Catarina Heeckt is a Policy Fellow at LSE Cities and Programme Lead on the European Cities Programme. Her work explores the intersection of urban governance, sustainable urban development and environmental policy. Catarina is passionate about climate action and accelerating the transition towards resilient and inclusive cities by translating academic research insights into concrete policy advice. Her current research interests centre around rethinking sustainable urban mobility in the context of wider post-growth transitions. Her work is interdisciplinary in nature and has always been strongly grounded in qualitative research methods, such as surveys, semi-structured interviews, workshops and other forms of participatory stakeholder engagement. Since 2022, Catarina has been the Programme Lead for the European Cities Programme – a research, engagement and capacity building programme on the future of European cities.
Over the past decade, Catarina has contributed to a significant number of reports, projects and policy initiatives at LSE, including work on the Economics of Green Cities programme, exploring the co-benefits of urban climate action for C40, policy briefs on municipal finance for the Emergency Governance Initiative, and coordinating the inputs of 20 global governance experts to the New Urban Agenda agreed at Habitat III. From 2016 to 2021 Catarina was the project manager and lead researcher for LSE Cities’ contribution to the Coalition for Urban Transitions, a major global initiative supporting national governments to secure economic prosperity and tackle the climate crisis by transforming cities, led by C40 and WRI. As part of this engagement, she focused specifically on the importance of improving urban accessibility and integrating transport and housing policy to improve compact and connected urban development. She also spent several years working closely with the European Environment Agency on their urban sustainability work and understanding the drivers and barriers to environmental transitions in European cities. She has collaborated with a wide range of public private and third sector partners, including UN-Habitat, the OECD, the European Environment Agency, Arup, C40, ICLEI, UCLG, Metropolis as well as national and local governments in the UK, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Denmark, Sweden, India, Ethiopia and Myanmar. Catarina holds an MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation from the LSE and a BA in Political Science and International Development from McGill University, Montreal.