Katherine (Kerry) Constabile

DPhil in Sustainable Urban Development


Powering cities with renewables: Economic incentives for scaling renewable energy powered cities

Research abstract

Mitigating and adapting to climate change in urban areas has become one of the most important climate policy aims worldwide.  However, there is a significant gap in the research and policy literature: that of addressing the sources of energy that power existing and emerging cities. The lion’s share of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in cities arise from the energy consuming activities on which those cities rely. However, most city climate change policy and programmatic work focuses only on the city climate policies over which city governments maintain sole control: that of urban transportation, small-scale renewable energy, green public spaces and implementing “green” building policies and codes.

This research aims to break new ground by assessing the effectiveness of economic incentives that cities and states/provinces have implemented to shift increasingly to reliance on renewable energy sources. By assessing the current literature and unveiling new case studies on how city governments have successfully collaborated with state and federal governments to finance shifts in the mix of energy supplies, this work intends to recommend policies and models that urban planners and city leaders can adopt to scale up renewable energy production and consumption.


Dr Idalina Baptista

Professor Steve Rayner


Kerry Constabile is a urban advisor for the Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change. Additional professional experience includes Lead Advisor on urban planning at UNICEF, Obama for America in 2008, Sarasin & Partners -- a London-based investment management firm -- and Eurasia Group.
In her spare time, Kerry is a photographer and has had her photographs published in media outlets such as the Associated Press, the Chicago Tribune, National Geographic and The Guardian.

Research interests

renewable energy, sustainable urban development, climate change, green economy