Information and communication technology in shaping urban low carbon development pathways

This article examines the emerging nexus of cities, climate change, and information and communication technologies (ICTs) and highlights the importance of ICT innovation-based urban low carbon development pathways in realizing the 1.5 Celsius (C) climate change global policy objective.

The first part of the article reviews the three phases of the scientific scholarship on ICTs, climate change, and environmental sustainability, while the second part of the article examines ICTs in accelerating urban climate change mitigation toward the goal of a 1.5C world.

The third part of the article highlights three lessons learned in terms of accelerating ICT innovation-based urban low carbon development pathways to achieve the 1.5C policy priority. First, ICT-based technology innovation with a net positive sustainability impact requires smart policy design and co-innovation of complementary sustainable (e.g. energy efficient, etc.) technologies.

Second, ICT innovation-based low carbon pathways need both `hard’ infrastructural (i.e. urban transport, buildings, and other physical, built environment) as well as `soft’ infrastructural (i.e. urban norms, habits, and behavioral framing) dimensions to realize urban system impacts.

Third, ICT innovation-based low carbon pathways need to be more effectively designed and reconfigured with 1.5C as their primary objective with a special focus on urban climate change resilience in the developing world. Otherwise, global socio-economic, environmental, and technology inequalities are likely to worsen.

Jacob, Park. 2018. “Information and Communication Technology in Shaping Urban Low Carbon Development Pathways.” Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 30: 133–37. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2018.05.015.

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