Urban Climate Resilient: Building Cities in Harmony with Nature
Urban Climate Resilient: Building Cities in Harmony with Nature
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Urban Climate Resilient: Building Cities in Harmony with Nature

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Solutions helping urban environments merge with nature.
Solutions helping urban environments merge with nature.

The scenario Urban Climate Resilient is an effort to raise awareness among stakeholders and planners about the consequences of human activities on natural environments. With the help of emerging technologies, we showcase some examples of the dramatic positive impact some worldwide cities have had on reducing their ecological footprint.

For too long, our civilization has engendered the idea that technology, urbanization, and culture are oppositions to nature, or ultimately that we as a species can subdue it. Although psychoanalytical viewpoints argue that this attitude is instead a defense mechanism, as observed by Ernst Becker in The Denial of Death, climate change has posed us an ultimatum after so many years of disowning other ecosystems that are not human or urban —for instance, indigenous peoples.

As one of the main concerns, water is a crucial item for the development of life in urban environments. Yet, many global cities struggle to manage their water resources. For thousands of years, societies have featured the tendency to settle close to rivers and oceans, often redistributing this water resource to other areas. The subsequent practice of channeling water bodies, disrupted many natural ecosystems, sometimes suffocating ecosystems to their destruction.

With an increase in population, modern society faces substantial hurdles in terms of water safety plans, as a consequence of several years of exploiting natural resources. In the capital of Chile, Santiago, a most vulnerable fraction of their citizens struggle with the risk of water contamination due to poor distribution, and in São Paulo, the population is under the continuous threat of floods from rain runoffs. Instead of decimating an ecosystem in favor of human constructions, there are other ways to work around the problem with the development of projects such as an Adaptable Floating Station. This type of structure rather suggests the adaptability of construction to the specifications of the terrain, especially in the case of areas prone to flood or seaside habitations. The same goes for the revamp of roads through Porous Pavement as a way to avoid floods by improving irrigation.

In the case of cities that were barely able to preserve their fauna and flora, such as immense metropolises like New York and Paris, the creation of a Rain Park could work as a means to neutralize the impacts already caused by urbanization. Still, these projects must not be concentrated in only specific areas of the city because that could cause gentrification and intensify inequalities already visible in neighborhoods and regions. This scenario is mostly analyzed through the concept of “green gentrification,” with the strategy of “parks-related anti-displacement strategies,” or PRADS being one way to avoid this issue.

Another way to tackle gentrification is investing in infrastructure through a Decentralized Energy Grid that, could otherwise enable suburbs and other marginalized regions of the city to develop and implement new projects that go beyond conventional architectural solutions. The impact of DEGs on the net use of energy is largely observed and expected to produce substantial positive effects to help lower the level of energy consumption in developed and developing countries. Positive outcomes range from cities becoming less dependent on distant sources of energy and reducing the use of productive lands for harvesting energy. Other promising solutions include buildings implementing Solar Roof Tiles to feed the loop of production and the distribution of energy in more decentralized and independent ways.

As major CO2 emissions come from big metropolises, including the consumption of fossil fuels in transportation, and the burning of biomass in industries, cities can undoubtedly contribute to help mitigate climate change. The use of alternative materials to build Bio-based Street Furniture or a Wooden Skyscraper shows that cities do not have to be made out of concrete, or when they are can be tweaked through Carbon Upcycling. These solutions, besides helping decrease CO2 emissions also support the generation of revenues for developing cities, such as energy-efficient building materials, and reduced energy standards for lighting and heating.

When cities are considered hybrid entities where technology merges with nature, both governments and civilians can enjoy a more preventive and sustainable approach to governance than the usual one-sided responsiveness. With the help of an Geospatial Data Generation Tools, entities can keep track of protected areas as well as collect data for improved strategies that will work alongside a Machine Learning Weather Model, a service already offered by governments such as the Deutscher Wetterdienst and its Information Portal for Climate Adaptation in Cities (INKAS).

Accelerated urbanization is bringing considerable challenges to both developing and developed cities. The introduction of technology should not always be seen as an instrument to corrupt nature, but a means to help society and natural ecosystems recover from years of degradation. The convergence of technology-nature appears to be a genuine answer to help unclutch concentrated cities from impenetrable dynamics and build global cities with strong links among them.

15 topics
Urbanization
Water
Waste Management and Circular Economy, Resource Efficiency
Sustainable Mobility
Renewable Energy
Peace Building & Social Cohesion
Investments
Green Economy
Green and Climate Finance
Energy Efficiency
Digital Governance and Society
Digital Economy
Decentralization & Local Governance
Basic Energy Services
Adapting to Climate Change
5 SDGs
11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
16 Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
07 Affordable and Clean Energy
09 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
10 Reduce inequalities

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15 topics
  • Urbanization
  • Water
  • Waste Management and Circular Economy, Resource Efficiency
  • Sustainable Mobility
  • Renewable Energy
  • Peace Building & Social Cohesion
  • Investments
  • Green Economy
  • Green and Climate Finance
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Digital Governance and Society
  • Digital Economy
  • Decentralization & Local Governance
  • Basic Energy Services
  • Adapting to Climate Change
5 SDGs
  • 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 16 Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
  • 07 Affordable and Clean Energy
  • 09 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • 10 Reduce inequalities