What it's about:
A research series entitled "Building a Climate-Resilient City" was commissioned by the Canadian cities of Edmonton and Calgary, and undertaken by the Prairie Climate Centre.
The research analysed eight examples of cities taking concrete steps towards building resilience - a few are outlined below:
1. Chicago, U.S. has become home to the world’s largest vertical farm, a 90,000 square-foot facility that grows a wide variety of leafy greens. Vertical farms secure space in urban environments for food production. Its success is due, in part, to Chicago changing its zoning laws in 2010 to accommodate urban agriculture.
2. The Netherlands is highly vulnerable to flooding, with nearly 30 percent of the country lying below sea level. Recognising that climate change will exacerbate existing flood risks, it has shifted to a proactive approach to dealing with flooding by adopting a national strategy. Part of the strategy involves 30 locations along the country’s rivers making space and creating room for floodwaters by removing silt and creating diversions to redirect excess river water, thereby pre-empting flooding.
3. Gibsons, Canada is applying an “eco-asset” accounting process, whereby it determines how natural systems can provide major benefits for little cost. Focusing on natural aquifers, creeks, ditches and wetlands, the British Columbia town realised these natural assets were providing services with significant monetary value, and by taking advantage of the lower costs of natural resources could lead to significant infrastructure savings.
Read the full Building a Climate-Resilient City series.
Why it's noteworthy:
As more people flock to live in cities - an estimated 70 percent of the world's population by 2050 - resilience will play an essential role in urban policy and is a smart investment.
Case studies are useful tools for sharing knowledge and providing inspiration for cities around the world. Thinking creatively about our natural surroundings and harnessing its power can lead to improved resilience in our communities and environments.
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