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Climate change and Surat City


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A study of Interdisciplinary Planning and Climate Sectors and the Impact on Development in low elevation coastal zones: A Case of Surat City

A study of Interdisciplinary Planning and Climate Sectors and the Impact on Development in low elevation coastal zones: A Case of Surat City

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  • 1. A study of Interdisciplinary Planning and Climate Sectors and the Impacton Development in low elevation coastal zones: A Case of Surat City Omkar G. Parishwad Masters of Urban and Regional Planning Student, SPA BhopalAbstract:Today, planners have the opportunity and obligation to address the challenge of global climate change.The planning profession and the process of planning are uniquely suited to help communities rise to thischallenge of inculcating the climatic parameters in the process of development. We are trying tounderstand these impacts of climatic change on the super system of Urban Planning for Development.After grounding the major climatic impacts on development, we will look into the micro level planning,reinstating our interdisciplinary studies in these sectors for development. Low Elevation coastal zone(LECZ) houses almost 13% of World’s urban population and two thirds of world’s large cities with morethan 5 million population. These areas are not only environmentally delicate, but also house some of themost important economic activities (McGranahan, Balk and Anderson 2007). According to IPCCpredictions, sea level can rise between 8-88cm between 2000-2100 AD (IPCC, 2001). A 1m rise in sealevel will have massive impact on land up to 10m above current MSL. With the increase in tendencyamong people and development to move towards the coasts, sea level rise is a serious issue to beconsidered in developmental decisions. For a coastal area that is prone to sea level rise, there should beserious consideration in developing coastal areas that should take into account the relationship betweenanthropogenic activities within these zones and environmental impacts of sea level rise.Introduction:The earth is getting warmer and it will continue to do so well into the future, creating a wide range ofimpacts that include sea-level rise, droughts, and heat waves. The key question is how fast and howsevere the impacts will be and whether we can adopt policies for mitigating and adapting to these impacts.Climatologists reporting for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seehuman activities as almost certainly the major contributor to current global warming and express growingfears that such warming will accelerate in the coming years with potentially devastating impacts.In recent years, new scientific findings and media coverage have brought the issue of climate change tothe attention of planners, lawmakers and the public. Each of the last three decades has consecutively beenthe warmest on record, validating the IPCC contention that climate system warming is “unequivocal.”Scientists anticipate climate change impacts that include accelerated sea-level rise, drier conditions in theSouth-western United States, higher amounts of precipitation in northern states, and more frequent heatwaves in every region of the U.S. These conditions make it imperative than planners and policymakerswork immediately to implement new policies to address climate change.Scientists believe that the effects of human induced global warming cannot be eliminated because of thevolume of greenhouse gases (GHG) already emitted into the atmosphere., The IPCC 2007 Summary forPolicy Makers states that “(b)oth past and future anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions will continue tocontribute to warming and sea-level rise for more than a millennium, due to the time scales required forremoval of this gas from the atmosphere.” Scientists also note that the rate and volume of future GHG
  • 2. emissions can be reduced, lessening the extent of dangerous impacts on ecosystems, communities andhuman health.Consequently, responses to climate change can be put into one of two categories. Responses intended toaddress the “cause” of human-induced climate change (e.g., production of CO2 and other greenhouse gasemissions and deforestation) through reductions in vehicle-miles travelled, green building techniques, andreforestation are classified as mitigation measures. Efforts to address the “symptoms" of climate change(e.g., drought, intense precipitation, sea- level rise, and heat waves) through water resource management,storm water control, coastal hardening, and providing shelters for at-risk populations can be consideredmeasures of adaptation.The built environment is a primary contributor to climate change and GHG emissions. Roughly 50percent of human-caused GHG emissions result from heating and cooling buildings and from transportingpeople and goods. Planners have significant opportunities to reduce emissions from these sources throughpromotion of multimodal transportation alternatives, compact development patterns, energy-efficientbuilding siting and design, urban forestry, local foods, conservation of natural areas and resources,sustainable capital investments and economic development, low impact development practices, and manyother initiatives and activities.Additionally, both the built and natural environments are at risk from climate change impacts that willoccur regardless of the extent to which GHG emissions are mitigated. Flooding, drought, stronger storms,sea-level rise, and higher temperatures will challenge the resilience of built and natural systems. Plannershave the opportunity to help their communities adapt to these impacts by identifying vulnerablepopulations and ecosystems and developing plans to enhance their resilience.Change in Climate Impact on Urban areasTemperature Increased Energy Demands (heating/cooling) Air quality/ urban heat islands..Precipitation Increased Risk of Flooding, Landslides, distress migration..Sea level Rise Coastal Flooding, agriculture & tourism affected, salinization..Extreme Rainfall/ Cyclones More intense flooding, landslides, disruption to livelihoods, damage to city economies..Drought Water shortage, high food price, disruption of hydro-electricity, migration from rural areas..Heat/Cold waves Increase in energy demands (heating/cooling)Abrupt/Extreme climate Population movements, significant impacts from sea-level rise, temperatureChanges change, Biological changes..Types and Levels in Climate Changes
  • 3. Sea Level Rise:The projected increase in global warming by the middle of the next century ranges from 1.5 to 4.5 deg C.(Barth and Titus, 1984). Sea level changes can be of two types: (1) changes in the mean sea level /Eustatic and (2) changes in the extreme sea level/local. The former is a global phenomenon while thelatter is a regional phenomenon. (Unnikrishnan, Kumar, Fernandes, Sharon, Michael, Patwardhan, 2006),these impacts will depend not only on local geomorphologic factors but also on the climatic fluctuationsand the coastal practices of the region. While the eustatic rise in sea level is uniform the rise in relativesea level and consequent impacts are essentially regional. The choice of response will also necessarilyhave to be location and resource specific, given the variations in these effects in the socio economiccharacteristics of the region and in the response capabilities of nations.A rise in sea level represents a potential threat to existing coastal economic, social and environmentalsystems. The effects of sea level rise can be classified into four broad categories: Physical,ecological/environmental, socio economic and legal & institutional. Increasing trade and market drivenmovements, often supported by government incentives are still attracting people to the coast. This hasalso led to an increase in net in-migration to these zones world over. The main driver of city expansion (orstagnation or contraction) is where new or expanding profit seeking enterprises choose to concentrate (oravoid). This is also largely true for how each urban centre develops - as the localities or districts withinand around the urban centres with the most rapidly growing population is associated with where new orexpanding economic activities concentrate (torres, Alves, Aparecida de Oliviera, 2007). Attempts bygovernment to change the spatial distribution of their urban population or of the economic activities thatunderpin urban development can impose high economic costs - as this undermines the economic successof enterprises. Therefore, it is important to look at the vulnerability of both natural resources and thehuman activities that are dependent on it. Broadly SLR will affect land, people and their activities andnatural environment and ecosystem. Potential land lost to SLR is due to inundation and erosion. This ismainly because there are large areas within 1 m elevation of present high water partly reflecting theextensive areas of natural and claimed intertidal habitataround the world‟s shores. Above 1m elevation, land area isan almost linear as a function of elevation, although thethreatened area does diminish slowly with elevation. Over5x10^6 sq. km lies within 10m of the mean high water levelsand 8x 10^6 Sq. km lies within 20m of mean high waterlevels across the globe (Brooks,Nicholls,Hall,2006).Erosion is the physical removal of materials from coastalareas which is likely to increase as a result of SLR .Thesimple „rule of thumb‟ from the Bruun Rule suggests thaterosion is roughly 100 times the rise in Sea level(Nicholls,1998). Inundation is likely to be more importantprocess than erosion (Walkden and Hall, 2005). Populationand activities are under risk from inundation and flood. A1995 estimate puts almost 60 million people to live within 1mand 275 million within 5m from mean sea level. These figures Hazira Topography. (Source: CEPT, 2004)are projected to increase to some 130 and 410 millionrespectively by the end of the 21st century (Nicholls, 2004). Therefore, assuming a constant population or
  • 4. spatially uniform population growth, roughly 10% of the World‟s population could be displaced by a 10mrise in Sea level and 15% of the World‟s population could be displaced by a 20m rise in Sea level. Whentrends are extrapolated to the decade of 2080s and assuming to be fixed thereafter, 0.9 to 2.6 billionpeople might have to be relocated away from land threatened by inundation.The Case: Hazira, Surat.Hazira is one of India‟s and Gujarat‟s most significant industrial concentrations, located along the westernseacoast just off the city of Surat. The Hazira area has a large concentration of nearly 20 medium and largeindustries with a combined capital investment of over Rs. 350,000 million (2003). This is expected to riseto over Rs. 500,000 million (2025) of investment in the near future and represents nearly a third of theindustrial investment in Gujarat and a tenth of its economic output. The Hazira area has many strategicadvantages, including easy access to the sea, a major trunk railway network; ensured energy supplies;connectivity to a major city and trading centre with well-established institutions of commerce, industryand education.During the last two decades (1981 to 2001) Hazira has witnessed phenomenal growth in terms ofindustrial activities, resulting in mammoth investment in very strategic areas. With better linkage to theGolden corridor and the available sea front, it has attracted few of the major industries such as ONGC,KRIBHCO, L&T, ESSAR etc. to set up their industries in this area. Hazira is a classic example of portand infrastructure lead development, a stand taken by Gujarat government to promote industrial growthin the state.The physical boundary of Hazira is defined b y waterfront on three sides. On the southern side,flows the river Tapi, on the western part is the Arabian Sea and on the northern part is the Tenacreek. On the eastern part it is linked with Surat city. The river Tapi flows throughout the Suratdistrict and merges the Arabian Sea on the southern part of Hazira region. At the southern part itbifurcates into two branches near the village Kavas - Limla. The right branch flows towards theagricultural lands of the Mora and Suvali villages making an island known as Gajrabet & Aliyabet.This branch of river is navigable and useful for small boats, powerboats, barges and ships. However,navigability of this section has been reduced.Hazira has a total coastline of 30 kms starting from southern tip Contour height Total land(Hazira village) upto the northern part of Tena creek. The 1‐3m 32Arabian sea forms two sea water insurges in the villages of 4‐5m 50Rajagiri and Suvali along its coast. This causes flooding during 6‐7m 54high tide and monsoons. The villages Suvali, Mora, Vansva,Damka, are affected due to this (CEPT, 2004). Area selected for 8‐9m 25study consists of notified area of Hazira measuring 168 Sqkm. 10 m and above 7The whole area has been subdivided into unit squares of approximately 0.5 Sqkm each. But the totalland available for development after reducing water bodies and wetlands is 106 Sqkm.The Government of Gujarat has identified Hazira as a thrust area for major industrial development. Thelocation advantages of this area have attracted several large and medium scale private, public and jointsector industries. Most of these units use natural gas as their basic resource. Approximately 20 largeand medium sized industries are located in Hazira. It houses industries like KRIBHCO, L&T, ONGC,IOC, NTPC, Reliance, ESSAR etc came into existence.
  • 5. The bulk of the existing industrial plants are located along the river or seaside to enable access to thewater for transportation. However, this has placed them directly in the plain, inter-tidal zone or alongthe CRZ – exposing them to considerable risk to water related hazards. Two major driving forces forindustrial development in this area are availability of cheap land and natural gas via ONGC‟s offshorepipeline from Bombay High. The ready availability of gas is expected to enable the significant expansionof existing facilities and development of new medium and large-scale industries in the area in future.In order to service these industries, two ports at Hazira and adjoining port of Magdalla, significantinvestments in terms of port and berthing facilities and emphasis on development of better infrastructurefacilities has been addressed in the master plan prepared for 2025 (CEPT,2004).The estimated current capital investment in the region is over Rs 365,000 million. Close to Rs 190,000million of proposed investment is awaiting environmental clearance. In addition to this, a significantvolume of investment is expected to flow into the Hazira area with the expansion of current industrialunit capacity and in response to the new multiple purposes all weather Shell port that is being developed.The projected total investment is expected to exceed Rs 550,000 million.Using the Incremental Capital Output Ratio (ICORs) for the Gujarat economy, the estimated gross valueof sales of the current investment in the Hazira is close to Rs 650,000 million (at current prices). This isexpected to rise over Rs 1,000,000 million once new units in the pipeline are established. Using aconservative estimate of 20 percent of gross value added of gross sales, the current Gross ValueAdded (GVA) could be estimated at Rs 130,000 million. Future the GVA could rise to close to Rs.200,000 million.This would place Hazira at close to 27 percent of the industrial investment in Gujarat and about11percent of the GVA of the state. This massive industrial concentration is, therefore, critical not only toGujarat but also to the Indian economy.The bulk of the Hazira peninsula consists of inter-tidal region and coastal plains with low ridges onwhich traditional settlements are located. Before its industrial development and intervention of laying ofroads and other structures, there would have been a largely unimpeded flow of tidal waters in and out ofHazira as can be observed from topography map from the Survey of India (CEPT, 2004).The physical consequences of sea level rise can be broadly classified into three categories: shorelineretreat, temporary flooding and salt intrusion. The most obvious consequence of a rise in sea level wouldbe permanent flooding (inundation) of low-lying areas. Many coastal areas with sufficient elevation toavoid inundation would be threatened by a different cause of shoreline retreat: erosion. It also alters therelationship of shore profile to water level. With this context it is important to look at the existing hazardrisks of Hazira.The above table shows that a 1m rise in sea level would have a dangerous impact on the existingindustries and infrastructure as well as the proposed ones. But unlike other hazards, Sea level rise isnot a one-time process it is a gradual phenomenon. Therefore Time becomes an important factor fordetermining the impact SLR will have on the economy of a place. With the above knowledge ontopography, hazard vulnerability and the resources of the Hazira region, it is necessary to work outthe critical year and the subsequent economic loss. For this, two levels of analysis has been conductedone to arrive at the critical year and the other at the economic loss.
  • 6. Adaptation and MitigationIn order to answer these questions, it is necessary to first look in detail what is adaptation and mitigationand how it will affect the current industrial, land use regulations and coastal management policies.Analytical Framework:There are numerous methods that areavailable to prevent, mitigate andrespond to erosion, flooding and saltwater intrusion from sea level rise.Communities and individuals mustdecide whether to attempt to protectthemselves from the consequences ofsea level rise or adapt to them.Generally, prevention will beeconomically justifiable only atvaluable locations such as populationcentres, defence installations, historical sites and areas of environmental importance.Prevention of erosion requires keeping waves from attacking the shore. This is generally achieved byintercepting the waves offshore or by armouring beach itself. Offshore breakwaters limit the size ofincoming waves. Revetments armour the beach itself and can be useful for moderate size waves.Several means of preventing inundation and storm surge also serve to limit erosion. Seawalls, levees andbulkheads are vertical wall structures made of materials of various strengths, depending on the size of thewaves. With a rising sea, however these structures may require protection themselves. Adjustment to the physical consequences of a sea level rise may sometimes be more appropriatethan prevention. Policies must address this issue to prevent subsequent losses to effects due to sea levelrise. In the case of Hazira, there are two sets of industries: 1) Already existing ones 2) proposedindustries. Issue of adaptation of these industries must be dealt differently at policy level. Therefore, itis necessary to review the current Industrial policy of Gujarat. Also coastal management must put inplace regulations for such heavy developments along coasts. Development control regulations ofurban bodies, in the case of Hazira, regulations made by Surat urban development Authority werereviewed.Adaptation and mitigation measures at various levels:According to coastal regulations Hazira falls in the CRZ-III zone i.e. Areas that are relativelyundisturbed and those, which do not belong to either Category-I or II. These will include coastal zonein the rural areas (developed and undeveloped) and also areas within Municipal limits or in other legallydesignated urban areas that are not substantially built up. Major observations after studying the CRZ-IIIare:• The existing industries in Hazira have encroached the 500m mark from the high tide line.• Also existing construction and filling up of low-lying areas for industries has altered the original tidelines.
  • 7. • The proposed industrial development (Hazira Area Master plan) also do not completely follow CRZ III regulation.This calls for reworking the CRZ regulations and HTL. With the gradual increase in SLR, which is boundto happen in another 100-years‟ time, it is important to decide on the shifting HTL and howdevelopment should address this issue. It requires a detailed analysis of the current land use anddevelopment control regulations and areas of intervention at the local level.The most fundamental question suggested by the study on effects of sea level rise is whether to retreator hold back the sea. Scientists have predicted the gradual conversion of agricultural and higherproductive land into wetlands. Few suggestions in literature includes government to purchase land orMeasures Policies for reviewMitigation Higher level (national / International) policy options Local level mitigation measures (permanent and temporary structures)Adaptation Existing Industries Industry rehabilitation Industrial Incentives to combat natural disasters Proposed Industries Land use regulation Coastal zone management Industries location policyprohibit development, but the usefulness of this approach is limited due to high expense in purchase ofland and the assumptions in sea level rise predictions. To channel new economic development to highground whenever possible would be the most highly recommended suggestion.Hazira area is governed by Hazira notified area authority and is proposed to have an independentgoverning authority called Hazira Area Development Authority. Looking at most of the cities and theirgovernance structure, the land use zoning is done by city urban development authority. A partof the 168 Sq. Km of Hazira areas lies in Surat Urban development authority (SUDA) and thegrowth of this area is governed by SUDAGDCR – General Development control regulations.Surat urban development Authority‟s Development control regulation has been reviewed for land usezoning restrictions in hazard prone areas and how it addresses the issue of industrial location. Majorfindings include:• The frequency/return period of floods and storm surge/cyclone in Hazira is very high for 100yr return period.• Current GDCRs provides options of physical intervention in flood-affected areas, than future safe zoning of such areas.• Hazira though falls under the category of land mentioned under para 6, the developments
  • 8. are not according to that.• This clause may be applicable in Hazira, however steps taken to implement this is yet to be looked into.It is clear from this analysis that development control regulations must not only look at Hazira as a hubof economic activities but also from vulnerability of these economic activities to an environmental threatthat is gradual. This questions the relevance of adaptation options for the existing industries, which hasfurther life span of more than 25 years, and for the proposed industries to be located within the HaziraNotified Area. This calls for a separate development model for Hazira notified area and such similarprecincts dotting Indian coastline. This leaves us with major questions: What could be the adaptationstrategy for areas similar to Hazira that have high economic productivity and high threat from naturaldisasters? What are the policy level interventions to be made and who all will be the major players?Currently these are the grey areas and need immediate attention not only at the micro level but alsoat the macro decision-making level.Adaptation Strategies:Adaptation strategies could be at two levels:• Micro adaptation strategies• Meso level adaptation strategiesFactors that affect investment in Hazira and adaptation strategies at various levels
  • 9. Micro adaptation strategiesIn areas like Hazira, micro level adaptation strategies can be more effective than larger area or meso levelstrategies.This can be further sub divided into:MESO LEVEL: Region specific and Activity specific and,MICRO LEVEL: Site specific and Industry specific.It is interesting to note at the global front what are the strategies adopted for adaptation to sea level rise atmicro levels:• Rising dykes all along the vulnerable areas• Abandoning of low lying areas• Shifting all activities to highlands• Building sea wall and rising structures on stilts• Land use planning policy to reflect a “h o l d off wait and see” attitude; moratorium on development.• Create a margin of liberty for the sea (review, alter and condemn the building zone)• Cost benefit analysis of protection options, study and model possible features.• Create a condition for possible retreat (accompany the population on economic, social and psychological levels)• Redistribute local economy• A combination of accommodation and retreat is more likely the adaptation strategy.In all the above cases the adaptation strategy could be through physical measures or policy measures.But this may have impact on the site as well as its surroundings, unique to each case.With the above said strategies, if we try to analyze the case of Hazira, there are three levels of adaptationthat one needs to address:• Disaster preparedness and awareness among the investors and the region as a whole• Time of highest impact having an effect on the type of industries and industry lifecycle.• Land use zoning and how it affects the existing industries and proposed ones.All of these will directly impact the investments in Hazira. Thus this calls for coordination from variousgovernment agencies to develop a development model for regions of high economic value and worstaffected by natural disasters. Various agencies and statutory bodies responsible and their functions havebeen identified, while, it is beyond the scope of this study to designate the levels of intervention.ConclusionA 1m sea level rise is bound to happen anytime between 2000 to 2100 AD. With the rise many of thelow elevation coastal zones are going to be adversely affected in terms of economic as well as socialloss. India with its long coastline and large investments along the coast will be one among the worstaffected. The effect can be felt especially in large coastal investment hubs such as Mumbai, Cochin, Surat,etc. on the western coastal strip of India. Gujarat being the most industrialized state with the largest
  • 10. coastline will be one of the worst hit in terms of economic development.The most important factor here is the time at which the region will be worst hit. The main aim of thestudy was to develop an analytical framework for determining the decision making to locate aneconomic activity in such low elevation coastal zones threatened by sea level rise. A case of Hazira wasused to demonstrate the effects and the probable time of maximum threat with various sea level risescenarios. In the context of Hazira one needs to consider both mitigation and adaptation options, eventhough the country has very limited scope for mitigation. This is because mitigation options involveglobal efforts to execute and adaptation options are more local in nature. So, effective adaptationpolicies should be developed and implemented to minimize sea level rise impacts on Hazira.Hazira was used to demonstrate the ill effects of planning economic centres with little emphasis togradual environmental threat like sea level rise. There are many more such vulnerable sites attractinglarge scale investments all along the Western as well as Eastern coast of Peninsular India. Most of thecurrent development activities have been planned without taking into consideration a potential threatfrom natural hazard such as sea level rise. Therefore, with a potential threat like sea level rise and withits numerous manifestations and high uncertainties, will have a massive impact on our country‟sotherwise potential LECZs. It is high time we channelize the current growth taking into consideration thefuture threat instead of troubleshooting. This calls for better understanding of current and futurescenarios with coordination from various stakeholders at macro, meso and micro levels includingstate and central government to take precautions and policy level interventions at both physical as well aspolicy levels.Planners have been involved in activities that have had positive climate change impacts for a long time.Efforts to combat sprawl through promotion of a more compact land use pattern, for instance, result infewer vehicle-miles travelled, reducing the amount of greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere.Virtually every community has a natural disaster response plan that can be modified to help citizens adaptto climate change effects. However, these different efforts have seldom been placed under the umbrella ofclimate change. As a result, there are few comprehensive efforts to address climate change at the localgovernment level.This is starting to change.For the last decade, planners have rightly focused on smart growth and sustainability but have not alwaysseen them as directly connected to climate change. The American Planning Association ratified policyguides on both topics, in addition to this one for climate change. Innovation in these areas has beenimportant; however, the growing climate crisis and the emerging policies to address it make it essentialfor planners to respond to climate change issues now. Policy action on climate change is happening acrossthe nation. More than 500 cities have pledged to significantly lower their emissions and, the majority ofstates now have special commissions or adopted action plans on climate change. Nearly half have alreadyset overall GHG emission or vehicle-based GHG emission targets. Many have developed adaptationplans. The American Planning Association maintains a resource database on energy and climate changeissues on its webpage that chronicles the work many communities are doing in this area. Planners will becalled upon to implement many aspects of these new programs and craft plans that meet new emissiontargets and address adaptation concerns.Planning can play an important role in influencing societal actions that can slow the pace of climatechange, mitigate the effects that do occur and allow adaptation to the ultimate impacts of global warming.The planner‟s role will be extremely important because it will deal with such basic issues as communitydesign, transportation networks and use and increasing development density. Elected leaders and citizenswill rely on plans, direct
  • 11. investment, design, and development strategies that are efficient and sustainable and which comport withother community priorities. Planners will also have to address the potentialcosts imposed on households by climate change and the policies adopted to address it. The climatechallenge will require the comprehensive, long-term perspective that planning is uniquely qualified toprovide.Four ideas form a framework for this guide. First, the policy responses to climate change need to be basedon the best possible science. Because climate change is bringing aboutpreviously unrecorded conditions, projections based on new scientific modelling are the bestway to anticipate and respond. Planners must have access to vital data, information and resources to helpthem interpret these unprecedented changesSecond, the specific impacts of climate change are highly regional and even local in nature. Therefore,climate change policies cannot be based on a one-size-fits-all approach. Planners must be aware of whatthe future holds for their particular geographic region and formulate their strategies accordingly. Whileplans and policies must reflect the individual needs of local areas, any successful mitigation effort willrequire a national, and indeed international, framework for addressing GHG emission.Third, adapting to climate change is just as important as mitigating it. Planners can have a significanteffect on climate change mitigation through a variety of actions, including encouraging higher densitydevelopment, reducing vehicle-miles-travelled (VMT), using green building techniques, and supportingalternative energy sources. However, due to the extent of potential impacts projected under even the mostaggressive mitigation scenarios, planners will also need to address the effects of climate change includingrising sea levels, greater drought conditions and flood control in planning for adaptation.Finally, planners need to communicate about climate change in new and different ways. Policies that wedevelop now will have a long-range timeframe. Given that it is often hard to keep people engaged overeven the short-term, planners will need new communication tools to explain climate change issues andmaintain the focus on long-term adaptation and mitigation responses. Citizen participation andengagement is vital to the success of climate change efforts.Planning is vital because of its comprehensive approach to the built environment, but traditionalapproaches are not enough to mitigate and adapt to climate change.. A dramatic new response to climatechange is required. Business as usual or small, marginal reforms will not suffice. The nation and ourcommunities must commit to incorporating climate change considerations in a thorough, comprehensivenew approach to physical, social and economic planning. Planners must promote this major shift in thepublic policies that drive development decisions, growth and infrastructure investment.Vulnerable Vulnerability Indicators AdaptationSectorsLand and Low elevation Population Pressure 1. Develop flood control measures for islands.Beach 2. Protect house reef to maintain natural defence of islands.Human 1. Housing designs, structures and 3. Strengthen land-use planning as a tool for protectionSettlements materials are not adapted to of human settlements. flooding. 4. Improve building designs to increase resilience. 2. The flooring of houses does not have adequate elevation from the ground.Critical 1. The infrastructure of the two 3. Installation of system of protective barriers (calledInfrastructure international airports is within tetra pods).
  • 12. 50m of the coastline1.Airport 4. Diversify the tourist Impacts and Vulnerabilities 2. In the islands, 80% of the product to reduce over-dependency on marine2.Power powerhouses are located within environment.Houses 100m of coastlineTourism 1. Most of the beaches are the 3. Mainstreaming adaptation in the design of the hotspots of the tourism industry. tourism related structures like, elevating the structures and use of flood resistant materials 2. The resorts catering to the tourists are at very low elevation from the mean sea level.Water 1. The freshwater aquifer lying Promote healthy islands and healthy buildings.resources beneath the islands is shallow, 1 to 1.5m below the surface.Smart Growth, Sustainability and Climate Change ResponsesMany communities have invested considerable effort in producing smart growth and sustainability plansto encourage a more effective and efficient use of resources, to promote sound fiscal policy, and toachieve infrastructure, economic development, social equity, and environmental objectives. Virtually allof these initiatives have positive outcomes for climate change responses. For example, a more compact,interconnected development pattern reduces vehicle emissions (a climate change goal) while promotingefficient use of infrastructure, public health and environmental stewardship (all smartgrowth/sustainability goals).Consequently, it is important for planners to recognize that many climate change responses are ones thatcan be undertaken for a variety of other important reasons. There is a demonstrated synergy betweenreducing GHG emissions and fiscal and environmental sustainability, or between improving communityresilience to climate change impacts and smart growth infrastructure decisions. Decision makers may bemore inclined to reduce commuter costs than to reduce GHG emissions, for example, allowing planners tomake progress in climate change responses in an indirect fashion.By promoting the synergy between smart growth, sustainability and climate change mitigation andadaptation, planners can affect positive outcomes through a so-called “no regrets” approach, wherebyactions taken to adapt to or mitigate climate change are ones that should be taken anyway for otherreasons related to smart growth and sustainability.Social Equity and Climate ChangePlanners are required to address social equity in their work as part of APA‟s AICP Code of Ethics andProfessional Conduct. As Hurricane Katrina and heat wave mortality figures teach us, lower income andelderly populations are more at risk and will bear the brunt of many climate change impacts. Additionally,indigenous populations, particularly American Indians subsisting in traditional ways in the PacificNorthwest and Alaska, will also face significant difficulties disproportionate to other populations as aresult of climate change.As a consequence, planners need to ensure that the responses they develop to address the impacts ofclimate change take into account the varied needs of all sectors of the community in order to equitablymeet the significant challenges facing us.
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