Building Resilience into Cities for Natural Disasters

Discussed here: Planning for Disaster (Cities Matter, Nov. 14, 2012)

And here:Urban environmental challenges and climate change action in New York City(Abstract, William Solecki, Environment and Urbanization. Oct 2012)

And here: On Sandy and Humanity’s ‘Blah, Blah, Blah Bang’ Disaster Plans(Andrew C. Revkin, Dot Earth, New Yrok Times, Oct. 31, 2012)

And here:“Natural” Disaster Losses Driven by a Building Boom in America’s “Red Zones”(Andrew C. Revkin, Dot Earth, New York Times, Nov.13, 2012)

Reduction of flood and associated extreme weat...

Reduction of flood and associated extreme weather costs is the primary benefit of climate change mitigation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today we review a paper that looks at lessons learned from recent disasters in New York City (storm surge) and Wellington, New Zealand (earthquake) where each city suffered because of damage to their urban infrastructures and exceeding the limits that had been built into them. Although controversial among urban planners, the conclusion drawn is both to upgrade building codes to meet the greater range of possibilities being brought by climate change and to decentralize as much as possible to create more independent and self-sufficient communities rather than a centralized core vulnerable to disruption.  Urban intensification can reduce sprawl and costs of services, particularly public transit and emergency services.  However, there needs to be consideration given as well to the degree of vulnerability to infrastructural failure that this could entail. This is true not only for the more severe and more frequent impacts that come with climate change but also to meet the challenges of the variability of today’s climate.

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

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