Mapping climate change initiatives in Ottawa

As part of the research in my Cultural Politics of Climate Change project, I’m exploring the politics of climate change within the City of Ottawa. I’m looking for help in building this research, by crowdsourcing ideas and material to research further.

One bit of this research involves establishing a database of climate change governance initiatives within the City. This draws on similar work done by Harriet Bulkeley and various colleagues, both looking at comparisons of climate change experiments in various cities around the world (see her book An Urban Politics of Climate Change), and specifically in Australian cities (warning, paywall for academic article).

Along with a research assistant, Benoit Metlej, I’ve established a provisional database of initiatives for Ottawa. The criteria for inclusion are pretty broad:

  • it must be an initiative which explicitly regards climate change in its goals and aims. It doesn’t need to have climate in its name, or necessarily be “primarily” about climate, but it must articulate its goals in relation to climate change
  • it must seek in some sense to govern in relation to climate change. Governance or governing is however here understood very broadly – it is not only about making laws, but anything that seeks to shape directly how society responds to climate change. It can include making new rules, introducing new technologies, financing activities, building new buildings or other physical infrastructure, capacity building for organisations and communities, setting targets and monitoring progress. And it is not only done by “governments” in the traditional sense – all sorts of actors can be involved in governing. The main exclusion is that it needs do something more than simply lobby some other agency to do something.
  • We’re not interested only in ones that “work” or seem “important”. The objective at this stage at least is to map as much of the population of initiatives as we can. We may be able to learn much from which seem to work and which seem to do less well.

Here is our current list: Initiatives (click on the link to see the pdf). We are fully aware that it’s provisional (indeed it’ll never be final) and we’ve probably missed some obvious ones.

If you know of any others, I’d love to hear from you. You can put them in as comments below, but ideally email them to me at matthew.paterson@uottawa.ca. We don’t need anything other than the name of the initiative: we can research the rest (but we may be back in touch if you are involved in the initiative.)

Thanks for your help! I look forward to hearing from you.

Mat

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