Urban Networks to Face Climate Change (Future Cities)
Urban Networks to Face Climate Change
Start date: May 9, 2007,
End date: Dec 30, 2013
The Future Cities-project aims at making city regions in Northwest Europe fit to cope with the predicted climate change impacts by proactive transformation of urban structures. City structures and the urban living environment are especially vulnerable to the consequences of dryer as well as wetter weather conditions such as temperature rise (“heat island effect”) or wetter winters (increased flash-flooding). At the same time well functioning city regions are one of the most important pre-requisites for sustainable economic development. A mere reaction on the impacts of climate change will lead to a cost escalation for adaptive measures. Viable and cost-effective adaptation measures are only scarcely at hand. Therefore. anticipatory strategies are needed for adapting the urban structures in a way that the impacts of a changing climate will not endanger the urban living environment. The Future Cities-Partnership develops concepts and implementation strategies which: • are innovative – not yet implemented on the practical level • save from greater financial loss – by operating proactively • provide for synergy effects and cost-effectiveness – by applying combined measures. 8 partners from 5 countries cooperate to develop. apply and improve assessment criteria for climate proof cities. Adequate action plans will be developed in each city region and priority measures will be implemented in small-scale investments. Focus is laid on existing urban structures. Broad dissemination of the results is ensured by distinctly targeting disseminators e.g. architects. housing companies. project developers. For selected strategic urban key components - “green structures”. “water systems” and “energy efficiency” - effects and impacts will be combined for surplus effects. The single effects will be enhanced and economic efficiency is improved. e.g. by using green structures and the water system for cooling instead of energy consumpting air-conditioning. Achievements: The European funding has enabled the Future Cities partners to implement concrete adaptation measures based upon the retro-fitting of existing infrastructures in England, The Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany. But the partners could do even more: to help foster adaptation the partnership has developed innovative tools such as the Adaptation Compass. This guidance tool for developing climate-proof city regions helps planners and experts at cities and water boards to meet their needs to consider adaptation in planning process. Subject to exchanges with European and national organisations in charge of adaptation, the Adaptation Compass works in all European countries, complementing the range of existing tools."Enjoy adaptation" is the leitmotiv chosen by the partnership after five years of cooperation and is highlighted in the final brochure. With this positive way of thinking, politicians and decision-makers are invited to consider the need to face climate change as an opportunity to develop future urban areas which meet environmental demands.
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