The effects of climate-related disasters are often exacerbated in cities due to interactions with urban infrastructure systems, growing urban populations, cultures, and economic activities. Because the majority of the world’s population is currently living in cities – and with this share projected to increase in the coming decades – cities need to focus on improving responses to climate-related disasters such as heat waves, floods, and droughts. In a changing climate, a new decision-making framework is needed in order to manage emerging and increasing risks. This involves a paradigm shift away from attention to single climate hazards based on past events. The new paradigm requires inte- grated, system-based risk assessments and interventions that address current and future hazards throughout entire metropoli- tan regions. Major Findings • The environmental baselines of cities have started to shift as climate change impacts take hold. More frequent climate and weather extreme events are being experienced in some urban areas. The frequency and severity of weather and climate-re- lated disasters in urban areas are projected to increase in the coming decades. • Cultural, demographic, and economic characteristics of urban residents, city governments, built environment, ecosystem services, and human-induced stresses, such as over-exploitation of resources and environmental degradation, define the vulnerability of cities to climate-related disasters. Environmental conditions resulting from unplanned urbanization including removal of natural storm buffers, air and water pollution, overuse of water, and the urban heat island effect exacerbate impacts of climate disasters. • Given that more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas and that this percentage is expected to significantly increase in the next decades, cities must focus attention on disaster risk reduction and enhancing resilience, issues that most smaller cities have not addressed. Assuming that urban decision-makers have the necessary institutional capacity, their ability to ensure resilient futures could be redirected through strategic development initiatives such as effective risk management, adaptation, and urban planning systems. • Integrating climate change adaptation with disaster risk reduction involves overcoming a number of barriers. The key barriers include lack of climate resilience in a city’s development vision; limited understanding of the hazards, vulnerabilities, and resulting risks; lack of coordination between administrative and sectoral levels of city management; inadequate implementation and financial capacities; and poor connection between climate adaptation and risk management efforts and cities’ development visions and strategies. • Central strategies for improving resilience and managing risks in cities include the integration of disaster risk reduction with climate change adaptation; land-use planning and innovative urban design; financial instruments and public–private partnerships; management and enhancement of ecosystem services; strong institutions and communities; and effective pre- and post-disaster recovery and rebuilding. Key Messages Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation are the cornerstones of making cities resilient to a changing climate. Integrating these activities with a metropolitan region’s development vision requires a new, systems-oriented approach to risk assessments and planning. Moreover, since past events can only partially inform decision-makers about emerging and increasing climate risks, risk assessments must incorporate knowledge about both current climate conditions and future projections. A paradigm shift of this magnitude will require urban decision-makers and stakeholders to increase the institutional capacity of many communities and organizations to apply a systems lens to coordinating, strategizing and implementing risk-reduction, disaster response and recovery plans on a flexible and highly adaptive basis. As a result, the promotion of effective multilevel governance and multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder integration is critically important (see Chapter 16, Governance and Policy). The demands for transformational adaptation will be significant and require high levels of governance capacity and financial resources.

Disasters and Risk in Cities

Mattia Federico Leone;
2018

Abstract

The effects of climate-related disasters are often exacerbated in cities due to interactions with urban infrastructure systems, growing urban populations, cultures, and economic activities. Because the majority of the world’s population is currently living in cities – and with this share projected to increase in the coming decades – cities need to focus on improving responses to climate-related disasters such as heat waves, floods, and droughts. In a changing climate, a new decision-making framework is needed in order to manage emerging and increasing risks. This involves a paradigm shift away from attention to single climate hazards based on past events. The new paradigm requires inte- grated, system-based risk assessments and interventions that address current and future hazards throughout entire metropoli- tan regions. Major Findings • The environmental baselines of cities have started to shift as climate change impacts take hold. More frequent climate and weather extreme events are being experienced in some urban areas. The frequency and severity of weather and climate-re- lated disasters in urban areas are projected to increase in the coming decades. • Cultural, demographic, and economic characteristics of urban residents, city governments, built environment, ecosystem services, and human-induced stresses, such as over-exploitation of resources and environmental degradation, define the vulnerability of cities to climate-related disasters. Environmental conditions resulting from unplanned urbanization including removal of natural storm buffers, air and water pollution, overuse of water, and the urban heat island effect exacerbate impacts of climate disasters. • Given that more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas and that this percentage is expected to significantly increase in the next decades, cities must focus attention on disaster risk reduction and enhancing resilience, issues that most smaller cities have not addressed. Assuming that urban decision-makers have the necessary institutional capacity, their ability to ensure resilient futures could be redirected through strategic development initiatives such as effective risk management, adaptation, and urban planning systems. • Integrating climate change adaptation with disaster risk reduction involves overcoming a number of barriers. The key barriers include lack of climate resilience in a city’s development vision; limited understanding of the hazards, vulnerabilities, and resulting risks; lack of coordination between administrative and sectoral levels of city management; inadequate implementation and financial capacities; and poor connection between climate adaptation and risk management efforts and cities’ development visions and strategies. • Central strategies for improving resilience and managing risks in cities include the integration of disaster risk reduction with climate change adaptation; land-use planning and innovative urban design; financial instruments and public–private partnerships; management and enhancement of ecosystem services; strong institutions and communities; and effective pre- and post-disaster recovery and rebuilding. Key Messages Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation are the cornerstones of making cities resilient to a changing climate. Integrating these activities with a metropolitan region’s development vision requires a new, systems-oriented approach to risk assessments and planning. Moreover, since past events can only partially inform decision-makers about emerging and increasing climate risks, risk assessments must incorporate knowledge about both current climate conditions and future projections. A paradigm shift of this magnitude will require urban decision-makers and stakeholders to increase the institutional capacity of many communities and organizations to apply a systems lens to coordinating, strategizing and implementing risk-reduction, disaster response and recovery plans on a flexible and highly adaptive basis. As a result, the promotion of effective multilevel governance and multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder integration is critically important (see Chapter 16, Governance and Policy). The demands for transformational adaptation will be significant and require high levels of governance capacity and financial resources.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/729566
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