Thursday 17th October 2019 

(Mistra Urban Futures delegation)

On Thursday the focus was on comparative project workshops and internal meetings, for instance, the Board meeting. There was also a keynote lecture by Professor Lyla Mehta, which will also be advertised to a wider open audience. 

Mistra Urban Futures Board meeting

Venue: ICOSS Building, 219 Portobello, Sheffield, S1 4DP 
Time: 0900-1200    

The Mistra Urban Futures Board meet in ICOSS Board Room (until 1200)

Comparative Project Workshops

Venue: ICOSS Building, 219 Portobello, Sheffield, S1 4DP 
Time: 0900-1230      

The morning session provided space for the comparative projects to meet and work together, and included invitation-only workshops on the following project themes by request of the comparative project leaders: (a 12-minute walk from Sheffield City Centre).

  • Public finance:ICOSS Glass Meeting Room
  • Sustainable Development Goals:ICOSS Conference Room
  • Waste Management:Jessop West Seminar Room 5
  • Transport:ICOSS 4th Floor Meeting Room

Keynote Lecture Climate Change, uncertainty and the city - Challenges and opportunities for transdisciplinary co-production and transformation

Venue: The Diamond, The University of Sheffield, 32 Leavygreave Rd, Sheffield S3 7RD, Storbritannien
Time: 1230-1330

Location: The Diamond, 2.05 Seminar Room 

Professor Lyla Mehta, Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, UK; Visiting Professor at Noragric, Norwegian University of Life Sciences.

The scale and impacts of climate change remain deeply uncertain. This is particularly true at the local level, where climate-related uncertainties combined with unequal capitalist growth trajectories often exacerbate social and political inequities and the vulnerabilities of marginalised communities.
Policy makers and scientists tend to draw on quantitative assessments, models and scenario-building to understand and capture climate-related uncertainty. But these are often disconnected from how local people – particularly those living at the margins – make sense of and cope with uncertainty.

See filmed session by Lyla Mehta  

By drawing on research conducted in India, this presentation focuses on how climate change and uncertainty are understood and experienced from 'below' by the lived experiences of local people, how they are conceptualised and represented from 'above' by climate scientists and experts and how the 'middle' - civil society, NGOs, academics - can potentially function as brokers between the 'below' and 'above'. 

Uncertainty can be epistemic, ontological and linked to broader political economy conditions. Often official efforts to deal with uncertainty are highly policiticised and can increase the vulnerabilities of marginalised groups. While uncertainty can lead to anxieties about the future, I conclude by exploring whether it can also provide an opportunity for hybrid alliances to co- produce transformation and structural change in unequal and marginal urban spaces characterised by climate related uncertainties.

About Lyla Mehta
Lyla trained as a sociologist (University of Vienna) and has a Ph.d. in Development Studies (University of Sussex). She uses the case of water and sanitation to focus on the politics of scarcity, gender, human rights and access to resources, resource grabbing, power and policy processes in rural, peri urban and urban contexts. Her work also focusses on climate change and uncertainty and forced displacement. She has extensive research and field experience in India and southern Africa and is currently leading a Belmont/Norface/EU ISC project on Transformations as praxis in South Asia. Her most recent book is Water, Food Security, Nutrition and Social Justice (Routledge, 2020).

The Keynote Lecture was advertised to a wider audience as a standalone event. 


Venue: ICOSS Foyer, 219 Portobello, Sheffield, S1 4DP 
Time: 1330-1430

Lunch was provided in the ICOSS Foyer for the Board members, Secretariat and LIP representatives and comparative project members.

Comparative Project Workshops Continued

Venue: ICOSS Building, 219 Portobello, Sheffield, S1 4DP 
Time: 1430-1700

Time was available for the comparative projects to continue working in the afternoon. 


You arranged your own plans for Thursday evening.