One of the greatest challenges that humanity currently faces is the Ecosocial Crisis. Our research at the JHU-UPF Public Policy Center looks at issues relating to climate and other environmental challenges and policies, aiming to critically inquire, analyse and tackle challenges faced in these areas.

Our research addresses two main themes: Climate Change and Wellbeing, and Environmental Transformations and Politics


Climate Change and Wellbeing

Climate change, and its impact on human health and wellbeing, is a fact, not a prediction. It is a global problem that requires a global solution. Climate change's effects on populations can be seen through extreme heat and resulting illness, more severe storms, rising sea levels, drought's impact on world water systems and agriculture. As the urban population increases, cities are on the frontline of health and wellbeing impacts from climate change, making cities crucial in seeking solutions to adapt to a warmer and more extreme climate. Tackling public health climate adaptation and preparedness in large world cities is an urgent challenge.  

In this regard, the Climate Change and Wellbeing Working Group of the Barcelona Public Policy Center has developed the Climate-Healthy Cities (CHC) initiative, which aims to develop and disseminate urban public health and climate adaptation science, and policy and intervention lessons.  Among its recent projects are development of a framework and typology for urban climate and health interventions, and a comparison of the health components of climate adaptation plans in 22 large world cities which found a gap in engagement of public health agencies in these plans.  Ongoing work builds on these foundations to focus on synergistically co-occurring climate change hazards, their impacts on wellbeing, and implications for transformative adaptation in cities in low- and middle-income countries. The Working Group and CHC initiative began with a joint venture of the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) and the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) to create a center of excellence in applied climate change-related population health and wellbeing research at the Barcelona PPC. Members of the Working Group are drawn from UPF, JHSPH, the Barcelona Public Health Agency (ASPB) and the City of Barcelona. 

Find more information on the Climate Change and Wellbeing research group via the Bloomberg School of Public Health webpage. Contact: [email protected]

With the collaboration of:




Environmental Transformations and Politics 

Our research in the interdisciplinary area of environmental social science involves the critical analysis of climate and environmental issues, and explores the relation between humans and their environments within two fields of critical inquiry: political ecology and social ecological economics. 

  • The politics of low-carbon transitions
  • Environmental conflict, environmental justice and activism
  • Attitudes and social narratives about socio-ecological transformations
  • Degrowth

Topics we have explored with our research include:  climate change adaptation contradictions; human security and climate change; wind energy conflicts; deliberative democracy and sustainability decision-making; policy and epistemological challenges related to monetary valuation of nature; the knowledge co-production between scientists and activism (activism mobilising science); the regulation of and resistance to resource extractivism; challenges of urban climate change conflicts governance; degrowth and direct democracy.


Climate Health Newsletter

The Center also produces a monthly Climate & Health newsletter, informing readers of the latest news and scientific developments relating to Climate and Health. All previous editions of this newsletter are available here.