Integrating solutions to adapt cities for climate change

Summary

Record climate extremes are reducing urban liveability, compounding inequality, and threatening infrastructure. Adaptation measures that integrate technological, nature-based, and social solutions can provide multiple co-benefits to address complex socioecological issues in cities while increasing resilience to potential impacts. However, there remain many challenges to developing and implementing integrated solutions.

In this Viewpoint, we consider the value of integrating across the three solution sets, the challenges and potential enablers for integrating solution sets, and present examples of challenges and adopted solutions in three cities with different urban contexts and climates (Freiburg, Germany; Durban, South Africa; and Singapore).

We conclude with a discussion of research directions and provide a road map to identify the actions that enable successful implementation of integrated climate solutions. We highlight the need for more systematic research that targets enabling environments for integration; achieving integrated solutions in different contexts to avoid maladaptation; simultaneously improving liveability, sustainability, and equality; and replicating via transfer and scale-up of local solutions.

Cities in systematically disadvantaged countries (sometimes referred to as the Global South) are central to future urban development and must be prioritised. Helping decision makers and communities understand the potential opportunities associated with integrated solutions for climate change will encourage urgent and deliberate strides towards adapting cities to the dynamic climate reality.

Information

Publication info: Lin, B.B., Ossola, A., Alberti, M., Andersson, E., Bai, X., Dobbs, C., et.al. 2021. Integrating solutions to adapt cities for climate change. The Lancet Planetary Health. Viewpoint, Vol. 5, Issue 5, E479-E486, July 01, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(21)00135-2