The ur­ban world pre­pares

Element - - Clean Technology -

New York

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has an­nounced a 250-point plan to pre­pare the city for the ef­fects of cli­mate change, af­ter di­rect and in­di­rect losses from Su­per-storm Sandy amounted to around US$19 bil­lion in dam­ages. The US$20 bil­lion plan cov­ers a range of ini­tia­tives, in­clud­ing flood de­fences, retrofitting old build­ings and en­sur­ing the se­cu­rity of the city’s power sup­ply.


Ja­pan’s cap­i­tal, which is home to about 13 mil­lion peo­ple, is flanked by rivers to the east and west, and has rivers run­ning through it. It faces 33 tril­lion yen ($322 bil­lion) in dam­ages should the banks break on the Arakawa River that bi­sects Tokyo, ac­cord­ing to govern­ment es­ti­mates. That’s more than five times the cost of Sandy in the US. The city has a his­tory of flood de­fence work go­ing back 400 years. One of the most re­cent in­no­va­tions is a 13-year in­vest­ment that has cre­ated a shaft tall enough to house the Statue of Lib­erty to feed wa­ter from five rivers into a reser­voir carved un­der­ground. In De­cem­ber 2006, the city has adopted a tar­get to re­duce its green­house gas emis­sions by 25 per cent by 2020 from the 2000 level. This has in­cluded cre­at­ing a ‘cap and trade’ sys­tem for ma­jor build­ings that re­quires them to take en­ergy ef­fi­ciency mea­sures or buy ‘cred­its’ from those who have.


Ber­lin’s Step Klima Plan ap­plies mea­sures to com­bat cli­mate change in all the city’s plan­ning de­ci­sions. It aims to sta­bilise wa­ter and eco­log­i­cal ecosys­tems in the face of chang­ing rain­fall pat­terns, pre­serve rest and recre­ation op­por­tu­ni­ties in na­ture ar­eas, open spa­ces and on Ber­lin’s water­ways, pre­vent an in­crease in the fre­quency of sewage over­flow and the re­sult­ing pol­lu­tion of Ber­lin’s wa­ter re­sources and de­velop a ‘cli­mate friendly’ city.

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