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After Paris, What Do We Do Next? #COP21

Alison Fox26 January 2016

This article was originally published on the UCL Development Planning Unit blog. It has been reposted with permission.

After the Paris Agreement roll up your sleeves: much work will be needed, and participatory planning can help to put citizens at the centre of climate change adaptation efforts.


The COP21 in Paris ended up with a rush of optimism. After a nerve-racking end of conference, the French government finally announced an agreed text for the agreement on the 12 of December. What happened next is the stuff of legend: a technical complaint from the US led to further space for complaining. Nicaragua raised the obvious: that existing voluntary commitments do not add to the emissions reductions needed for a safe climate future. Nervous phone calls allegedly involving everyone, even the Pope Francis, to assure that the agreement was coming through. And then, the euphoria.

There are of course many untied ends and questions to answer. Understandably, there are serious problems with the agreement from the voluntary nature of national commitments to the scale of ambition required. But the Agreement made a clear point: climate change needs a serious compromise by everyone. After the disappointing experience of 2009 in Copenhagen, the Paris Agreement is a great success. In the coming years our task will be to use that agreement to achieve climate justice, both facilitating a transition to a low carbon society and protecting those who are already suffering the impacts of climate change.

A key realisation emerging in the last decade of climate policy is that effective action for climate change mitigation and adaptation can happen in any corner and led by anybody. This is why in 2011 DPU’s Vanesa Castan Broto led a team of academic practitioners – or pracademics, as they like to call themselves – to learn how communities, even in very poor areas, can work together to adapt to climate change. The experience was life changing. So much was learned that they decided to share the whole process in a book. This book has now been published by UCL Press, in a bilingual edition in English and Portuguese. With this book we hope to influence the way sustainable cities are thought of, putting common citizens at the heart of building resilience.

The book is available to download on this website: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-press/browse-books/participatory-planning-for-climate-compatible-development-in-maputo

The First Six Months of UCL Press

ucyllsp21 December 2015

The six months since the launch of UCL Press have been extremely busy. During this time, UCL Press has managed to launch eight open access books, two journals and managed an extremely successful Open Access conference with over 120 delegates (with assistance from UCL Open Access and UCL Discovery). The UCL Press team have also spoken at a number of events- Society for Young Publishers conference, Academic Book of the Future projects showcase evening at the British Library and the Futurebook conference, to name but a few- and contributed articles about the press to UKSG enews andInsights.

Lisa Jardine

We were also deeply saddened to hear of the death of Lisa Jardine, Professor of Renaissance Studies, Director of the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters, and author of UCL Press’ inaugural title, Temptation in the Archives. Professor Jardine was a distinguished scholar, and we are honoured to have published her final work.


The eight UCL Press books have managed to achieve in excess of 9500 open access downloads from over 100 countries. Titles published so far are varied and include:

We’re delighted to announce that our Spring list will include a number of titles from the Why We Post project, an ground breaking ethnographic study of social media in 8 countries worldwide. The series will contain 11 books, but Spring 2015 include How the World Changed Social MediaSocial Media in an English Village, and Social Media in Southeast Turkey. The project’s output will also include UCL’s first MOOC (via Futurelearn), and a website focusing on the project’s findings. To keep up-to-date on UCL Press activities, visit our website or follow us on Twitter @uclpress


Journals currently published by UCL Press include Architecture_MPS(Architecture Media Politics Society) which addresses the growing interest in the social and political interpretation of the built environment from a multi-disciplinary perspective and London Journal of Canadian Studies, an interdisciplinary journal specialising in Canadian history, politics and society. From early 2016, our rapidly growing journals programme will also include Jewish Historical Studies: Transitions of the Jewish Historical Society of England, which has been published since 1831.

Call for proposals

Spotlights series

Proposals for short monographs are invited from UCL authors wishing to make new or defining elements of their work accessible to a wide audience. The series will provide a responsive forum for researchers to share key developments in their discipline and reach across disciplinary boundaries. The series also aims to support a diverse range of approaches to undertaking research and writing it. We welcome proposals for books of 35,000 to 45,000 words from all disciplines that share any of these aims. The books will be published free in a digital Open Access form, and will also be available to buy in print at an affordable price.

Contact: Chris Penfold, Commissioning Editor, UCL Press


The Men’s Union Reading Room

The AHRC/British Library Academic Book of the Future Project invites submissions for its BOOC (Book as Open Online Content), which will capture and publish outputs of the research project. The content will be published as a ‘live’ book on an innovative, online and open platform hosted by UCL Press.

Authors are welcome to discuss any aspect of academic publishing and its future; for example, peer review, the role of the editor, the academic bookshop of the future, copyright, libraries, open access, digital publishing and technology. Suitable content will undergo peer review before being published.

Formats may include, but are not limited to, videos, blogs, podcasts, short monographs and articles, and authors are invited from all areas of the academic publishing and bookselling communities. The BOOC will be launched in Spring 2016 and new content will be added throughout the year.

Contact: Sam Rayner, Principal Investigator of the Academic Book of the Future Project with abstracts of proposed content (500 word max.).