Creating climate resilient cities.
For most of humanity, the urban environment is the norm and represents a radical change from the ‘natural’ environment that it replaced. At a local scale, land-cover and land-use modifies the surface water and energy balances, raises air temperature, lower wind speed and worsens air quality. At a global scale, the carbon contributions of individual cities accumulate in the atmosphere making cities major drivers of global climate changes. At the same time, cities occupy common topographic settings that are at risk from projected climate changes, such as drought, intense rainfall, sea-level rise and warming. For all of these reasons, climate mitigation and adaptation policies at all scales need to focus on cities. However, effective urban climate policies require an integrated knowledge that draws on natural and social sciences much of which is currently fragmented by scale and uses terminology and methods that are arcane. In this presentation, Dr. Mills outlines the status of climate science on cities and developments for overcoming barriers to its effective application to cities.
Dr. Gerald Mills is a geographer with expertise on the urban environment and on the climates of cities in particular. He has published extensively on aspects of the urban climate and is a co-author of Urban Climates. His current work focuses on the development of a global database on cities suited for urban climate studies as part of the World Urban Access and Portal Tools (WUDAPT) project. He is a member of the World Meteorological Organizations’ team that is developing the Integrated Urban Services strategy to enable the UN’s Urban Agenda programme. He has been involved with the International Association for Urban Climates (IAUC) since its foundation in 2000 and has served as President