The Mitigative Potential of Urban Environments and their Microclimates

Schiano-Phan, R. and Weber, F. 2016. The Mitigative Potential of Urban Environments and their Microclimates. Caring for Our Common Home: Sustainable, Healthy, Just Cities & Settlements. Rome 13 - 17 Jun 2016 International Making Cities Livable.

TitleThe Mitigative Potential of Urban Environments and their Microclimates
AuthorsSchiano-Phan, R. and Weber, F.
TypeConference paper
Abstract

Cities play a crucial role in climate change: more than 50% of the growing population lives in cities producing most of the global GDP but also 78% of greenhouse gases (GHG) responsible for climate change. Moreover, due to their highly modified land-use and intensive activities, cities are at the forefront of the most rapid environmental and climatic change ever experienced by mankind. Yet, cities’ potential to mitigate both climate change and their own environment is underexploited. This paper explores ideas related to the potential of urban environments to modify their microclimates, reflecting on the overlapping potential between mitigative and adaptive actions. These actions in cities can not only tackle some of the largest contributing factors to global climate change but offer short- to medium-term benefits that could drive more immediate socioeconomic and behavioral changes. This review proposes and discusses a new preliminary definition of urban environments as microclimate modifiers—Mitigative urban Environments and Microclimates (MitEM)—and calls for further research into: (a) inter-connecting the full range of mitigative and adaptive initiatives already being undertaken in many cities and maximizing their input systemically; (b) developing a common and holistic definition of MitEM; (c) promoting its uptake at policy level and amongst the key stakeholders, based on its social and public value beyond the environmental.

KeywordsMitigative Urban Environment, Mitigation, Adaptation, Microclimate, Passive Strategies, Urban Environment, Policies
Year2016
ConferenceCaring for Our Common Home: Sustainable, Healthy, Just Cities & Settlements
PublisherInternational Making Cities Livable
Accepted author manuscriptLivCities_RSP.pdf

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