Implications of climate change for expanding cities worldwide

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Hunt, Julian C. ; Timoshkina, Yulia V. ; Bohnenstengel, Sylvia I. ; Belcher, Stephen (2013)

This paper analyses the trends of the changing environmental effects within growing megacities as their diameters\ud exceed 50–100 km and their populations rise beyond 30 million people. The authors consider how these effects are\ud influenced by climate change, to which urban areas themselves contribute, caused by their increasing greenhouse gas emissions associated with rapidly expanding energy use. Other environmental and social factors are assessed,\ud quantitatively and qualitatively, using detailed modelling of urban mesoscale meteorology, which shows how these\ud factors can lead to large conurbations becoming more vulnerable to climatic and environmental hazards. The paper\ud discusses the likely changes in meteorological and hydrological hazards in urban areas, both as the climate changes and the sizes of urban areas grow. Examples are given of how these risks are being reduced through innovations in warning and response systems, planning and infrastructure design, which should include refuges against extreme natural disasters. Policies are shown to be more effective when they are integrated and based on substantial\ud community involvement. Some conclusions are drawn regarding how policies for the natural and artificial environment and for reducing many kinds of climate and hazard risk are related to future designs and planning of infrastructure and open spaces.
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