Chiara Camponeschi

Study program:
PhD geography
Current affiliation:
University of Guelph

Chiara is exploring how cities are changing the landscape of climate governance and how emerging approaches to resilience planning might inform innovative and inclusive environmental urban policy.

2013 Trudeau scholar Chiara Camponeschi is researching how cities in Europe and North America are attempting to use municipal plans to change the landscape of climate governance. Camponeschi focusses on how municipal plans and their discourse(s) are opening up new spaces of networked, multilevel governance, presenting opportunities for leadership, participation and innovation. An author and social innovator, Camponeschi is the director of Enabling City, an international organization she founded in 2010 to advance active citizenship in the areas of urban sustainability and participatory governance.

Doctoral research

Multilevel Climate Governance: Emerging Practices of Urban Resilience Planning in North American and European Cities

The governance of climate change has traditionally been seen as the domain of the international community. Today, more and more cities are committing to ambitious projects aimed at building resilience in light of climate change. 2013 Trudeau Scholar Chiara Camponeschi researches the climate efforts of cities in Europe and North America and investigates how their municipal plans are changing the landscape of climate governance. Her focus is on how municipal plans and their discourses are opening up new spaces of (multilevel) governance and presenting opportunities for networked leadership and innovation. Bridging the gap between research and practice, Chiara's research explores the implications these changes are having on patterns of urban development, urban climate preparedness, and social justice, with an interest in how urban actors can negotiate and engage with the resilience planning process across multiple levels.

Chiara Camponeschi is a doctoral student in the Department of Geography at the University of Guelph. She holds a BA (honours) in Political Science and Communications Studies and a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies from York University.

While at York, Chiara's interest in 'green consumerism' led her to critically evaluate the rise of 'citizen-consumers' and their implications for civic engagement. Her honours thesis, When Green Was Still a Colour, received an honourable mention in the “Researchers of Tomorrow” prize, and inspired Chiara to pursue further academic studies. Her MES research focused on the growing realm of social innovation as a form of active citizenship, particularly in the areas of urban sustainability and participatory governance. Today, Chiara is exploring how emerging models of participatory urbanism might provide opportunities for resilience to be negotiated and engaged with by a wide-range of actors. In particular, her research seeks to more rigorously assess how participatory governance might enable communities to articulate creative responses to dominant patterns of (neoliberal) urban governance.

Chiara has also been involved in the non-profit sector for a number of years. She has organized sustainable development initiatives for youth empowerment and intercultural dialogue, and has served as member of the CIVICUS Youth Assembly Planning Committee and UNESCO’s Sectoral Commission on Culture, Communication and Information. In 2010, she founded Enabling City, an organization that was inspired by her graduate work and led to the release of The Enabling City, a Creative Commons publication available in four languages. Chiara has spoken at several high-level events such as the International Forum on Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the European Commission in Belgium, the inaugural SXSW Eco Conference, as well as the White House GreenGov Symposium in Washington, DC. She has been selected as an Oxfam Action Partner for 2010-2013, and was recognized as a Young Agent of Change by Toronto’s Centre for Social Innovation in 2011.