Center for Climate Change Policy and Research

Recent years have been acknowledged as the hottest in the modern era, climate systems show instability and change from regular patterns, extreme climate events (sandstorms, floods, fires, drought, etc.) affect human lives all over the world, food production is decreased by soil erosion and climatic variability, species extinction decreases the contribution of ecosystem services that support standard living systems. These adverse effects, caused by human activity, place humanity, for the first time since its existence, at a critical time, which requires significant multi-systemic and international action to reduce the environmental effects and allow future generations to live in a sustainable, inclusive and resilient world.

The Center for Climate Change Policy and Research, directed by Dr. Elise Machline, integrates the Arava Institute’s various research activities for an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach to face the challenges posed by climate change, in order to ensure a system-wide treatment of society-economy-environment, which will deepen our understanding of processes and make it possible to find the necessary solutions.


Sustainable Urban Planning

The earth’s environment has deteriorated over the last few decades in close parallel with the increasing capability of human beings to transform nature with little concern for environmental protection. Since the industrial revolution, the global climate has been ever-changing as anthropogenic activities that release greenhouse gases have intensified significantly. Climate change severely engenders opportunities for a variety of natural disasters such as extreme heat, flooding, bushfire, and drought, and results in severe threats and risks to human beings. Even worse, such environmental deteriorations are posing more significant threats and risks to cities, where the majority of the world population lives. Over the past few years, the significance of city level actions for enhancing climate change mitigation and adaptation are being increasingly recognized. On the one hand, cities are currently responsible for about 70% of global GHG emissions, and this share is expected to further increase in the near future in consideration of the projected increase based on global urbanization trends. On the other hand, cities can provide solutions through economies of scale and efficiency improvements. It is now recognized that unreasonable urban planning and design (e.g. green–blue infrastructure reduction, extreme levels of density, anthropogenic wastes, gas and pollutant release) can not only increase emissions but also aggravate threats and risks, leading to a series of environmental problems such as urban heat islands, urban air pollution, urban flooding, etc., and, consequently, environmental, social, and economic losses. According to a UN projection, about 70% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities by 2050. This means that the coming three decades are particularly important for ensuring sustainable urban development and to avoid becoming locked into undesirable development pathways.

Sustainable urban environmental planning is thus one of the most important pathways toward the mitigation and alleviation of possible climate-induced threats and risks.

Dr. Elise Machline, Director of the Center for Climate Change Policy and Research, is part of the Ecourbanism research network, a website for sharing knowledge and experience about eco-urban neighbourhoods in different parts of the world.

Picture of Dr. Elise Machline

Dr. Elise Machline

Dr. Elise Machline was born and raised in France. She received her first degree in Geography from Paris 10 University. Dr. Machline immigrated to Israel in 2003, and holds a Masters degree in Desert Studies from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. In 2018, she completed her PhD in Environmental Studies and Geography at the Sorbonne University in cooperation with Ben-Gurion University, with a focus on the socio-economic impacts of green building policies through a comparative analysis between France and Israel.

Following a post-doctoral position at Ben-Gurion University researching “green” building policies, Dr. Machline joined the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research in 2019 as an associate researcher. She contributed to a national project on social housing policies, and joined the Habitat Observatory of the Luxembourg Ministry of Housing, overseeing research projects, workshops and conferences that focus on sustainable urbanism policies to mitigate climate change.

Dr. Machline has published and presented widely on the topic of sustainable urbanism policies to mitigate climate change, and published the book: "Green-neighbourhoods and Eco-gentrification."

Full bio and list of publications