses on what it means for the build-out of
sustainable urban infrastructures and how cities, investors, and citizens can interact with new global
institutions. Participants will learn how cities can refocus their urban infrastructures and services as
communities come to grips with the opportunities that arise from a carbon economy.
Questions to be addressed in this discussion session:
1. Low-Carbon Potential: What is the potential for cities to cost-effectively reduce greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions? Low-carbon policies allow cities to take advantage of efficiency gains, new market opportunities,
and reductions in local pollution, but how might cities (particularly in the developing world) also take
advantage of billions of dollars available from carbon markets and carbon financing? How can cities benefit
from sectoral agreements that allow access to carbon market finance?
2. Global examples: What types of low-carbon development policies are being enacted in your cities,
or are there any other approaches of which you aware? What lessons can be drawn from innovators and
leaders in the field?
3. Governance and Institutions: What institutional and governance obstacles are you experiencing that
hinder rapid application of low-carbon technologies and systems? How might city plans coordinate with
national action plans? Which cities have effectively initiated public-private-people partnerships?