Climate and urban planning

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Climate projections and downscaling techniques: a discussion for impact studies in urban systems

Climate projections and downscaling techniques: a discussion for impact studies in urban systems

Grimmond et al. (2010) identify current capabilities to observe and predict urban atmos- pheric processes across a range of spatial scales. In future urban climate assessment, there is a need to not only estimate the climate behaviour, but also the socioeconomic evolution of the urban system. Those two are bind since they are bidirectional inter-dependent. Therefore, the modelling should also be coupled. Land use and land cover represent pro- minent observable tokens of the socioeconomic situation. Generally, land use in the context of complex urban fibre is a phenomenon occurring (and being managed) at finer scale than typical GCM/RCM output, thus downscaling techniques have their value for urban planning and design. Moreover, land-use changes are not considered in RCMs, which are usually run with static vegetation (Rössler et al., 2017). For example, when designing an urban square, decision makers having the localized information on future climate conditions (including the influence of e.g. amount of sealed surface to water run-off and UHI) may design the square differently. The positioning of circumfer- ential buildings, the excessive water draining vegetation or shading trees can be added, tar- geting the areas of likely future high exposure. Street design can incorporate the corridors following the main local wind directions (Georgi et al., 2016). Such decisions are difficult to be made based on coarse resolution decision making supporting materials, particularly in a city context, where conditions might differ street by street (Ali-Toudert & Mayer, 2007).
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Planning and designing urban places in response to climate and local culture: A case study of Mussafah District in Abu Dhabi

Planning and designing urban places in response to climate and local culture: A case study of Mussafah District in Abu Dhabi

At the present time, the complexity of any place has reached the stage at which single solution for conceiving places is no longer possible. On the contrary, cities and towns seek to embrace as many different solutions they can produce and consume. That shows their newly acquired strength which comes along with their quest for international recognition, and their need to satisfy their citizens’ needs and aspirations. In building their identity upon their uniqueness, contemporary urban planning and design recognize two parallel processes which may take place. They do not exclude each other, and often go together. The first goes along the recognized uniqueness places already have, which are readily available for planners and architects to work with. The second one is more concerned with a process of inventing the place. Opposite to the first one, where local uniqueness already exists and is available, in the second one it has to be conceived and created by urban planners and architects. In the first, the uniqueness is seen as a key factor in safeguarding their identity, while in second one it comes as a result of interventions that are set in the existing urban tissue, and is made by creation of new physical entities. There are various examples of developments which brought a new identity to their cities and towns. Many of them got on the world map. Their success contributes to better understanding of the meaning and the importance local uniqueness has in making places. It also advances our perception of the relationship between sustainability and local identity (Bajić Brković, 2009a).
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Climate change and impacts in the urban systems

Climate change and impacts in the urban systems

In the warming world, we are witnessing an urban population boom and an increasing number of megalopolis areas (Yang & Chen, 2007). Projections indicate that by 2050 urban systems will be home to 66% of the global population, representing 6.3 billon urban dwellers (UN, 2014). Urban systems act as important economic hubs and, as such, they provide its inhabitants with higher quality of life, including health, cultural and psychological aspects (Murray, 2011). Urbanized areas are not only major drivers of climate change (CC), but are simultaneously hot spots of CC impact, and many of the world’s agglomerations are located in areas highly exposed to multiple hazards (Akbari et al., 1999; Haigh & Amaratunga, 2012). CC impacts on urban systems may cause the stagnation of the state or entire country (Malakar & Mishra, 2017). Climate change has major economic consequences in the form of reduction in labour productivity, disruption of transport systems and significant losses in energy production and its supply chains (Confalonieri et al., 2007). Mortality due to natural disasters is highest in developing countries, while overall economic damage is greatest in developed regions (Kousky, 2014). However, economic development significantly decreased disaster damage (Choi, 2016). All the above-mentioned illustrates the importance of CC impact assessment in urban contexts. While impact assessments are commonly based on the output of state-of-the-art GCM-RCM simulations (Regional Circulation Models nested within General Circulation Model) providing information at scales varying between 12.5 and 50 km, the process of urban planning operates with finer scales exploiting detailed knowledge of neighbourhoods sometimes even at sub- street level. The GCM-RCMs are numerical coupled models describing atmosphere, oceans, land surface, sea ice and interactions among those earth systems. Those models remain essential tools to assess climate change (Fowler et al., 2007). However, their coarse resolution and inability to resolve sub grid scale features limits their usability. A large portion of impact studies operates on scales finer than common resolution of global or even regional model outputs (Wilby et al., 2004).
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Urban planning with respect to environmental quality and human well-being

Urban planning with respect to environmental quality and human well-being

Climate change affects cities, which are increasingly recognizing the need to prepare for the impacts on their assets and residents. Some cities have seen notable changes in relation to the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events; other cities have expe- rienced changes in temperatures, while others still have experi- enced coastal erosions, the disappearance of wetlands and storm surges (Carmin et al., 2012). It is important for stakeholders to know what to expect so that the necessary structures can be developed in the phase of preparation and organization (Karanikola et al., 2014). Many cities are working on adaptation and planning strategies. To this extent, ecosystem services provide a number of mitigation functions. Although it is necessary to share a method- ology for and knowledge about different forms of landscapes or a theoretical foundation, the key is a common frame of reference that has a reasonable fit with the range of ways in which disciplines and communities perceive and value landscapes (Stephenson, 2008).
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Green Infrastructure, Climate Change and Spatial Planning: Learning Lessons Across Borders

Green Infrastructure, Climate Change and Spatial Planning: Learning Lessons Across Borders

Thus, the pertinence of defining which concept of Green Infrastructure will guide the development of the work that is here presented. As such, it is understood that Green Infrastructure can be defined as a network of natural and semi-natural spaces within and around urban spaces including gardens, lakes, parks, cycle paths, green roofs, green corridors, rivers, wetlands, agricultural fields and forest areas of sustainable use, among others, whose interconnection confers additional benefits and strengthened resilience (EEA, 2011). This network is based on the preservation and enhancement of ecosystem connectivity in order to maintain or increase the provision of ecosystem services and their resilience, including mitigation and adaptation to climate change. It is, of course, a territorial strategy to minimize the risks of natural disasters, based on solutions inspired by the integration of Nature, rather than heavy engineering solutions. The delineation of GI is part of the identification of multifunctional areas that incorporate not only the regeneration and the perpetuation of ecosystems, but also the food and forest production, recreation and leisure of the populations (EEA, 2011).
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Regional and urban air quality modelling under a climate change scenario

Regional and urban air quality modelling under a climate change scenario

Photochemical are applied at multiple spatial scales from local, regional, national, and global. There are two types of photochemical air quality models commonly used in air quality assessments: the Lagrangian trajectory model that employs a moving frame of reference, and the Eulerian grid model that uses a fixed coordinate system with respect to the ground. Earlier generation modeling efforts often adopted the Lagrangian approach to simulate the pollutants formation because of its computational simplicity. However, the disadvantage of Lagrangian approach is that the physical processes it can describe are somewhat incomplete. Most of the current operational photochemical air quality models have adopted the three-dimensional Eulerian grid modeling mainly because of its ability to characterize physical processes in the atmosphere in a comprehensive way and predict the species concentrations throughout the entire model domain. Nowadays there are several models that could simulate the chemistry of atmosphere at long-term and at regional scale. As example the American models Comprehensive Air quality Model with extensions (CAMx) and Community Multi-scale Air Quality Model (CMAQ) (Tesche et al., 2006), the Australian model The Air Pollution Model (TAPM) (Hurley et al., 2005) and the European models CHIMERE (Van Loon, 2004; Vautard et al., 2007) and LOTOS- EUROS (Schaap et al., 2008). In these air quality models, the chemical processes are treated independently of the meteorological model, i.e. “offline”. This approach is computationally attractive when weather influences on the air chemistry is not the focus of a study, since it permits to carry sets of chemical transport simulations with a single meteorological dataset.
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Accommodating species climate-forced dispersal and uncertainties in spatial conservation planning

Accommodating species climate-forced dispersal and uncertainties in spatial conservation planning

In addition, we used information on the percentage of natural vegetation cover for each grid cell in all analyses as another attribute to be represented. We assigned weight five to this feature. We applied a weight for retaining natural vegetation higher than those for threatened species for two main reasons. First, given the lack of detailed information of habitat preferences for all species we studied, and the coarse spatial resolution of our vegetation layer (ca. 11 km), it was impossible to clip consensus species’ distributions to natural vegetation remnants (which would diminish commission errors). Nevertheless, we controlled for model overprediction securing that only sites with currently available habitat to species survival and reproduction would be included in the spatial plan. Second, indicating that sites with high percentage of natural vegetation cover need to be retained means that every result indicates priority sites only in areas in which there are large remnants of natural vegetation to ensure real effective- ness of spatial plans, if they would be applied.
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Aerosol ageing in an urban plume – implications for climate and health

Aerosol ageing in an urban plume – implications for climate and health

et al., 2006) and Copenhagen (Wang et al., 2010), while very few, if any, such studies have been carried out in small to midsize cities (<1 million people). Still, about 60% of the urban population of the world live in small to midsize cities (Population Div. of the Dep. of Economic and Social Affairs of the UN Secretariat), and by number they are far more common and well distributed over the globe than those who live in

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Sustainable and integrated urban planning and governance in metropolitan and medium-sized cities

Sustainable and integrated urban planning and governance in metropolitan and medium-sized cities

In all, it is possible to conclude that both the Barcelona and the Évora ISUDs present important and potentially replicable elements of sustainable urban planning, in particular at the level of their participatory approaches. Overall, it can be argued that the process of formulating the ISUD has given an impetus to sustainable strategic planning and development at city level in both cities, supported by extensive consultation of local stakeholders. However, their main impact in achieving the designed strategies requires a deeper analysis based on the examination of the trends of concrete outcome, result, and impact indicators. This evaluation process requires, in our view, wider transparency from both municipalities, since no evaluation reports are yet available for public consultation. As such, it is yet too soon to fully understand how different the effects from the implementation of ISUD are to plans in the analysed case-studies. What is possible to conclude from the collected evidence is that the approach to strategic planning in both cases do not vary widely in terms of structure and substance, since both cities have neighbourhoods facing similar socioeconomic challenges. However, it is crucial to point out that, comparatively speaking, Évora faces far more severe challenges, in particular in its historic centre, which faces severe depopulation trends.
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Quantitative methods in spatial conservation planning integrating climate change and uncertainties

Quantitative methods in spatial conservation planning integrating climate change and uncertainties

prediction for the southwest of Europe under the A1FI and A2 scenarios (Schroter et al. 2005). Projections also indicate that negative impacts of climate change are expected to be high among species of European conservation concern. Bird & Habitat Directive species (n=323) have higher proportions of plant and animal species losing climatic suitability in the Natura 2000 (63%±2.1, Table S2) than species in protected areas. In fact, the Natura 2000 is less effective in retaining suitable climate for plant species than sets of randomly selected unprotected areas of the same total area (p<0.001 for A1FI, A2, B1; p<0.05 for B2). For half of the remaining combinations of taxonomic groups and scenarios, the Natura 2000 provides no better buffer against climate change than areas outside the network, with the exception of birds (p<0.001) (Fig. 1). In contrast, nationally-designated protected areas are projected to retain climatic suitability for species better than randomly selected unprotected areas with the same total area (p<0.001). The one exception is amphibian species, under the A1FI scenario, where protected areas provide no better protection than randomly chosen unprotected areas. When threatened species are examined (n=53), protected areas retain climatic suitability no better than randomly selected unprotected areas for birds and reptiles (under the A1FI and A2 scenario), but they retain suitable ranges for the other taxa and climate scenarios well (P<0.05 or 0.01, see Table S1). Differences in changes of climate suitability between protected areas and Natura 2000 are partly related with topography. Most protected areas are in mountains (median altitude=367.40 meters) or rugged environments (median standard deviation, SD, of altitude=814.90). The Natura 2000 also prioritizes farmlands and these are located in lower (median altitude=324.69) and flatter lands (median SD of altitude=638.08). Indeed, altitude and SD of altitude for the Natura 2000 were measured for the fraction of land that does not overlap with protected areas. Differences in altitude (Wilcoxon W=13.4e6) and SD of altitude (W=11.6e6) between protected and Natura 2000 areas are significant (P<0.001). Because proportional range losses arising from climate change are usually more pronounced in flatlands than in rugged terrains (Peterson 2003; Loarie et al. 2009), the Natura 2000 is more vulnerable to climate change.
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Differences and connections: beyond universal theories in planning, urban, and heritage studies

Differences and connections: beyond universal theories in planning, urban, and heritage studies

The annual AESOP Young Academics (AESOP-YA) conference, entitled Differences and Connections, was held for the first time in a Southern Italian city, Palermo, Italy, 23-26 March 2015.  The call for papers attracted a wide range of authors within the field of planning and other related fields. Forty-five contributions by young academic scholars, representing nineteen countries, were selected by the conference scientific committee to critically explore the themes of the conference.

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Urban Climate Governance in the Amazon

Urban Climate Governance in the Amazon

The Earth System is facing boundaries to high anthropogenic pressures and, to create a safe operating space on Earth, the Planetary Boundary (PB) Framework has estimated nine global boundaries 1 (Rockstrom et al. 2009 ). Although this framework, provides us with a “planetary playing field”, Raworth ( 2012 ) points to its missing “social dimension”: It describes a safe, but not necessarily a just operating space. With the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, Steffen et al. ( 2015 ) updated the PB Framework and placed it into the social context of the SDGs but did not provide pathways for just development inside 1 The nine planetary boundaries are: Stratospheric ozone depletion; Loss of biosphere integrity; Chemical pollution; Climate Change; Ocean acidification and the release of novel entities; Fresh- water consumption and the global hydrological cycle; Land system change; Nitrogen and phosphorus flows to the biosphere and oceans; and Atmospheric aerosol loading.
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Vegetation fragment influence over urban climate

Vegetation fragment influence over urban climate

Vegetated areas are important to provide environmental quality for the human population that lives in the neighborhood and to avoid natural disasters, such as erosion processes. The monitoring of forest fragments and green areas in urban environment is important to an efficient management of the vegetation. This study aimed to identify the influence of the vegetation over the urban climate. The Leaf Area Index (LAI), Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) and surface temperature were considered to be used to monitoring the air temperature. Different vegetation coverture in distinct areas of a big city, as Recife-PE-Brazil, is responsible for the environmental quality conditions, mainly those related to the air temperature and humidity, providing comfortable conditions for the human population. It is indispensable the monitoring these vegetated areas to optimize the quality life in big cities.
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Urban Planning, neurosciences and comtemplation for improving well-being in our cities

Urban Planning, neurosciences and comtemplation for improving well-being in our cities

Agnieszka Anna Olszewska, Paulo Farinha Marques , Fernando Barbosa University of Porto, Porto, Portugal ABSTRACT: This paper presents the results of a pilot experiment which is a part of research attempting to prove that specific space-design strategies can induce contemplative states, as indexed by neurophysiologic measures of mindfulness. This study establishes an important dialogue between artistic and scientific disciplines: landscape architecture, urban studies, neurosciences and traditions of meditation, for finding methods that will enable improvement of well-being in cities by urban green open space design. The innovative part of the investigation is usage of EEG (electroencephalography) laboratory methods for evaluation of impacts of designed urban landscape settings on brain and mental states. This interdisciplinary approach is to create a tool for contemplative space design. It shows how to implement these findings in a design practice by highlighting the importance of particular, so called “contemplative design", and for creating restorative landscapes in our cities. Finding the right design techniques can provide a significant contribution to green space design with inclusion of stress reduction and mental health improvement strategies. The pilot experiment is a proof of concept and showed that the applied framework can serve well for further experiments. It also managed to establish a new reliable method of contemplative landscapes evaluation.
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Integrated system architecture for decision-making and urban planning in smart cities

Integrated system architecture for decision-making and urban planning in smart cities

Research and development of applications for smart cities are extremely relevant considering the various problems that population growth will bring to large urban centers in the next few years. Although research on cyber-physical systems, cloud computing, embedded devices, sensor and actuator networks, and participatory sensing, among other paradigms, is driving the growth of solutions, there are a lot of challenges that need to be addressed. Based on these observations, in this work, we present an integrated system architecture for decision-making support and urban planning by introdu- cing its building blocks (termed components): sensing/actuation, local processing, communication, cloud platform, and application components. In the sensing/actuation component, we present the major relevant resources for data collec- tion, identification devices, and actuators that can be used in smart city solutions. Sensing/actuation component is fol- lowed by the local processing component, which is responsible for processing, decision-making support, and control in local scale. The communication component, as the connection element among all these components, is presented with an emphasis on the open-access metropolitan area network and cellular networks. The cloud platform is the essential component for urban planning and integration with electronic governance legacy systems, and finally, the application component, in which the government administrator and users have access to public management tools, citizen services, and other urban planning resources.
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Family planning among women in urban and rural areas in Serbia

Family planning among women in urban and rural areas in Serbia

In our study, the respondents with better financial status use condoms more frequently, while the financial status is not significant in respondents applying CI as a method of contraception. According to the results of the national health survey (2006), the use of contraceptives was signifi- cantly lower in poor than in the rich category of women; this is explained by the fact that there is a problem of af- fordability of women of lower socio-economic status [9]. The authors who have examined the influence of the socio- demographic factors on the contraceptive use, confirmed the positive correlation between the educational level, age and socio-economic status with the use of the contracep- tives in general and the application of more efficient meth- ods of contraception [25, 26, 27, 14].
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Participation, scenarios and pathways in long-term planning for climate change adaptation

Participation, scenarios and pathways in long-term planning for climate change adaptation

Second, a shared future vision was achieved, despite the different stakeholder views and inter- ests. This vision was shaped by two goals: preserving the ecological beauty of the landscape, and maintaining the current shoreline. Future storyline B described sequential adaptation actions for holding the shoreline at the cost of extremely high financial investments and a grey landscape of hard engineering constructions. Participants criticized this storyline and hoped to keep the natural ecosystem while protecting people and goods. yet it is questionable whether keeping the current ways of living on the coast is possible, given the potential risks posed by climate change impacts in a system already extremely affected by coastal erosion. Conversely, hard engineering measures may result in a new technical landscape which radically alters local governance structures, cultures and practices (Kates et al., 2012 ). Participants appeared to understand that an undesirable systems collapse could be more difficult to prevent (Park et al., 2012 ) if the diverse types of measures were not thought through. Although the measures proposed were aiming towards an incremental adaptation process (i.e. maintaining the core functioning and structures of the shoreline), the end result could be trans- formational. That is, if hard engineering interventions predominate in the future, the socio-ecological system is likely to be radically altered (Park et al., 2012 ).The shared vision may have motivated local action, yet it has been far from realistic, as the two primary goals are essentially conflictual. Ultimately, a reflection on the limits to adaptation (Dow et al., 2013 ) was missing from the discussions and should be integrated in future planning stages.
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Critical cities. Learning from extreme urban contexts, paths for sustainable urban planning in New Delhi and beyond

Critical cities. Learning from extreme urban contexts, paths for sustainable urban planning in New Delhi and beyond

meet its objectives, not only due to continuous delays but mainly as a consequence of succeeding events, independence and partition between India and Pakistan (1947), that leaded to a huge population influx. Urban development model under the colonial period was mainly based on the interests of the British Empire. Indian people had minimum influence in policy or decision-making across administration scales. The garden-city model based on principles of social progress and environmental concerns that emerged under a scenario of precarious working and leaving conditions in British industrial cities was appropriated and (re)contextualized into an urban model based on social segregation and the representation of colonial generating a bi-polar city, New Delhi (planned for government and administrators) and Old Delhi (not addressed by planning systems).
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Retail planning and urban resilience

Retail planning and urban resilience

Because retail has been both acquiring a growing role in the ur- ban economy and becoming a key element in the experience and urban fabric of the contemporary city ( Clarke, 2003; Jayne, 2006 ), urban sustainability has been associated with preserving balanced retail systems set in diverse facilities and shopping environments ( ODPM, 2005 ; Dept for Communities and Local Government, 2009 ) that are able to respond efficiently to the needs, wants and desires of different kinds of consumers. Cities with an efficient net- work of centers that deliver goods and services to the vicinity should be more sustainable than the ones without such a network. Moreover, neighborhood liveability is a dimension of urban sus- tainability ( Knox & Mayer, 2009 ), and retail is undoubtedly an ele- ment of that liveability; a richer retail and service supply at the community or neighborhood level reinforces community ties and cohesion, and increases quality of life. A retail district’s vitality and viability can only be sustained through the resilience of differ- ent retailers and the diversity of local supply, including products and services, as revealed by research presented in this special issue.
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Urban fire risk: Evaluation and emergency planning

Urban fire risk: Evaluation and emergency planning

[4] A. Lec¸ a Coelho, Building conservation and rehabilitation from the point of view of fire safety, in: A.B. Coelho, J.V. Paiva (Eds.), Conservac¸ ão e reabilitac¸ ão de edifícios recentes, Caderno Edifícios CAD 5, first ed., LNEC, Lisbon, Portugal, 2010.

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