28 June 2022
World Urban Forum 11: Beating the Heat – Unleashing Sustainable Urban Cooling Solutions

Date: Tuesday, 28 June 2022, 12:30-14:00 pm CEST                 Duration: 90 minutes

Organized by: National Institute of Urban Affairs, India, and the Cool Coalition

In partnership with United Nations Environment Programme, RMI


Session Description:

Urban areas are on the front lines of climate change, with cities especially vulnerable to the growing heat crisis. By 2100, cities across the world could warm by 4.4°C, exposing the world’s growing urban population to conditions that will damage human health, productivity, and quality of life. India is particularly impacted by the rising heat – by the 2030s up to 200 million people in India could be exposed to lethal heatwaves.  

Ensuring access to thermal comfort in our cities is key, but we cannot just air condition our way out of the extreme heat challenge. Cities must take a comprehensive, whole-systems approach to cool cities, without warming the planet. We have the solutions we need to fight extreme heat and sustainably increase heat resilience. But they need scaled-up implementation, investment, and tailoring to local contexts.  

The goal of the event is to provide a call to action to local and national governments, funders, investors, and solutions providers about the urgent need for sustainable cooling, nature-based solutions, and heat resilience in cities. The event will also highlight positive examples to date, including the ambitious efforts ongoing in India. A panel discussion will showcase champion cities’, national governments, and other organizations’ efforts to build resilience to extreme heat in cities across the globe.


Objectives of the session: 

This session, organized by the NIUA and Cool Coalition, aims at raising awareness about the environmental, social, health, and economic imperatives of urgently increasing our cities’ resilience to extreme heat. It showcased the innovative, local, and scalable approaches already being used by cities globally – both to protect populations and provide cooling sustainably and at a low cost. It also provided a call to action for cities, national governments, industry, and finance to work together and join ongoing sustainable urban cooling initiatives and efforts.




– Dr. Umamaheshwaran Rajasekar, Chair Urban Resilience, Global Resilience Cities Network, National Institute of Urban Affairs, India

Keynote Speakers:

– Sanjay Kumar, Additional Secretary (AMRUT and International Cooperation), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India

– Sonja Leighton-Kone, Deputy Executive Director, UN Environment Programme


– Emani Kumar, Deputy Secretary General, ICLEI and Executive Director, ICLEI South Asia Secretariat

– Eleni (Lenio) Myrivili, Chief Heat Officer, City of Athens, Greece, and Senior Urban Heat Advisor, Arsht Rock Resilience Center

– Joanna Mclean Masic, Lead Urban Specialist and Global Lead, Urban, Disaster Risk Management and Land Global Practice, World Bank

– Heather House, Manager, Urban Transformation program, RMI


We Will: Efficient, Climate-Friendly Cooling for All
Receive latest stories, news on efficient, climate-friendly cooling and join the movement!
Sign-up for email updates