– by Arti Choudhary
Stronger storms and typhoons, frequent flooding, historic heatwaves, higher sea levels, these are just some of the potential impacts of climate change. Asia’s population is currently 4.54 Billion (that is around 60% of the world’s population) and accounting that India’s population 1.34 Billion.
Many cities in India suffer from chronic stresses like traffic, pollution, flooding and uncollected waste. They also have to cope with increasing intensity and frequency of extreme weather events. Climate change further heightens the pressures already straining urban areas. Access to potable water, affordable housing, and urban poverty are only some of the problems in cities.
Due to the wide impacts, climate change has a multiplying effect on these stresses. Thereby exposing cities to more serious disasters. In such instinct, UCCR (Urban Climate Change Resilience) can help with these problems through its principle of planning and management of the cities.
What is UCCR?
UCCR is the capacity of cities to function, so that the people living and working there particularly the poor and vulnerable thrive despite daily stresses and survive shocks such as disasters related to climate change. It also involves improving preparedness and adopting recovery measures from all types of disasters.
Resilience means rethinking the risk management to dynamically adapted climate, social, economic, and environmental challenges, through an integrated and systematic approach that works across scales (national, community & houses), sectors, time and dimensions.
How resilience can be strengthened:
Following are the points that can be adopted to strengthen urban climate change resilience:
Climate Information & Urban Growth Data
Information on the risks in an area and the extent to which the city’s system and its citizens are exposed to climate change and its adverse impact on the stressors affecting the area is essential to make the right decisions at the right time, and to take the necessary actions to improve resilience.
Planning mandates where and how a city develops and takes into consideration future growth and appropriate land use. Planning to be resilient, it needs to be informed by good data, integrate different sectors and scales, and be iterative and inclusive.
Infrastructure and services
Water and sanitation, power, roads and public transportation, telecommunications, ecosystems, homes, and offices, hospitals and schools, all need to be robust to withstand the impacts of climate change and the problems they bring forth. A resilient city makes sure that each of these crucial city systems has the ability to function well on a regular basis, build in redundancy in order to continue operating during extreme weather, withstand the pressures of urban stresses and bounce back from disasters.
Technological and engineering solutions for urban infrastructure and civil works are great, but resilience is also about local community development. Everyone should understand the causes and drivers of risk and vulnerability and be supported to find their pathways to enhancing resilience.
Leveraging the potential of the four points will help ensure UCCR initiatives are able to support the urban areas to adopt a systemic approach that will help them to not only function and also flourish despite the shocks and stresses induced by a changing climate and also the disasters that come with it.