SILVIA TAVARES

Awareness of urban climate adaptation strategies – an international overview

I have previously shared here the publication of the first part of a research led by Professor Sanda Lenzholzer and Professor Robert Brown, in which I had the honour of adding a New Zealand perspective.

The second part of this study has recently been published, is open access and available through Science Direct.

 

The paper abstract is below:

Problems caused by urban climate phenomena such as urban heat island intensification, nuisance winds, or the lack of ventilation, are a growing concern with urban population growth and aging infrastructure. While many possible solutions are known, effective adaptation strategies have been insufficiently implemented to ameliorate urban climate problems. Reasons for this ‘implementation gap’ such as the level of awareness about implementable solutions have received little attention in the literature. An important question thus remains unanswered: what do different urban actors (citizens; politicians; urban planners and designers; and urban climate experts) who shape the urban environment and thus its climate, know about urban climate adaptation measures? We conducted a pilot study using semi-structured interviews with specialists in the field of urban sustainability related to urban planning and climate in ten countries worldwide. Interview results indicated that awareness of adaptation measures differs between countries, but even more so between different actor groups. Citizens and politicians are less aware than urban planners or designers and urban climate experts. Awareness raising should involve media campaigns, further education and display of good practice. Politicians should work on better laws and their enforcement and urban climate experts on good knowledge communication.