Peter Head of Arup is blogging from the climate change conference, where he is preparing for the arrival of the world's leaders
Day fourOutside it's even darker and gloomier today. Inside bright warm rooms, Culture|Futures workshops addressed how cities can work with the culture and arts community to support rapid change to an ecological low-carbon age.
Jan Gehl, Sunand Prasad and I discussed this, and concluded that cultural planning can play a critical role in drawing culture, art and communities into the change process. Arup has developed cultural planning on projects around the world, including China and UK.
Culture|Futures will now be targeting engagement with a group of C40 cities to implement the approaches agreed at COP15 and therefore help rapid movement towards lowering emissions.
I am writing this in the EU Pavilion, a warm and bright place, deep in the heart of COP15 (15 minutes walk from the entrance!). It’s a good spot because many UK Government and business people pass by and say hello.
China seems to be really supporting the cause of the small nations here and helping their voices to be heard more loudly. Hence the break up of formal process into small working groups with texts and ideas flashing about - a melting pot of ideas. However, urgency is created by the arrival of many of the world's leaders next week and they are 'not coming to fail' according to most people I have spoken to. So there is real focus on achieving something which has "shape" before they arrive.
The REDD proposals for protecting rainforests seem to have fallen from the front line but maybe it is because they are already well developed. The main focus is on emissions commitments within developing countries and the governance of the mechanics for distributing financial support for adaptation and mitigation, with the background that even a two degree rise is a disaster for them. The business community is saying clearly 'we can deliver this transition with a high carbon price globally' and the economists are saying do it quick and now. So the stage is set.
Peter Head is Arup's global leader of planning
Click on this link to read all of Arup's COP15 blog