Urban transformative potential in a changing climate

The SDGs and CitiesIPCC offer an unprecedented opportunity for urban transformation, but bold, integrated action to address the constraints imposed by economic, cultural and political dynamics is needed. We move beyond a narrow, technocentric view and identify five key knowledge pathways to catalyse urban transformation.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1.

    Bulkeley, H. & Betsill, M. M. Environ. Polit. 22, 136–154 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Bai, X. et al. Nature 555, 23–25 (2018).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Romero-Lankao, P., Gnatz, D. M. & Sperling, J. Climatic Change 139, 351–365 (2016).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Ziervogel, G. et al. Environ. Urban. 29, 123–138 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Pelling, M. The Vulnerability of Cities: Natural Disasters and Social Resilience (Earthscan, London, 2012).

  6. 6.

    Shove, E. Environ. Plan. A 42, 1273–1285 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Colenbrander, S. et al. Urbanisation 2, 38–58 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Broto, V. C. & Bulkeley, H. Glob. Environ. Change 23, 92–102 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Simon, D. (ed.) Rethinking Sustainable Cities: Accessible, Green and Fair (Policy Press, Bristol, 2016).

  10. 10.

    Berazneva, J. & Lee, D. R. Food Policy 39, 28–39 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Romero-Lankao, P., Bruns, A. & Wiegleb, V. Environ. Sci. Policy https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2018.01.004 (2018).

  12. 12.

    Pesaresi, M., Melchiorri, M., Siragusa, A. & Kemper, T. Atlas of the Human Planet: Mapping Human Presence on Earth with the Global Human Settlement Layer (Publications Office of the European Union, 2016).

  13. 13.

    Hackman, H. & St Clair, A. L. Transformative Cornerstones of Social Science Research for Global Change (ISSC, 2012).

  14. 14.

    Arora-Jonsson, S. Glob. Environ. Change 21, 744–751 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Whyte, K. Engl. Lang. Notes (in the press).

  16. 16.

    Brugnach, M. & Ingram, H. Environ. Sci. Policy 15, 60–71 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Patricia Romero-Lankao.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Romero-Lankao, P., Bulkeley, H., Pelling, M. et al. Urban transformative potential in a changing climate. Nature Clim Change 8, 754–756 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-018-0264-0

Download citation

Further reading