“Cities, Climate and Pandemics:
Reflections from Urban Studies and Environmental Economics”#

The Barcelona Knowleged Hub cordially invites the entire AE community to attend the event.#

The session will take place via Zoom on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. Advance registration is free of charge but is required for participation, available at https://www.iec.cat/jornades/disputatio2020.asp

For more information on the event, please visit http://barcelona.acadeuro.org/home/annual-programming/disputatio-of-barcelona/disputatio-of-barcelona-2020.

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Aerial view of Barcelona (Foto: © TimeOut
Starting in the early twentieth century, rapid urbanisation has become one of the dominant demographic trends of our times, driving the interrelated issues of climate change and public health issues. This year, the Academia Europaea – Barcelona Knowledge Hub (AE-BKH) has been a close collaborator of the Barcelona City Council on its recently published Barcelona Science Plan 2020-2023, outlining strategic municipal policies for bridging science and society in a variety of areas, including the ongoing climate crisis. Thus, in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and its widespread social impact, the AE-BKH has decided to devote the 2020 edition of its Disputatio of Barcelona annual debates to “Cities, Climate and Pandemics: Reflections from Urban Studies and Environmental Economics”.

The session will focus on the essential role of cities in climate change mitigation and in the control of pandemics such as COVID-19. Barcelona, along with other major metropolises in the world, will provide for an interesting analysis.

Architect urbanist Prof. Kathrin Golda-Pongratz, MAE, UIC Barcelona School of Architecture, and environmental economist Prof. Jeroen van den Bergh, MAE, ICREA Research Professor, ICTA-UAB, will serve as the two disputantes. The coordinator and convenor of the debate will be Prof. Alexander Fidora, MAE, ICREA Research Professor, Department of Ancient and Medieval Studies, UAB.

The session will take place via Zoom on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. Details regarding registration are available at http://barcelona.acadeuro.org/home/annual-programming/disputatio-of-barcelona/disputatio-of-barcelona-2020.

We hope you will join the event!#


Kathrin Golda Pongratz
Kathrin Golda-Pongratz (Foto by Renzo Salazar
Kathrin Golda-Pongratz, architect, urbanist and urban researcher, is a professor at the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture and recently an associate professor at the Department of Urban and Territorial Planning at the UPC-BarcelonaTech. She lectures and publishes internationally. Her research focuses on urban memory, urban culture(s) and public space, postcolonial urbanization, non-formal urbanism and place-making strategies. Her book (with J.L. Oyón and V. Zimmermann), John F C Turner. Autoconstrucción. Por una autonomía del habitar (Pepitas de Calabaza, 2018), was distinguished with the 2019 FAD Award (Thought and Criticism). Her documentary film, Ciudad Infinita – Voces de El Ermitaño (2018), portrays a self-built neighbourhood and ecological threats through urbanization in Lima, Peru. Her experience expands into curating and cultural transmission, and she currently curates the programme, Paradigma Mur. Berlín – Barcelona 1989-2019 / 1961-2021, at El Born CCM. She served as president of the jury for the 2019 City of Barcelona Prize in Architecture and Urban Planning. She is a member of the Institut dels Passats Presents (IPP) created by the Barcelona City Council, of Deutscher Werkbund (dwb), of the German Academy of Urban and Regional Planning (DASL) and of Academia Europaea (AE).

Jeroen van den Bergh
Jeroen van den Bergh
Jeroen van den Bergh is ICREA Professor at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (2007–present), and honorary full Professor of Environmental Economics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (1997–present). His current research is on the interface of environmental economics, energy-climate studies and behavioural sciences. He is founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. He is the recipient of various prizes, including the Royal/Shell Prize 2002 for Sustainability Research, the Institute for Catalan Studies (IEC) 2011 Sant Jordi Environmental Prize, and an honorary doctorate from the Open University in the Netherlands. He currently leads an ERC Advanced Grant on the topic “Behavioural-evolutionary analysis of climate policy – bounded rationality, markets and social interactions”. His latest book is Human Evolution beyond Biology and Culture: Evolutionary Social, Environmental and Policy Sciences, published by Cambridge University Press. Recent articles examine a transition path to global carbon pricing and the role of cities in combatting climate change.

About the Disputatio of Barcelona series#

The Disputatio of Barcelona is a series of annual debates in English organised by the Academia Europaea-Barcelona Knowledge Hub (AE-BKH) and held between two renowned experts (disputantes) holding different viewpoints on a common topic of social relevance. Now in its eighth edition, the series began in 2013 and was inspired by the original Disputatio held in Barcelona in 1263, a theological debate between Christian and Jewish intellectuals presided by King James I of Aragon.

The modern-day Disputationes organised by the AE-BKH have covered a wide variety of topics in the exact, natural and social sciences, following a similar format consisting of a brief exposition by each of the two disputantes, followed by questions (total duration between 90 and 120 minutes). As is tradition, the two invited disputantes will interact with the audience, comprised of members of the local academic community.

Additional information, including links to video recordings, is available on the AE-BKH webpage.

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