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Special Issue "Climate Resilient Urban Development"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Urban and Rural Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Darryn McEvoy

RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: urban resilience; climate change adaptation; vulnerability and risk assessments; community-based adaptation; communicating climate risks

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Urbanization and a changing climate are two of the most significant challenges facing societies in the coming years and decades. With over 50% of the world’s population now living in towns and cities, trends towards increasing urbanization are likely to continue into the future as people look to cities for improved employment, health, and educational opportunities. However, these inter-related challenges are proving particularly acute for those parts of the world that are experiencing rapid urbanization and have limited institutional capacity to respond. In many cities in the developing world for instance, urbanization rates are leading to the growth of informal settlements in cities and surrounding areas, and the creation of ‘urban poor’ communities that are well-documented as being especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate-related hazards. These vulnerabilities will be further amplified by a changing climate into the future.

This Special Issue on climate resilient urban development provides both academic and practical evidence drawn from across the world to highlight how the interface of climate and development stressors is impacting the continued sustainability of contemporary urban systems in different geographical contexts, and how cities—and their communities—are responding to these climate resilience and development challenges in new and innovative ways.

Suggested topics for this special issue include:

- Conceptual or applied papers on urbanization and global environmental change (linkages between development/DRR/climate change adaptation);
- Vulnerability/risk assessments;
- Resilience planning;
- Adaptation strategies for heat/flood/drought etc in the urban environment;
- Planning for, and responding to, extreme events;
- Community-based adaptation and issues of equity;
- Links between land tenure and climate vulnerability;
- Climate resilient buildings and infrastructure;
- Food, water and energy security in a changing climate;
- Development economics (in the context of climate change);
- Public-private initiatives;
- Urban governance for climate resilience.

Prof. Dr. Darryn McEvoy
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Urbanization
  • Development
  • Climate change
  • Resilience
  • Informal settlements
  • Adaptation
  • Adaptive capacity
  • Governance
  • Participation

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Local Authority Responses to Climate Change in South Africa: The Challenges of Transboundary Governance
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2542; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072542
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 16 July 2018 / Accepted: 17 July 2018 / Published: 19 July 2018
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Abstract
Recent progress and innovation are testament to the willingness of municipal authorities to address climate change. However, urban regions worldwide exhibit an immense diversity of conditions, capabilities and responses to the challenges of changing climatic conditions. While separated by politico-administrative borders, adjacent municipalities
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Recent progress and innovation are testament to the willingness of municipal authorities to address climate change. However, urban regions worldwide exhibit an immense diversity of conditions, capabilities and responses to the challenges of changing climatic conditions. While separated by politico-administrative borders, adjacent municipalities within such regions are connected through biophysical, politico-economic, and social systems likely to be reconfigured under changing climatic/environmental conditions. Yet, to date, politico-administrative borders have largely determined the parameters of local government climate change adaptation strategies, with insufficient attention to the role of inter-municipal collaboration, especially between neighbouring rural, peri-urban and urban municipalities, for co-ordinating such policies and interventions. Within a multi-level governance framework, this paper considers the recent evolution of climate agendas in the eThekwini (formerly Durban City Council) metropolitan municipality and the adjacent Ugu (predominantly rural) district municipality on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal province (KZN), South Africa, focusing particularly on cross-border collaboration within the greater city region. The challenges were investigated by means of 53 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with municipal, regional and local authority association staff in November 2009, March 2012, and August 2017. Our core argument is that weak inter-municipal collaboration, particularly between urban, peri-urban and rural areas within metropolitan and functional city regions, has been a significant impediment to realizing transformative adaptation within such regions. The experiences of these two contiguous yet contrasting municipalities represent a microcosm of the dramatic discontinuities and inequalities on all variables within adjacent urban metropolitan and rural contexts in South Africa and beyond. Despite promising recent signs, the challenges of inter-municipal collaborative action are therefore formidable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Resilient Urban Development)
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Open AccessArticle Vulnerability Assessment to Climate Variability and Climate Change in Tijuana, Mexico
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2352; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072352
Received: 10 May 2018 / Revised: 15 June 2018 / Accepted: 25 June 2018 / Published: 6 July 2018
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Abstract
This paper presents research results of a recent project creating an operational approach to assess vulnerability to climate variability and climate change in Tijuana, Mexico. Despite chronic flooding problems throughout the history of the city, local authorities and state authorities have given little
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This paper presents research results of a recent project creating an operational approach to assess vulnerability to climate variability and climate change in Tijuana, Mexico. Despite chronic flooding problems throughout the history of the city, local authorities and state authorities have given little attention to vulnerability to climate variability and climate change. This is the first assessment of vulnerability to flooding carried out in Tijuana. Research results show that over 10 percent of the total population in the city (over 153,000 inhabitants) lives in areas with high vulnerability to flooding, and an additional 18 percent (277,000 inhabitants) are in areas with what we classify as medium-high vulnerability. Results by census track identified specific areas and social groups in these categories, as well as the underlying drivers of vulnerability associated with the biophysical conditions of the landscape that have been modified by urban growth and through social processes (namely, deficiencies in local urban planning and its enforcement along with deficient social policies). Information and knowledge of vulnerability is a useful first step in the long process of creating climate adaptation and resilient pathways within the context of sustainable urban development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Resilient Urban Development)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing Strategies for Urban Climate Change Adaptation: The Case of Six Metropolitan Cities in South Korea
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 2065; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10062065
Received: 20 May 2018 / Revised: 12 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 18 June 2018
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Abstract
As interest in climate change adaptation grows, an increasing number of national and local governments are developing adaptation strategies. This study assesses the strategies for urban climate change adaptation of municipal governments in South Korea. The adaptation plans and budget expenditures of six
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As interest in climate change adaptation grows, an increasing number of national and local governments are developing adaptation strategies. This study assesses the strategies for urban climate change adaptation of municipal governments in South Korea. The adaptation plans and budget expenditures of six metropolitan cities in South Korea were compared, based on the Implementation Plan for Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (IPCCAS) 2012–2016 and annual expenditure reports of each city. The results show that the actual implementation of these adaptation programs varied vis-à-vis the original plans, in terms of the level of overall expenditure and sector-specific expenditure. The following findings were drawn from the analysis: First, in most cases, the highest adaptation priorities were disaster/infrastructure, water management, and the health sector. Second, actual expenditure on climate change adaptation programs was smaller than the planned budget in the IPCCAS. Third, the prioritized sectors matched for planning and implementation in Seoul, Daegu, Daejeon, and Incheon, but not in Busan and Ulsan. Fourth, the adaptation programs of South Korean metropolitan cities do not seem to have been well-tailored to each case. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Resilient Urban Development)
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Open AccessArticle Participatory Climate Change Impact Assessment in Three Czech Cities: The Case of Heatwaves
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1906; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061906
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 31 May 2018 / Accepted: 4 June 2018 / Published: 7 June 2018
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Abstract
Cities are complex socioecological systems that are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and are also exposed to other trends, such as urbanization and population aging. Due to the changing climate, days with extreme temperatures are expected to become more numerous,
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Cities are complex socioecological systems that are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and are also exposed to other trends, such as urbanization and population aging. Due to the changing climate, days with extreme temperatures are expected to become more numerous, which is particularly important for urban areas, where the urban heat island phenomenon is observed. This study presents an example of a spatially explicit potential climate change impact assessment of heatwaves integrating both science and stakeholder participation for three large Czech cities (Prague, Brno, and Pilsen). Stakeholder participation exercises were used to prioritize climate change risks, provide impetus and opportunity for knowledge co-production, and support adaptation planning. Potential climate change impacts of heatwaves in the three Czech cities for the current baseline (1981–2010) and for the future (2021–2040) using Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs)—RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5, were mapped at two levels describing “in-city” and “inter-city” comparison. When comparing the potential impact of heatwaves across the three cities (“inter-city”), the most affected city is Brno, with 10.5% of its area in the very high impact category for the baseline and both RCPs. The “in-city” comparison shows the differences between the baseline and future scenarios of each city. The assessment of heatwaves’ impacts was further used to support urban adaptation planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Resilient Urban Development)
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Open AccessArticle Integrating CFD and GIS into the Development of Urban Ventilation Corridors: A Case Study in Changchun City, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1814; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061814
Received: 23 April 2018 / Revised: 24 May 2018 / Accepted: 29 May 2018 / Published: 31 May 2018
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Abstract
Given the situation of urban expansion and environmental deterioration, the government and researchers are paying considerable attention to ventilation corridors. The construction of urban ventilation corridors requires quantitative data support. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has advantages in the fine assessment of wind environment,
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Given the situation of urban expansion and environmental deterioration, the government and researchers are paying considerable attention to ventilation corridors. The construction of urban ventilation corridors requires quantitative data support. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has advantages in the fine assessment of wind environment, and a geographic information system (GIS) has excellent performance in spatial analysis. With Changchun City used as an example, this study proposes the establishment of ventilation corridors on an urban scale to mitigate the urban-heat-island effect, and to accelerate the diffusion of air pollution. CFD simulations provided detailed spatiotemporal characteristics of wind speed and wind direction at various heights. These simulations were useful for identifying potential ventilation corridors. In general, the wind-speed and wind-direction characteristics at a height of 30 m clearly indicated potential ventilation corridors. Potential paths existed in the leading wind and south–north directions. The areas that required improvement were favorably situated in the path of potential ventilation corridors. The main roads, green spaces, and water had good connectivity. A total of five ventilation corridors were constructed, and they will directly affect the poor urban thermal environment, and enhance the mobility of air. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Resilient Urban Development)
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Open AccessArticle Emerging Livelihood Vulnerabilities in an Urbanizing and Climate Uncertain Environment for the Case of a Secondary City in Thailand
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1452; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051452
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 29 April 2018 / Accepted: 2 May 2018 / Published: 7 May 2018
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Abstract
Increasing flood risks in Thailand are leading to new challenges for flood management and subsequently for livelihoods, which are still significantly agricultural. Policy makers prefer building flood protection infrastructure over utilizing non-structural measures like urban planning regulations to mitigate risks. We argue that
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Increasing flood risks in Thailand are leading to new challenges for flood management and subsequently for livelihoods, which are still significantly agricultural. Policy makers prefer building flood protection infrastructure over utilizing non-structural measures like urban planning regulations to mitigate risks. We argue that unplanned urbanization intensifies flood risks and livelihood vulnerability and may even create new poverty patterns in peri-urban areas. However, urbanization can also strengthen the adaptive capacity of people in flood risk areas by providing more secure employment opportunities. We assess the livelihood vulnerability of Pra Lab, a peri-urban area of Khon Kaen City in Northeast Thailand, using a qualitative and quantitative analysis. The study relies on a vulnerability index developed from a household survey and rainfall statistics, complemented by household in-depth interviews. We further identified factors of unplanned urbanization in Khon Kaen City and Pra Lab through interviews with relevant local government offices. Our findings show that Pra Lab’s household livelihoods are moderately vulnerable to flood due to high financial (i.e., income, debts) and physical vulnerability (i.e., housing, urban systems, infrastructure). Major factors of unplanned urbanization that contribute to flood risks are lack of land use regulations, inefficient monitoring of land and house elevations, reduced pervious surfaces, ineffective water governance and insufficient wastewater treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Resilient Urban Development)
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Open AccessArticle Enhancing the Practical Utility of Risk Assessments in Climate Change Adaptation
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1399; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051399
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 21 April 2018 / Accepted: 22 April 2018 / Published: 2 May 2018
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Abstract
In 2012, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) moved from a vulnerability to a risk-based conception of climate change adaptation. However, there are few examples of work that translates this approach into climate change adaptation practice, in order to demonstrate the practical
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In 2012, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) moved from a vulnerability to a risk-based conception of climate change adaptation. However, there are few examples of work that translates this approach into climate change adaptation practice, in order to demonstrate the practical utility of following a risk-based approach to adapting to climate change. The paper explores critically the differing conceptions of vulnerability and risk across the literature relating to disaster risk management and climate change adaptation. The paper also examines a selection of spatially focused climate change vulnerability and risk assessment methodologies in this context. In doing so, we identify issues with the availability of spatial data to enable spatial risk-based climate change assessments. We argue that the concept of risk is potentially favorable in helping cities to understand the challenges posed by climate change, identify adaptation options, and build resilience to the changing climate. However, we suggest that change is needed in the way that practitioners and policymakers engage with risk-based concepts if they are to be embed into climate change adaptation activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Resilient Urban Development)
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Open AccessArticle A New Framework to Evaluate Urban Design Using Urban Microclimatic Modeling in Future Climatic Conditions
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1134; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041134
Received: 14 February 2018 / Revised: 30 March 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
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Abstract
Building more energy-efficient and sustainable urban areas that will both mitigate the effects of climate change and anticipate living conditions in future climate scenarios requires the development of new tools and methods that can help urban planners, architects and communities achieve this goal.
[...] Read more.
Building more energy-efficient and sustainable urban areas that will both mitigate the effects of climate change and anticipate living conditions in future climate scenarios requires the development of new tools and methods that can help urban planners, architects and communities achieve this goal. In the current study, we designed a workflow that links different methodologies developed separately, to derive the energy consumption of a university school campus for the future. Three different scenarios for typical future years (2039, 2069, 2099) were run, as well as a renovation scenario (Minergie-P). We analyzed the impact of climate change on the heating and cooling demand of buildings and determined the relevance of taking into account the local climate in this particular context. The results from the simulations confirmed that in the future, there will be a constant decrease in the heating demand, while the cooling demand will substantially increase. Significantly, it was further demonstrated that when the local urban climate was taken into account, there was an even higher rise in the cooling demand, but also that a set of proposed Minergie-P renovations were not sufficient to achieve resilient buildings. We discuss the implication of this work for the simulation of building energy consumption at the neighborhood scale and the impact of future local climate on energy system design. We finally give a few perspectives regarding improved urban design and possible pathways for future urban areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Resilient Urban Development)
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Review

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Open AccessReview A Review of Urban Planning Research for Climate Change
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2224; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122224
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 25 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 2 December 2017
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Abstract
This paper identified the research focus and development tendency of urban planning and climate change research from 1990 to 2016 using CiteSpace, which is based on the Web of Science database. Through cluster analysis and a document sorting method, the research direction of
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This paper identified the research focus and development tendency of urban planning and climate change research from 1990 to 2016 using CiteSpace, which is based on the Web of Science database. Through cluster analysis and a document sorting method, the research direction of city planning and climate change were mainly divided into four academic groupings, 15 clusters with homogenous themes representing the current research focus direction at the sub-level. The detailed study on the framework presented three mainstream developing directions: (1) The index assessment and spatial simulation on the impact of urban spatial systems for climate change have become important methods to identify and improve the adaptability of urban space. (2) Adaptive governance as a bottom-up strategy giving priority to institutional adaptation policy and collaborative polices for responding to climate change has become the hot direction in recent years. (3) The policies of urban public health-related urban equity, vulnerability, and environmental sustainability were addressed especially during the period from 2007 to 2009. Dynamic evolution trends of the research field were discussed: (1) The total numbers of papers in this field increased distinctly between 2005 and 2008, research focus shifted from single-dimension to multi-dimension comprehensive studies, and the humanism tendency was obvious. (2) After 2010, research on multi-level governance and spatial adaptation strategies became the key issues, and a bottom-up level adaptation policies were addressed. Finally, the critical influence of the important literature and the forefront issues of the research field were put forward. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Resilient Urban Development)
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Open AccessReview Unpacking the Pacific Urban Agenda: Resilience Challenges and Opportunities
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1878; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9101878
Received: 6 September 2017 / Revised: 11 October 2017 / Accepted: 14 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (750 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pacific Island Countries (PICs) are often cited as being the most vulnerable to the future impacts of a changing climate. Furthermore, being located in the ‘Pacific Rim of Fire’, PICs have long been exposed to the impacts of a range of natural and
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Pacific Island Countries (PICs) are often cited as being the most vulnerable to the future impacts of a changing climate. Furthermore, being located in the ‘Pacific Rim of Fire’, PICs have long been exposed to the impacts of a range of natural and climate-related extreme events—such as earthquakes and cyclones—and are considered to be amongst the most vulnerable countries to natural disasters. The physical vulnerability of Pacific towns and cities is further exaggerated by development deficits, geographical isolation, weak governance, and complex issues of land tenure. This paper, based on substantive project experience in the Pacific region by each of the authors, reviews the resilience challenges facing Melanesian cities in the context of rapid urbanization and global environmental change. It then sets this in the context of the global ‘New Urban Agenda’ which was launched at Habitat III in Quito at the end of 2016, setting out the critical implementation challenges and opportunities for enhancing urban resilience in the Pacific. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Resilient Urban Development)
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