Editor’s note: The following is part of Urban October at UChicago—an initiative of the University of Chicago Urban Network. Throughout the month, University scholars will convene key stakeholders and present new research and collaborations that confront urban challenges around the globe.
Dipak Bishwokarma has spent years helping communities in his native Nepal adapt to climate change. Along the way—working with local residents, non-profits and government agencies—the University of Chicago graduate student learned that doing so requires more than just a technical understanding of the environmental impacts.
“There is always interface between policy and how to put it into practice,” said Bishwokarma, who is studying at the Harris School of Public Policy as an Obama Foundation Scholar. “You need to know the overall development scenario, and the policy innovation scenario. You need to understand that to make real impact on climate change.”
Bishwokarma recently joined other Obama Scholars on a panel discussing climate change and a local approach to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals during the Global Symposium on Sustainable Cities and Neighborhoods.
Hosted by UN-Habitat and the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation as part of Urban October at UChicago, the event brought together government leaders, community organizers, leading researchers and other experts from around the world to discuss how neighborhoods around the world can work together to ensure a more equitable and sustainable future. UChicago News spoke with Bishwokarma about his work, UN-Habitat and returning to Nepal after his studies.