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.

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…

Building a climate-proof future

This article was originally published on 28th June on JCU’s Brighter website.

As climate change continues to wreak its path through tropical communities, architects and urban planners are combatting the potentially disastrous effects with innovative design solutions.

Dr. Silvia Tavares “designs cities with an eye on the climate”. A leading urban designer and senior lecturer at James Cook University, Dr. Tavares has a passion for creating places that foster connection and wellbeing, while being sustainable for the future. Read more…