Climate, Cities and Behavior Symposium

Project Purpose

Cities are increasingly on the front lines in the fight against climate change. In 2007, for the first time in history, more people now live in urban than rural areas. More than 600 American cities, towns and counties have signed the ICLEI pledge to reduce their climate impacts. However, in the current economic climate, urban sustainability directors, city planners and directors of operations are being asked to meet aggressive climate targets without the financial or the institutional resources needed to develop and implement climate change policies.

The Garrison Institute’s Climate Cities and Behavior (CCB) program is generating a network to provide affordable, quickly implementable climate solutions based on behavioral shifts. CCB scans and filters the best new behavior change research coming out of key institutions, identifies ways of translating it into practical applications, and disseminates them through the network. For example, when low-cost GPS transponders are placed on buses so that residents can easily track the arrival time of a bus with an iPhone app, bus ridership increases. Since such measures cost little, spread rapidly and result in persistent benefits when properly designed, we are seeing a rising interest in behavior change strategies. 

ccb-top-210Climate, Cities and Behaviorccb-right-214

The CCB program is building a network of institutions and city leaders to generate city-level behavior-based climate solutions, which are distributed to a wide range of cities through the CCB network, and implemented at high speed and low cost. The network serves to inform mayors, city planning directors, urban sustainability directors, city commissioners, directors of economic development programs and others of best practices for climate impacts through behavior change.

We provide information to the network via monthly email updates, a web library of relevant resources, in addition to CCB symposia and regional working groups. We also spread the word through key groups such as ICLEI, the Urban Land Institute, the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, the C-40 and the US Green Building Council. To receive email updates, click here, or for more information on CCB, contact  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



The Garrison Institute convenes Climate, Cities and Behavior symposia. These symposia welcome mayors, city planners, transportation directors and urban sustainability leaders from cities around the US, connecting them with emerging behavioral approaches, and exploring the role of cognitive biases in framing effective city regulations, ranging from appliance standards to zoning rules. Participants discuss common obstacles and share best practices. The CCB network remains active through regional working groups and online exchanges and resources. The second CCB symposium was held at the Institute in March 2013. 

Climate, Mind and Behavior Events

Climate, Mind and Behavior Leadership


John McIlwain | Bio |

Climate, Mind and Behavior Leadership Council:

Dina Biscotti, UC Davis
Uwe Brandes, Urban Land Institute
Marilyn Cornelius, Stanford University
Jeff Domanski, Princeton University
Becky Ford, University of Otago, New Zealand
Ruth Greenspan-Bell, Woodrow Wilson Intl Center for Scholars
Lauren Kubiak, Natural Resources Defense Council
Skip Laitner, ACEEE
Nils Moe, Urban Sustainability Directors Network
Phil Payne, Gingko Residential
Roger Platt, USGBC
Jonathan Rose, Garrison Institute Board Member
Kurt Roth, Fraunhofer Institute
Jonathan Rowson, RSA
Rachael Shwom, Rutgers University
Jennifer Tabanico, Action Research
Jason Twill, Lend Lease (Australia)

For more information on Climate, Mind and Behavior and Climate, Buildings and Behavior, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.