Monday, February 11, 2013

Climate-Proofing Cities

Hurricane Sandy 2012
Hurricane Sandy 2012 (Photo credit: charliekwalker)

Today we review an article on adapting to the inevitable climate change that is coming and will come with the continued increase in global carbon emissions, despite warnings from scientists that have gone unheeded for more than 25 years. The examples discussed include flooding in Rotterdam Holland and Singapore, heat waves in Chicago and the aftermath to Hurricane Sandy in New York City. As much depends on social network and support as it does on preparedness and planning. 

Key Quotes: 

“Even if we managed to stop increasing global carbon emissions tomorrow, we would probably experience several centuries of additional warming, rising sea levels, and more frequent dangerous weather events. If our cities are to survive, we have no choice but to adapt” 

“Rotterdam began building a series of dams, barriers, and seawalls. It’s now experimenting with an architecture of accommodation: it has a floating pavilion in the city center, made of three silver half spheres with an exhibition space that’s equivalent to four tennis courts, and buildings whose façades, garages, and ground-level spaces are engineered to be waterproof. It also has a resilient power grid, designed to withstand strong winds and heavy rain, with power lines which are primarily underground and encased in water-resistant pipes. 

“the case of a deadly 1995 heat wave in Chicago, during which people living in neighborhoods with stronger social networks fared better than people who lived in comparable, but less socially cohesive, neighborhoods. Since 1995, .. City agencies have maintained a database that lists the names, addresses, and phone numbers of old, chronically ill, and otherwise vulnerable people, and city workers call or visit to make sure they’re safe. “ 

 “Rockaway, Queens, where the Rockaway Beach Surf Club has become the main community organization, providing food, cleaning supplies, camaraderie, and manual labor for nearby residents after Hurricane Sandy”

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