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Learning Agreement between
Study Board for Planning & Geography, Aalborg University, Denmark; Columbia University in the City of New
York; and NN on:
Climate Change Adaptation Planning in the City of New York
Framework and contents for project
JEMES Cities & Sustainability, 3rd semester.
27 August – 15 November 2013
Supervisor/University Contact:
Professor NN, Department of Development & Planning, Aalborg University
Project site:
NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies,
Columbia University
New York
Contact person at the project site/Host:
Senior Research NN
For the Programme, date:
For the home university, date:
Martin Lehmann
Intern, date:
Contact person of the Project Site/Host
The student will actively participate in the daily professional work at the host organization, which means that
she will have a limited number of supplementary tasks in addition to the main work package. In the course of
the project period, the student will participate in one continuing main task that is expected to fill the majority
of the exchange period, namely Climate Change Adaptation Planning in the City of New York.
Climate change adaptation is rapidly rising on the planning and policy agenda for municipalities and regions
worldwide. In this project, the selected student will be working closely with the City of New York to
investigate how urban climate change adaptation strategies can be integrated into on-going planning efforts
to strengthen biodiversity, enhance water quality, reduce social segregation, and support denser urban
development within the municipality. The project will be located in New York, USA, and the main scientific
advisor on site is senior researcher David Wilson. At home university, the main advisor is Professor Lone
In addition to the above, the student is expected to participate in other tasks, including but not limited to:
1) Identifying and analysing key challenges and opportunities between mitigation and adaptation strategies,
particularly in connection to the Eco-Gowanus project in Brooklyn
2) Analysing the financial, regulatory, and legal barriers to municipal adaptation strategies, and proposing
possible policy pathways for the City of New York,
3) Active participation in the research community of Earth Institute, including seminars, colloquia, workshops,
research fora, and relevant conferences in New York.
The precise extent and contents of the main task as well as other work tasks may be adjusted during the
course of the exchange.
Objectives and outcome
The primary objective of the exchange will be for the student to acquire more extensive research skills,
including research design and large data collection, coding, and analysis techniques using qualitative and
quantitative analytic tools such as NVivo9 and GIS. Additionally, the student will be exposed to a wide range
of inter-disciplinary research in the fields of climate change planning, impact assessment, decision theory,
urban planning, sector planning, and philosophies of science that will assist her in the development of both
the final Master’s thesis and eventual doctoral thesis.
The main task described above and possible other tasks will together comprise the written report, which will
be submitted and evaluated at the end of the exchange period. Upon completion of the project, the student
is expected to have acquired an ability to critically assess:
The main planning challenges between municipal mitigation/adaptation planning and other aims of
sustainable development, such as social inclusion, economic development and natural systems
Linkages between natural, social, and institutional adaptive capacity
The legal, regulatory, and financial barriers and opportunities present in climate change planning at
the municipal and regional scale
Additionally, the intern is expected to be able to:
reflect on her own learning over the course of the project
give an account of experience with practical work processes and methods of work in the technical
field, administration and to be able to perform a critical evaluation of the adequacy of the applied
work processes
comprehend the organisation and the framework conditions under which the host is organized
Learning Goals
Students who complete the module are expected to obtain the following:
 Must within a chosen part of his/her field have knowledge at the highest level of international
 Must understand and relate critically to the area’s knowledge and must be able to identify either
scientific or practical problem areas in a given context
 Must master the area’s scientific methods and tools as well as master general skills linked to solving
the chosen problem
 Must be able to assess and choose between the field’s scientific methods, tools and general skills as
well as establish new analytical and problem solving models
 Must be able to discuss professional and scientific issues with peers as well as non-specialists
 Must be able to control work and development situations that are complex, unpredictable and
require new methods of solving
 Must independently be able to start and carry out professional and interdisciplinary cooperation and
assume professional responsibility
 Must independently be able to assume responsibility of own professional development and
Oral individual exam with point of departure in the project report. Pass/Fail
For the Programme, date:
For the home university, date:
Martin Lehmann
Intern, date:
Contact person of the Project Site/Host