IHCantabria presents an innovative project for the adaptation of urban coastal areas to climate change: ADAPTA CITY

by | 7 Nov, 2023 | Climate Risks, Adaptation and Resilience, General News, PCM, Recovery, Transformation and Resiliency Plan | 0 comments

This project focuses on areas where coastal effects, river flooding and other climatic events may combine to increase climate risk. Its results can contribute to more effective and sustainable planning in coastal urban areas.

The Marine Science Programme (PCM) of the Environmental Hydraulics Institute of the University of Cantabria (IHCantabria) is pleased to present the project “ADAPTA-CITY”, acronym that refers to the following title: “Adaptation of urban coastal areas to climate change through flexible adaptation strategies”. The objective of this project, which began on September 1st of 2022 and will conclude in 2024, is to address critical challenges in adapting to climate change in coastal urban areas.

The formulation of this project was motivated by concern about the lack of action in response to climate events, as well as of policies and actions to establish adaptation measures in the face of the effects of climate change within the urban environment; because, if not addressed in time, this problem could entail a high cost for society. In addition, growth trends and demographic changes predict that, over the next 30 years, about 70 million people will move to urban areas each year; this will lead to two-thirds of the world’s population living in cities by 2050, generating areas of high population density and difficulties to manage them adequately. In this context, adaptation to climate change becomes an urgent necessity; therefore, it is essential to understand how urban areas can be affected by climate variations, such as temperature, precipitation and coastal effects.

ADAPTA-CITY focuses on coastal urban areas, where coastal effects, river flooding and other climate events can combine to increase climate risk. Its general objective is to improve the current scientific knowledge to develop a methodological framework to quantify the risk of climate effects in coastal urban areas and to design adaptation measures to increase the resilience of the urban territory, with special attention to coastal areas. This project pays special attention to urban infrastructures, and seeks to assist managers in the implementation of adaptation measures. To achieve this general objective, a series of specific objectives were established, such as the evaluation of existing methodologies, the development of climate analysis techniques, the creation of conceptual models for risk analysis and the planning of flexible adaptation strategies.

The development of this project focuses on basic starting points, such as the need to develop methodologies for planning adaptation measures -with the aim of reducing the risks associated with climate action-, or the importance of studying the impacts of different climatic agents, in order to carry out an adequate characterization of the risk to which urban coastal areas are subjected. The actions proposed also include the need to understand the risks under different climate change scenarios, the importance of flexibility in adaptation and in the design of measures to increase resilience, as well as the integration of external knowledge in urban and territorial planning, in order to fulfill the purpose of the project and transfer the results to the productive sector and society.

In conclusion, ADAPTA-CITY represents an innovative and collaborative effort to address one of the most pressing challenges of our time: adaptation to climate change in coastal urban areas. IHCantabria hopes that the results of this project will contribute to more effective and sustainable planning in these critical areas.

The principal investigators (PI) of the ADAPTA-CITY project are Javier L. Lara and Saúl Torres Ortega, and the researcher María Fuentes Álvarez de Eulate is responsible of its development; all of them belonging to the Climate Risk, Adaptation and Resilience Group of IHCantabria.