This interests me – a draft plan for adaptation to climate change in the City of Melbourne. As stewards of their local communities, local governments have a role in assessing and addressing the impacts of climate change. Note I am interested in the fact that such a plan exists for our local community rather than the specific insights of this draft report.
Generally cities are seen by this report as likely to be affected by climate change in three key ways:
- Impacts on resource productivity or changes in market demand for goods and services;
- Performance of physical infrastructure & industries directly affected by changed climate conditions or damaging extreme events;
- Populations affected by extreme weather, scarce resources, health status, changed economic conditions or migration.
- Loss prevention – actions to reduce vulnerability to climate change;
- Loss sharing – spreading the risk of loss among a wider population (eg insurance);
- Behaviour modification – eliminating the activity or behaviour that causes the hazard;
- Relocation – moving vulnerable population or systems away from hazards induced by climate change.
The City of Melbourne has employed consultants to assess Melbourne’s climate change risks for 2010, 2030 and 2070. The main climatic effects envisaged are:
- Reduced rainfall and drought;
- Extreme heatwave;
- Intense rainfall and wind storm;
- Sea level rise.
Melbourne is expecting unprecedented population growth to become Australia’s largest capital city by
2030 - population within the CoM is expected to double over this period.
Two key adaptation measures seen as having high value in this draft report are:
- Stormwater harvesting which can assist in both flash flooding events & insufficient water supply;
- Increasing passive cooling of the city to reduce the heat island effect.
With respect to the latter Melbourne’s CBD can be 7 degrees higher than other Melbourne suburbs on a hot day. This significant difference substantially heightens the vulnerability of people in the city to heat stress, injury or death. Measures to reduce the city temperature both inside buildings and at street level will provide considerable benefits to reducing overall exposure.
Feedback on this proposal can be submitted by replying to this email, via the online feedback form. I am interested in collecting information on this type of work and thereby increasing my knowledge of climate adaptation to urban and city areas.