The negative effects of climate change in cities Essay
Climate change is one of the many factors that have caused negative effects in the urban areas of many countries (Hunt & Watkiss 2011). This essay outlines three problems that are caused by climate change and also evaluates the effectiveness of mitigation, adaptation, and planning strategies in addressing the problems.
Three Problems of Climate Change in Urban Areas
Climate change has caused a number of problems in urban areas. According to the Asia-Pacific Human Development Report (Building Greener Cities n.d), one of the problems due to climate change is the threat to such as food supplies, flow of electric power and sanitation.
The process of climate change has been linked to rises in sea levels, a situation that has negatively impacted the lives of people living in coastal areas (Building Greener Cities n.d). In this case, flooding results in the breakdown of power and water supplies, and also destroys infrastructures, thereby leading to a scarcity of some resources (Building Greener Cities n.d).
This is exemplified by the seasonal hurricanes in the USA and the surrounding regions, the hurricanes of which have destroyed houses and roads in the past (Hunt & Watkiss 2011). Asian cities have been shown as some of the examples of how climate change and other incidentals negatively impact urban areas in coastal regions.
The other problem of climate change in urban areas is the lack of food supplies, which mostly come from rural agricultural regions (Hunt & Watkiss 2011). Due to climate change, it is increasingly becoming difficult to , so that planting of food crops can take place at appropriate times (Hunt & Watkiss 2011).
This scenario has consequently resulted in reduced food production activities. Since food supplied to urban areas come from the rural regions, a reduction in its production can only lead to a shortage of it in the urban areas, to which most people migrate in search of a better life (Hunt & Watkiss 2011).
The last urban problem arising from climate change is a consequential outcome of the damages it causes within the urban and rural areas. In this regard, it is argued that it results in a broad range of negative economic effects within different industries (Hunt & Watkiss 2011).
For instance, when climate change causes a shortage in food production, prices are likely to go up. Alternatively, when it causes damages to roads, the supply of food to urban areas is hampered, and people suffer the consequences (Hunt & Watkiss 2011).
The Effectiveness of Mitigation, Adaptation and Planning Strategies
With respect to the problems of food supplies, the flow of electric power and sanitation, cities have adopted adaptation measures such as the use of plinths, courtyards and landfills (Building Greener Cities n.d). The city residents also have detachable roofs, which can be removed quickly in times of floods (Building Greener Cities n.d).
These adaptation measures are less effective, because they may not be able to prevent storms that sometimes accompany floods. This implies that the measures cannot work where the extent of flooding is relatively small.
For instance, the Hurricane Katerina which is known to have destroyed property and infrastructures in the US cannot be withstood through the foregoing adaptation mechanism.
In order to deal with shortages of food in the urban centres, many cities are said to have adopted the strategy, which is meant to ensure a constant supply of food to the cities (Building Greener Cities n.d).
This means that even if the supply of food from rural areas is disrupted by effects of climate change, the urban areas can still get food. Even though this strategy is viable, its sustainability is in doubt, because the cities are , and the land which is used for peri-urban gardening may be utilised for construction purposes in the future.