How can urban planning help reduce the effects of climate change?



  1. 0 Votes
    Urban cities are often most vulnerable to the effects of climate change because of their large populations, often being located near coastlines, and mostly low and middle income groups who cannot afford to deal with flooding, storms, and other natural disasters. In the United States, millions of Americas live on these ‘heat islands’ which are responsible for “about seventy-eight percent of carbon emissions from human activities,” (“Urban Drivers of Climate“) . The tall buildings block wind and change temperatures, the traffic and polluting industries disturb air quality and emit pollution -which all contribute to climate change.
    Urban planning can help to reduce the effects of climate change by allowing more wind to circulate through cities, reducing temperatures through the use of shading and evapotranspiration, and lowering the number of preceiptation events that occur (with more precipation, there are more thunderstorms which causes increased flooding in cities). In addition, “urban air pollution from vehicles is particularly harmful,” (American Planning Association). 
    Some urban planning strategies that are suggested are (1) constructing more green buildings, or (2) changing the transportation systems so less vehicles are on the roads (ex. increase parking costs, restricting certain types of cars, developing more bike/pedestrian ways, or providing subsidized fares to those who chose to use public transportation). Some cities have even begun participating in the Urban Heat Island Pilot Project (UHIPP) in order to adopt cooling strategies for buildings, roads and planting. To read more about other urban planning strategies visit this site.

  2. 0 Votes

    Urban planning must utilitize cost effective schemes to allow residents from all income levels to participate in greening urban areas. Environmental damage risks the health of poor residents in urban areas through tainted waters supplies and poor air quality. Ultimately these factors sprout from middle and upper class consumerism which occurs on a much larger scale than the poor, even though they suffer the most. Thus a combination of green urban planning and education can not only lessen our effects on the environment but also alleviate poverty by eradicating major health problems that otherwise would occur and keep families poor.

  3. 0 Votes

    Absolutely! In my opinion, one of the best things that an urban planner can do is to make tall buildings with residences on top and businesses on the bottom. By placing residences and businesses close together and maintaining a certain vacancy rate, more people can walk or bicycle to where they work. In addition, tall, narrow buildings can leave more space free for gardens. Here is an article with a picture of what I think a green city should look like:

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