Climate Change 2001:
Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability
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7.5.5. Barriers and Opportunities for Adaptation

Table 7-2: Planning and design, management, and institutional frameworks actions for human settlements, by type of settlement.
 
Resource-Dependent
Settlements
Coastal, Riverine, and
Steeplands Settlements
Urban Settlements
Planning and Design - Increase economic diversification
- Oasis development
- Windbreaks
- Develop irrigation and water supply
- Rural planning
- Redevelop tourism and recreation industry
- Take advantage of replacement schedules for buildings and infrastructure
- Zoning in developed countries; perhaps land-use planning in developing countries
- Better building codes to limit impact of extreme events, reduce resource use
- Soft and hard measures to reduce risk of floods:
  • Reconstruction of harbor facilities and infrastructure
  • Flood barriers
  • Managed retreat (acquisition of properties; fiscal and financial incentives)
  • Hazard mapping
  • Tsunami damage-prevention facilities

- Take advantage of rapidly increasing populations for sizing infrastructure
- Take advantage of replacement schedules for buildings and infrastructure
- Use community design tools such as floodplain and hillside building practices, public transportation
- Improve sanitation, water supply, electric power distribution systems
- Employ design practices to prevent fire damage (development densities and/or lot sizes, setbacks, etc.)
- Site designs and building materials and technologies that moderate temperature extremes indoors
- Improve infrastructure and services, including water, sanitation, storm and surface water drainage, and solid waste collection and disposal
- For higher temperatures:
  • Building and planning regulations and incentives that encourage building measures to limit development of "heat islands"

- Take advantage of rapidly increasing populations for sizing infrastructure
Management - Employ countermeasures for desertification - Increase environmental education - Improve landscape management - Develop agricultural and fisheries cooperatives to reduce risk - Preserve and maintain environmental quality - Institute emergency preparedness and improve neighborhood response systems - Provide warning systems and evacuation plans; salvage; emergency services; insurance and flood relief - Better implement/enforce existing building codes - Employ special measures to promote adaptation and disaster preparedness in sites or cities at high risk from such events - Institute market-like mechanisms and more efficient management of water supplies (e.g., fix leaks) - Institute neighborhood water wholesaling and improve delivery - Institute emergency preparedness and improve neighborhood response systems - Improve health education - Institute neighborhood water wholesaling and improve delivery systems - Improve sanitation and waste disposal - Create and enforce pollution controls for solid, liquid, and gaseous wastes - Efficiently operate public transportation systems - Institute emergency preparedness and improve neighborhood response systems - Improve health education
Institutional Frameworks Build institutional capacity in environmental management - Create partnerships between all responsible parties (government, private sector, NGOs, individuals) - Regularize property rights for informal settlements and other measures to allow low-income groups to buy, rent, or build good quality housing on safe sites - Improve technology of farm machinery, herbicides, computers, etc. - Build institutional capacity in environmental management - Create partnerships between all responsible parties (government, private sector, NGOs, individuals) - Regularize property rights for informal settlements and other measures to allow low-income groups to buy, rent, or build good quality housing on safe sites - Build institutional capacity in environmental management - Create partnerships between all responsible parties (government, private sector, NGOs, individuals) - Regularize property rights for informal settlements and other measures to allow low-income groups to buy, rent, or build good quality housing on safe sites

Most urban authorities in developing regions have very little investment capacity despite rapid growth in their populations and the need for infrastructure. Problems arise from inadequate and inappropriate planning for settlements. Yet the need for planning becomes even more pressing in light of increased social, economic, and environmental impacts of urbanization; growing consumption levels; and renewed concern for sustainable development since the adoption of Agenda 21 (UNCHS, 1996). Environmental management tends to be more difficult in very large cities (WRI, 1996). Although there are commitments from developed countries in Article 4.4 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to assist particularly vulnerable countries with adaptation, the financial resources needed to provide services to tens of millions of people are daunting.

Increasingly, settlements are exchanging ideas concerning methods and experiences for community design and management to improve sustainability and livability. For example, ICLEI is an association of local governments dedicated to prevention and solution of local, regional, and global environmental problems through local action. More than 300 cities, towns, counties, and their associations from around the world are members of the Council (ICLEI, 1995).

Environmentally sound land-use planning is central to achievement of healthy, productive, and socially accountable human settlements within societies whose draw on natural resources and ecosystems is sustainable. The challenge is not only how to direct and contain urban growth but also how to mobilize human, financial, and technical resources to ensure that social, economic, and environmental needs are addressed adequately (UNCHS, 1996).



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