Sustainable cities expert lectures for the UN

Professor Steffen Lehmann has recorded a lecture for the United Nations.

Professor Steffen Lehmann has recorded a lecture for the United Nations.

An expert on sustainable architecture from the University of Portsmouth is helping to shape the future of cities around the world as part of a United Nations initiative.

Professor Steffen Lehmann, of the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, has contributed to the Urban Lectures series – a free online resource run by UN-Habitat, a United Nations programme working towards a better urban future.

The professor is one of just 30 academics worldwide who were invited to talk about their work in the project, and his lecture is now available online for anyone to watch and use.

In his lecture, Transforming the city towards low-carbon resilience, he discusses how urban design principles can be used to help cities adapt to the impact of climate change.

Professor Lehmann – who has been consulting and advising the UN for more than a decade on urbanisation – said: “I was very pleased to be asked to be involved. The podcast manages to get a lot of information across in a way that today’s audiences – especially younger audience used to social media – will appreciate.

“The lecture on climate-resilient cities will be seen by an audience of more than 50,000, including students, but also decision-makers and people in charge of urban policy – so hopefully it will have an impact and increase future engagement of the University in high-level decision-making on urban matters and governance.

“With the recent Paris global agreement on climate change and the recognition that cities play a crucial role in reducing emissions, it’s important to be involved with high-level prime bodies such as those of the UN.”

Professor Lehmann is a former chair-holder of the prestigious UNESCO Chair for Sustainable Urban Development in the Asia-Pacific, and is currently involved as an advisor with two other UN initiatives – the Global Learning Cities Network, initiated by UNESCO, and the New Urban Agenda, a collaboration between UN-Habitat and United Nations ESCAP (Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific).

At University of Portsmouth, Professor Lehmann leads the sustainable cities research theme in the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries and across faculties and disciplines.

His main research interest is in improving the environmental performance of buildings and precincts by introducing climate resilience and managing the urban heat island effect.

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