Sunday, February 03, 2008

Urban carbon management in LDC cities

I am spending a few days at my former home at the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand. From 1979-1987 I taught microeconomics and even econometrics to engineering students there in a position funded by the then ADAB (now AUSAID). AIT is a postgraduate, engineering institution about 42 km north of Bangkok.

AIT was an idyllic place to work for the 8 years I lived in Thailand. It is a beautiful tropical-looking campus which used to have a golf course and still has excellent wetlands in its hinterland. It taught standard civil engineering students as well as water resource, human settlement and environmental engineering at postgraduate level.

I am attending a symposium and workshop urban energy and carbon management and modelling. With increasing urbanisation it makes sense to treat the city as a unit for studying certain climate change issues. It is a new perspective for me so I’ll try to keep an open mind. There is some scope for more active policy in concentrated urban areas, including megacities, than is possible in rural areas. I guess that the reality is though that large developing country cities have been notable for their failures to address externalities.

Of course I’ll try to get a game of golf in, eat some great Thai food and look around the AIT wetlands. Blog posting will probably be quiet for a few days on the basis of opportunity cost considerations.

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