Magical thinking; the way towards a more sustainable future?

14 March 2016


Reported by Adele Julier, NERC-Funded CSaP Policy Intern (January 2016 - April 2016)

The third of our 2016 series of climate seminars included talks from Dr Richard Fraser and Professor Paul Linden.

Dr Richard Fraser began the session by presenting his thoughts on the cultural aspect of Paris; how the physical separation between the cultural and negotiation halls affected discourse, the way in which improvised and organic actions evolved over the two weeks, and how a sense of community developed. He observed that ritual, ceremony and 'magical thinking' played a key role in the development of the meeting, and may prove crucial in bringing about change, post-Paris.

Professor Paul Linden followed up with a talk on Smart Cities, in which he considered the ways in which town design could be more receptive to the physical and environmental needs of inhabitants. He outlined a new project of which he is part, named MAGIC (managing air for green inner cities). The project aims to restore the balance between natural and engineered systems.

The session concluded with insightful questions from the audience, and Professor Kennel outlined his hope that in the future, institutions like Cambridge would lead the way on sustainable innovation. The topic of the final seminar of this series will focus on precisely that, on 17 March at Christ's College. Details of the event can be found here.

(Banner image from **ste** on Flickr)

Professor Charles Kennel

University of California San Diego

Professor Paul Linden

Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP), University of Cambridge