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Launch of the Centre for Urban Resilience and Energy

18 Nov 2013

The University’s new Centre for Urban Resilience and Energy (CURE) will be officially launched on Monday, 18 November (5.15pm) in Cordingley Lecture Theatre, Humanities Bridgeford Street.

Professor Harriet Bulkeley from Durham University will deliver a lecture on 'Just Energy Transitions'.

CURE builds on the legacy of the Centre for Urban and Regional Ecology, which has an extensive record of producing cutting-edge and policy-relevant research. The new Centre brings together social scientists from across the University who are studying energy/climate and environmental issues in urban contexts, from fuel poverty and energy vulnerability, to climate resilience and low carbon transitions.

In the description of her talk, Professor Bulkeley emphasises that 'calls for energy transitions are everywhere. From the wrangling of political parties over reforms to the energy market, national government plans for pathways to decarbonisation, to the multiple corporations seeking to go 'low carbon' and the activism of community organisations such as Transition Towns. As momentum gathers pace, such transition talk has started to work its way into the urban arena.

As CURE itself undergoes something of a transition – towards questions of resilience and energy – it is worth reflecting on what is at stake as energy transitions come to town. This presentation will reflect on how the city has come to embody both dystopian and utopian imaginaries for future climate change, and the ways in which responding to the challenges of resilience and energy agendas in the city is increasingly woven into these understandings. It will argue that the politics of this response is taking place in diverse sites of experimentation, opening up new avenues of inquiry as to where we might look for urban transitions and how they might work in practice. Understanding such processes of experimentation and transition requires not only that we examine how and why they are taking place, but that we seek to interrogate by and for whom they are being undertaken. Exploring these dimensions of urban transitions requires engaging with what a just energy transition might involve and how it can be achieved in practice.'

The lecture itself will begin at 5.30 pm; it will be preceded by an introductory session chaired by Professor Simon Guy, Head of the School of Environment, Education and Development, and will be followed by a wine reception. Please join us to celebrate!