Dr Áróra Árnadóttir, adjunct in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at the University of Iceland and CEO of the Green Building Council Iceland will present an open lecture along with Dr Jukka Heinonen, Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering department at the University of Iceland. The lecture will take place in the architectural and design department at the Iceland University of the Arts in lecture room A, Þverholti 11.

In typical greenhouse gas assessment schemes only the emissions occurring within a selected area are accounted for. In such schemes highly urbanized areas often show as low-carbon locations in comparison to country or regional averages. They do not produce what they need, but at the same time they are the main centers of trade and built environment development. They actually outsource an important share of the emissions they or their residents drive. Therefore, while cities often show reduced transport and housing energy related emissions compared to less urbanized areas, or denser settlements compared to less dense, the emissions related capital production and to consumer goods and services typically increase and the globally induced emissions are often the highest in the biggest cities. This creates the so-called “low-carbon illusion of cities”. This has been shown to happen across the Nordic countries with no strong reducing impact between density and consumer carbon footprints, and as the main places of urban development, they are the key drivers of emission embodied in construction materials.

Áróra's research is on sustainable built environment, both how we behave in an urban environment and how and out of what our urban environments are constructed. She has a bachelors degree in architecture and a doctoral degree in environmental studies.

Jukka Taneli Heinonen currently works as a Professor of Sustainable Built Environment at the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iceland. Having graduated in Economics from Helsinki University, he obtained a PhD from Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. He specializes in the challenges of sustainable development in community structures and lifestyles. His main fields of research are consumption-based urban carbon foot-printing and low-carbon urban settlements. He has developed research approaches and analysis methods specifically for modeling indirect and outsourced emissions from the built environment both during the construction phase and during operation. He is one of the world’s top 1,000 climate change researchers on the list published by Reuters in 2021, and in a recent study, he was named one of the world’s top 10 carbon footprint researchers.