Adaptation of Asian Cities to Climate Change
Chinese University of Hong Kong, Dept of Architecture, Hong Kong, China
The impacts of climate change on urban environment have been unprecedented in the last few decades. According to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, air temperature has been increased by at most 2.4°C in Asia since the mid-20th century and such an increasing trend is expected to continue in the 21st century. It results in rising sea level, increasing magnitude and frequency of extreme weather events, outbreak and spread of infectious diseases. Urban areas are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change because of the large urban population. As a result of the complex urban environment, urban heat island phenomenon further exacerbates the effect of climate change and causes implications on the health and well-being of urban population. In more vulnerable regions like South and Southeast Asia, governments have started to develop climate change strategies and action plans in order to both mitigate the impacts of climate change and adapt to current and future climate variability. Urban planning is one of the key focuses as it determines the physical settings of urban environment associated with climatic conditions at various scales. Therefore, a climate-sensitive planning and design is necessary for Asian cities to adapt to the changing climate. In particular, the role of urban planning and design in climate change adaptation will bediscussed with a focus on its effects on urban climate. Planning tools for climate-sensitive planning and design and sustainable cities will also be introduced.