The IPCC AR6: consequences for municipalities

Given the warming already locked in, as well as the lack of measures in place, municipalities should prepare for weather pattern instability as well as to be ready for fast changes in political will. The work of Igor Ansoff gives guidance.


This report looks at the consequences of the recent IPCC synthesis for municipal authorities in their longer-term planning. Although the main focus is Sweden, the report should be relevant to municipalities in other countries.  It suggests that given the warming already locked in, as well as the lack of measures in place, municipalities should prepare for weather pattern instability as well as to be ready for fast changes in political will. The report suggests following the advice of strategist Igor Ansoff to set up capabilities to deal with a turbulent operating environment. This includes capability to monitor the situation, work with a range of scenarios and to ensure the organisation is agile enough to deal with unexpected changes, be they physical, social or political. The report suggests municipalities address three basic strategic questions covering global inaction, energy transition and food provision. It proposes a holistic approach analysing each measure to address climate instability on several dimensions to avoid, among other things, adaptation putting unfair pressure on the poorest.

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Carbon accounting in the circular municipality

Material flows in different scales

You would expect that material flows would present their own logic for whether they are best handled in your own home or at a global level. Or scales in between. Factors like material density, value and frequency of use and transport would be obvious candidates.

This article focusses on the municipality and looks specifically at the material flows that contain carbon. And we’ll take a practical example: the area called Västra Gästrikland (VG) in the north of Sweden. This is an area comprising three municipalities in cooperation.

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Urban symbiosis and the nature-based economy

Planning a city or town to maximise symbiotic relationships between major flows of bio-material, water, heat and energy offers a way forward to living without fossil fuels. This video explains how it all hangs together.

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Gardens of Regeneration and Peace

Now home to 50% of the world’s population, expected to rise to 65%, cities are driving the development of our modern culture. But we are at a crossroads. Following the formation of the UN and now the broad agreement on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) we are on our way to a world in peace. Several of the SDGs lay the foundation: eliminating hunger, poverty, homelessness. However, as our awareness of the need to transition to sustainability grows, so continues the degeneration of our natural resources and our societies. The trend is not halting. Humanity’s  -our – shared project, true peace, needs everyone’s involvement and understanding.

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Urban symbiosis for the bio-economy

The basic model of urban symbiosis

It hasn’t been done as far as I know, but it would be good to plan a city or town along urban symbiosis lines. And to concentrate on bio material, including nutrients, being used and circulating as long as possible in the urban economy.

The diagram above shows the basic pattern:

  • Four major functions
  • Four major flows

It is called symbiosis because the design calls for the four flows and functions to synergise with each other. For example, nutrients from sewage and household organic waste can be used as soil amendments. Water flowing can generate electricity, waste heat from industries can be used in greenhouses, etc.

See the short video below explaining the concept.

Nature-based and circular.

Case study: round-suburb walk starts to wake indigenuity

COVERPLACE: Stockholm, Sweden

SITUATION:  The local cultural center, with its youth theatre, music school and library is taking on a new challenge: to find creative ways to bring local citizens closer to sustainability.

Like charity, sustainability begins at home. Although for most people in a suburb, home functions as a place to sleep and be whilst away from work. Yet people need to engage as Stockholm is getting ready to embrace a fossil-free future. It intends to be fossil-independent already by 2030. Walking cities are surely in that vision.

FRAMING QUESTION: How can a suburb creatively engage residents in a way that fosters a sense of place, a sense of the challenges involved as the city moves away from fossil fuel dependence?

SOLUTION:  Create a round suburb walk, publish a map and connect the map to a web-based discussion forum.

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