Making Cities Climate Resilient
Facing climate change
While cities make efforts to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions and increase urban energy-efficiency, they are at the same time at risk. Ultimately, it is cities that will directly face and directly deal with climate change impacts. Climate change is already leading to an increased frequency of extreme weather events bringing floods, landslides and droughts while melting glaciers threaten the drinking water supply of large cities. Sea-level rise will affect the many large cities located along the coastlines. Climate adaptation plans are now standard planning tools used by central, regional and municipal governments across the world.
The central aim of this program is to create a platform for debate on current planning efforts and concrete projects devised to promote climate adaptation. How are these initiatives contributing to deal with the challenges of climate change? How are do they integrate spatial, social and economic dimensions in tackling climate change?
Predicted weather-related events like sea level rise, increased storm events, and extreme heat waves imply an urgent need for new approaches to settlement design to enable human and non-human species to adapt to these increased risks. A wide variety of policy responses are emerging at local and regional levels – from sustainable urban form, to alternative energy production and new approaches to biodiversity conservation.
In many cities and settlements, little attempt has been made to ensure that strategies to adapt to the inevitable impacts of enhanced climate change (such as additional open space to enable water inundation) support ongoing policies intended to mitigate local contributions to climate change (such as attempts to increase urban densities to reduce car dependency). In some cases mitigation and adaptation are complementary but in other cases these policy goals may conflict. How can policies and planning be made without creating a conflict between adaptation and mitigation?
Questions that will be raised within this program include:
- How can cities infrastructure handle the changes ahead of us?
- Resilient integrated urban design - how to optimally relate the water, food security and biodiversity sectors to build a resilient city
- How to ensure a clear link between the local renewables agenda and energy security and safety of urban areas?
- How can policies and planning be made without creating a conflict between adaptation and mitigation?
- Financing the resilient city - how climate financing for adaptation can be mobilized, leveraged and innovated for the local level?