Cities are exposed to a multiplicity of risks from climate change and other hazards which cannot always be mitigated, even by the most proactive of adaptation plans. Rising sea levels, 100 year flood lines, and more frequent storms endanger urban infrastructure including water supply and wastewater systems, transportation corridors and buildings. The risk of land loss and inundation threatens devastation for coastal and floodplain populations, properties, ecosystems, and food supplies, disproportionally affecting the commerce and livelihoods of the urban poor. Habitable land is also being lost in tropical climate zones where changing temperate and precipitation patterns have increased the risk of vector-borne diseases.
Cities may also be faced with other non-climate risks such as relocation due to industrial risks or polluted, degraded environments resulting mining or over-extraction of resources and water. Furthermore, local governments increasingly begin to address other considerations including – climate “refugees” / migrants, relocation, un-insurable and unsafe areas, planning for infrastructure that can fail safely (e.g. sacrificial first floors, back up systems, redundancy etc).
In this session, local governments will present adaptation plans pre-empting these threats in the short and medium term with a focus on infrastructure and governance. Long term scenario building gives rise to the discussion of how cities will respond to these threats, and how exposed populations can prepare for or retreat from disaster, safely.
• Present local government approaches to city resilience and adaptation
• Discuss the challenges of local governments facing both climate and non-climate risks.
(Image credits: UNISDR)
Sanjaya Bhatia, Head of Office, Northeast Asian Office, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)
Innovative Adaptation Measures toward a Resilient City-Projects of Photovoltaic Farming and Artificial Groundwater Recharge Lake in Pingtung, Taiwan
Men-An Pan, Magistrate, Pingtung County, Chinese Taipei