International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award


Degree Type

Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P)


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Timothy Downs


Urban centers in Latin America are experiencing rapid growth and a host of intertwined environment and development problems related to climate change. In response, cities have started implementing sustainability initiatives and climate action plans. These plans generally target key sectors, ranging from transportation to water and sanitation, and focus on infrastructure improvements. Often, the objectives of sustainability plans are not met and tend to be mitigation-centric, despite explicit calls to address urban poverty. This paper analyses two case studies in Mexico City, Mexico and Rosario, Argentina to illustrate three risk conundrums that limit the success of sustainability initiatives in cities. Following this analysis, a six-domain (6D) framework is applied to create an alternative approach that includes indicators for contextually addressing risk conundrums throughout each stage of a project. The result is a social enterprise approach that is more equitable and focused on process as well as outcomes.



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