New research is demonstrating the critical importance of urban form in high variations of greenhouse gas emissions per capita, and the urgent need to manage the proliferation of high-emissions urban forms including urban sprawl.

In this challenge the quantity and quality of public space plays a central role. Indeed, public space systems – connected networks of streets, squares and parks, together with their adjacent private structure connections – are the essential “connective matrix” of lower-emissions, more resource-efficient cities, capable of more sustainable human development.

Conversely, the decline in quantity and quality of public space is a major contributor to higher emissions. This is a key policy issue raised at the Future of Places Forum, which has been brought into the Habitat III New Urban Agenda as a Key Message.

Download the Future of Places Key Messages

Representatives of UN-Habitat, ICLEI, and the Future of Places forum will therefore explore this key issue in a panel discussion with a focus on its role in the urgent agenda to curb potentially catastrophic emissions. The discussion will present key findings from the forum, including new research in collaboration with faculty researchers at KTH Stockholm, TU Delft, and other institutions.

Michael Mehaffy, Chair of the Academic Committee of the Future of Places Forum, a consultant to Habitat III, and a member of the faculty at TU Delft, will present new doctoral research as well as implementation tools and strategies.

Mary Jane Ortega, Special Adviser of CITYNET, and 2nd VP of the Global Ex-Com of the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) will also discuss the question of implementation, and the importance of international networks of policy and action.

Frederic Saliez, Human Settlements Officer for UN-Habitat, will discuss the work of UN-Habitat in this area, and the developing “Toolkit on Public Space”. In this regards, we would like to officially invite you to this event, that will be held at Cities & Regions Pavilion TAP2015, Tuesday 8th of December 11.00 to 12.00 Climate Generations Areas, COP21, Paris–Le Bourget

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