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Urban lifestyles, sustainability and integrated environmental assessment

A report on work carried out during the first two years of the "Urban lifestyles, sustainability and integrated environmental assessment" (ULYSSES) project has been published by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC).

ULYSSES is a three-year project funded by t...
A report on work carried out during the first two years of the "Urban lifestyles, sustainability and integrated environmental assessment" (ULYSSES) project has been published by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC).

ULYSSES is a three-year project funded by the EU's Environment and Climate research programme (Theme 4: Human Dimensions of Environmental Change), managed by the Commission (DG XII). A total of eight research institutes across Europe are participating in the ULYSSES project, for which scientific coordination is provided by Professor Carlo Jaeger of Darmstadt University.

The central theme of the project is the exploration of integrated assessment, focusing on the issues of urban lifestyles and sustainability in the context of climate change. Integrated assessment is concerned with the integration of knowledge from diverse sources as part of the policy-making process. The aim of the project is to explore the potential, shortcomings and challenges associated with the use of integrated assessment models. This was carried out through citizens panels held across core regions.

A series of working papers have already been published by the ULYSSES project, addressing the following topics: focus groups in integrated assessment; developing guidelines for good practice in integrated assessment; climate change and global modelling, urban sustainability and the ULYSSES research regions.

The report of the JRC team, led by Dr. S. Funtowicz, is divided into six sections, documenting the various stages of the project so far:

- 1: A description of the objectives of the project, the design of the research methodology, the recruitment and composition of the in-depth groups and the agendas of the group sessions;
- 2: The presentation of the technical material to the groups, including the development of models such as computer software to allow participants to assess personal CO2 emissions;
- 3: Catalogue of the experiences in using and setting up the integrated assessment models;
- 4: Summary of in-depth group reactions, where the preliminary findings are reported;
- 5: Suggestions for future information communication technologies to be used in participatory processes;
- 6: Conclusions so far under the four main hypotheses developed for the project.

Source: European Commission, DG XIII

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