Adapting Cities For A Changing Climate: An Integrated Approach For Sustainable Urban Development
Free (open access)
549 - 560
Climate change is one of the main environmental issues challenging cities in the 21st century. The change in climate conditions is largely due to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Cities are considered as the main factor responsible for GHG emissions, whose amount could still rise due to the expected increase of urban population. Thus, climate change and the growth of urban population appear closely linked in a negative loop and the ways in which their trends will develop and interact will be of great consequence to the wellbeing of human populations in the future. Up to now, European efforts have been largely focused on the mitigation of climate change. Only recently, the EU has stressed that – even though mitigation strategies still remain a priority – a larger focus has to be devoted to adaptation measures, in order to face the unavoidable impacts and related economic, environmental and social costs of climate change. Grounding on these premises and according to the Rio+20 Declaration “The Future we want”, this contribution explores the role of adaptation planning for driving European cities towards the achievement of sustainability goals, emphasizing the need for a better integration of disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation policies in urban planning. Current Adaptation plans, in fact, are likely to become a further sectoral tool, scarcely related to policies and tools for both disaster risk mitigation and land-use planning.
climate change, adaptation, urban planning, resilience, sustainable development