SILVIA TAVARES

Urban growth, heat islands, humidity, climate change: the costs multiply in tropical cities

During a heatwave in late 2018, Cairns temperatures topped 35°C nine days in a row and sensors at some points in the CBD recorded 45°C.

Taha Chaiechi, James Cook University and Silvia Tavares, James Cook University

Some 60% of the planet’s expected urban area by 2030 is yet to be built. This forecast highlights how rapidly the world’s people are becoming urban. Cities now occupy about 2% of the world’s land area, but are home to about 55% of the world’s people and generate more than 70% of global GDP, plus the associated greenhouse gas emissions.

So what does this mean for people who live in the tropical zones, where 40% of the world’s population lives? On current trends, this figure will rise to 50% by 2050. With tropical economies growing some 20% faster than the rest of the world, the result is a swift expansion of tropical cities. Read more…

City temperatures and city economics, a hidden relationship between sun and wind and profits

Cairns Lagoon: as a good response to the tropical climate, it’s a very active place but with little business activity. Silvia Tavares, Author provided

 

Silvia Tavares, James Cook University and Taha Chaiechi, James Cook University

Urban design undoubtedly influences the urban economy. A simple thing like designing an area to make it more walkable can boost local business profits. This can also increase real estate value, create more and better jobs and generate stronger local economies.

Street temperatures also determine their walkability. With climate change bringing longer and more frequent heatwaves, street temperatures will become even higher than at present. This will reduce walkability and, in turn, local business profitability. Read more…

Thinkers in the Tropical Shade: Empowering Lessons for Livable Places

Cairns, Queensland, Australia: avoiding the humidity using active transport (Photo by Chuck Wolfe)

Last June, Chuck Wolfe, David Sellars and I published an article on Planetizen about the fundamental relationships at the heart of urban public health and livability, particularly in tropical Australia. In this article we discuss the importance of context, the relevance of the UN-Habitat New Urban Agenda, the Urban Thinkers Campuses recently hosted by JCU (Understanding Cairns and Townsville through the urban diary tool), place-based urban planning and design and the lessons learned so far.

Read more…