Climate change and urban areas: Development of a climate change risk and vulnerability assessment tool

Gina Cavan, Richard Kingston, Sarah Lindley, Aleksandra Kazmierczak, Jeremy Carter, Yi Gong, John Handley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Assessment of climate change risks and vulnerability is essential in order to inform and implement appropriate adaptation strategies. Disastrous effects of extreme weather events such as the heat waves across Europe in 2003 highlight the adaptation imperative. Regional spatial planning and urban design can help to reduce the vulnerability of communities to these risks. The Green and Blue Space Adaptation for Urban Areas and Eco Towns (GRaBS) Interreg IVC project (2008-2011) involves four research institutions and ten European municipalities. GRaBS aims to develop good practice adaptation action plans to help co-ordinate the delivery of adaptation strategies within the project partner's areas. The preparation of these adaptation action plans is informed by an Assessment Tool, which highlights climate change vulnerabilities and risks in urban areas. This paper reports on the development of the Assessment Tool at the University of Manchester, and the results of pilot and user testing with the GRaBS project partners. The approach is based on the findings of the Adaptation Strategies for Climate Change in the Urban Environment (ASCCUE) project, which implements a risk framework, focusing on the three elements; hazard, vulnerability and exposure. Thus, the Assessment Tool assesses vulnerability of population and infrastructure in urban areas to climate change impacts (in particular flooding and heat stress). It also enables spatially relating patterns of vulnerability with risk where data is available. The tool follows the principles of an on-line Public Participation GIS, and is built using the Google Maps Interface. The results of the pilot study confirm that the Assessment Tool is seen as innovative, cost effective, intuitive and simple to use and navigate. Furthermore, by helping to visualise vulnerability of urban areas it may be useful in supporting planning of both emergency responses and long-term land use changes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCOBRA 2010 - Construction, Building and Real Estate Research Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors|COBRA - Constr., Build. Real Estate Res. Conf. R. Inst. Chart. Surv.
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventConstruction, Building and Real Estate Research Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, COBRA 2010 - Paris
Duration: 1 Jul 2010 → …

Conference

ConferenceConstruction, Building and Real Estate Research Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, COBRA 2010
CityParis
Period1/07/10 → …

Keywords

  • Climate change adaptation
  • PPGIS
  • Risk assessment
  • Urban Areas
  • Vulnerability

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