Katherine Sugar

  • PhD Candidate

email: k.sugar.1@research.gla.ac.uk

 Room 521, East Quadrangle, School of Geographical and Earth Sciences



Research title: Creating Coalitions for Low Carbon Transition in the City: Urban Politics/Energy Engineering

Research Summary

Research title

Creating Coalitions for Low Carbon Transition in the City

Research summary

Cities across the globe account for approximately 75 per cent of carbon emissions, and as such have been identified as critical spaces in the battle against climate change. In the face of powerful vested interests in carbon-based energies and technologies at the national level, the lack of renewable base-load capacity, and current government policy that has created considerable uncertainty, city actors are mobilising to effect changes at the local level. This involves bringing together alliances of activists, local government officials, scientists and technologists to develop multi-modal solutions that can address production, consumption and distribution of sustainable energy in the areas of greatest population density. New strategies that involve investment and development in sustainable energy and transport, as well as innovations in organisation and ownership, are aimed at a step-change in low carbon transition and climate change amelioration. The governance and management of these changes, particularly at a local level but also regionally, nationally and internationally, are a vital consideration in leading post-carbon transitions.

The overarching aim of this multi-disciplinary PhD project (from management, engineering and geography) is to critically interrogate the effectiveness of new political coalitions that combine technical knowledge with local political action and social movement campaigns to effect urban low carbon transitions. This research will explore how such coalitions are capable of decisively changing urban development trajectory and fostering broader processes and narratives of urban sustainability. 


Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Doctoral Award Studentship 2016-2020


IPCC Cities and Climate Change March 2018 (Edmonton) 

Petrocultures Conference September 2018 (Glasgow) 


Geography Level 1 Tutor 2018-2019 

Geography Level 2 Tutor 2018-2018

Geography Level 1 Demonstrator 2017-2018 

Additional Information

Academic Background

  • 2016-present: University of Glasgow, PhD in Geography, funded by Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Scholarship
  • 2015-2016: University of Edinburgh, Master of Science (MSc) in Ecological Economics
  • 2008-2013: University of Glasgow, Master of Arts (MA) in Geography with Polish Language