Profile of Miss Federica Benelli Dipartimento Studi Urbani, Università degli Studi Roma Tre

Federica Benelli

General research interests

My research interests regard urban sustainability and environmental policies. I think that they represent today one of the main challenges for planners. I’m a PhD student but I also work with a small company, operating in the field of environmental planning and assessment, I consider very important in my research project joining together theoretical reflections and practical applications, thinking to concrete strategies without lose a sound conceptual framework and pursuing scientific knowledge without lose contact with concrete problems and needs.

PhD/Postdoctoral Research Title

Urban policies addressing climate change. Governance processes between technological solutions and financial mechanism (temporary title)

PhD Abstract

The scientific community now agrees on the actual experience of climate change, despite the lack of (shared) forecasting models able to define future scenarios.
While the achievement of binding international treaties to come over the Kyoto protocol seems increasingly difficult, it’s getting widespread the belief that to face climate changeit’s necessary to act primarily at local level.
Many local authorities all around the world have begun dealing with climate issue and are trying to integrate it, more or less explicitly, into their political agenda, even lacking an effective support from central government. At the same time, transnational network of cities and NGO’s are growing as political actor in the multilevel governance arena.
What really means “local climate policies”? what the policy contents, what tools, what the actors?
Climate change is a “super wicked problem”, complex and totally interdependent by any point of view. This may be the reason why the rhetoric of the "third industrial revolution”, that is supposed guided by cities, has spread so rapidly and "green economy", is wherever exalted as the key to reach sustainable development.
According to the already wide literature about this subject, many approaches can be identified, from descriptive to pragmatic. Nevertheless, talking about policies, there is a clear mainstream looking mainly at financial mechanisms and technological energy solutions, that sometimes ignores the gap between results and long term objectives. The conceptual framework matters, and the political or social dimension of the climate issue often tend to be neglected overwhelmed by quantitative indicators.
If many climate justice groups show us the contradiction of global treaties on climate change, ambiguities don’t lack even in the field of urban management.
The research intends to adopt a reflective and critical point of view, oriented to the deconstruction of the prevailing discourse, often superficially rationalist and techno-centric.
Local policies for the climate today represent a window of opportunity for the city, but how cities are seizing these opportunities?
Within the dissertation, what arouse particularly interest is the governance process that is driving the implementation of these policies, and the institutional architecture through which new relationships are emerging between the local, national and international levels. The selected point of view is mainly Western and European.
After piecing the debate around the contribution of urban policies to climate change and tracing the different approaches, the research aims to address the study of policies under the Covenant of Mayors.
The work plan schedules the analysis of Sustainable Energy Action Plans from different countries, and the exploration of the governance process as the result of the interaction among EU, local authorities and “supporting structures”.
The goal is still to think in terms of prospects and opportunities on Italy, a country where, despite the large number of signatory cities, institutions and public opinion still show little sensitivity compared to other European countries, and local climate policy experience is among the least advanced

Latest deposited documents

Urban policies addressing climate change. Governance processes between technological solutions and financial mechanisms  image
Urban policies addressing climate change. Governance processes between technological solutions and financial mechanisms (June 2011)

The scientific community nowadays agrees on the actual experience of climate change, despite the lack of (shared) forecasting models able to...

applicationForm-FBenelli image
applicationForm-FBenelli (March 2011)

abstract submissioncall for paper 2011 AESOP PhD Workshop, Research for-on-in Planningfor application form see attached file