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Climate change and cities: A systemic analysis of climate change impacts on the urban function and urban economy

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This paper introduces a systematic approach for the analysis of the climate change impacts on the urban function and urban economy. While nowadays climate change is at the forefront of scientific research, surprisingly little attention has been paid on the urban scale and least of all on the indirect effects of the climate change on cities. The direct impacts of climate change on urban areas may be positive or negative. The negative effects may be chronic or may materialise as a consequence of climatic extreme events. Urban areas will adapt to a greater or lesser extent to these external drivers, resulting in an increasing climate signal in the trajectory of urban development. Apart from the direct impacts of the climate change on the physical urban environment, attention here is also focused on the indirect climate change impacts and higher order effects on the economic and social urban environment: different elements of the climate change act as modes for the emergence of different and diverse indirect urban impacts, which span across a wide range of socio-economic elements of the urban systems. The systematic mapping and the analysis of the interdependencies among the different elements of the climate change and the direct and the indirect impacts and the higher order effects result in a robust and valuable framework not only for understanding these processes, but also for understanding and evaluating the adaptation mechanisms of cities towards climate change. The above provides the necessary framework for our next step: the dynamic spatial simulation of cities considering climate impacts and adaptation. The latter will expand our understanding of the complex interactions between climate impacts and cities.

This talk is part of the 4cmr seminar series.

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