We need to operationalise policy on the assumption that increased frequency of extreme weather events and deepening impacts are the new baseline
Cities, as concentrations of large populations, are at risk of climate change impacts on infrastructure, human lives, human health, personal property, environmental quality and future prosperity, especially for the urban poor, informal settlements and other vulnerable groups.
The impact of climate change ranges from an increase in extreme weather events and flooding to warmer temperatures and public health concerns. Precipitation and temperature are key climate variables.
With the formulation of National Action Plan on climate change in 2008, the issue of climate change mitigation and adaptation has come to the forefront of the public policy agenda. Still, the focus is largely on mitigation of climate change rather than increasing resilience or the adaptive capacity of the people and places to deal with climate extremes.
City planning or urban planning is one such discipline which could enhance the adaptive capacity of places to deal with the impacts of climate change. There could be ambiguity over the apparent relation of a city master plan to climate change, but migration, changing land use pattern, mobility needs and spatial development and built form are factors contributing to increasing vulnerability of people living in urban centres. Such dimensions need to be considered within the scope of a City or Area Master Plan.
Therefore, re-orienting urban planning in light of climate change and a good land-use plan with suitable development control regulations can play an important role in this. Climate-related impacts must influence decision-making right at the level of planning for cities. We need to operationalise policy to work on the assumption that increased frequency and deepening impacts are the new baseline. Inventions should include:
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.