Groundwork London – an environmental regeneration charity part of the Groundwork federation - in partnership with Hammersmith and Fulham Council, received LIFE+ funding for the Climate-Proofing Social Housing Landscapes project in 2013. The project, which came to an end in September 2016, has demonstrated an integrated approach to climate adaptation in urban areas by undertaking a package of affordable, light-engineering climate change adaptation measures based around the retrofitting of blue and green infrastructure.
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The Regge River is a typical rain fed river. Starting in the 19th century the first bends were cut and over the years the Regge River was largely turned into a canal. In situations with heavy rainfall, large areas in the valley of the river are flooded. In dry periods, on the contrary, agriculture and the wetlands suffer from the lack of water. Because of climate change, precipitation is projected to become more extreme; showers heavier and dry spells more prolonged. Measures directed at restoring the dynamics of the river must also help to adapt to these projected changes.
As a Mediterranean coastal city, Barcelona is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Its high population density also magnifies the local heat island effect which causes an array of health and environmental challenges. Climate change projections include a rise in average temperature and a significant decrease in rainfall, with expected lasting droughts and intense heat waves. In response, Barcelona has committed to becoming a global model of a sustainable city combating urban development challenges related to climate change and population density.
The 19th century industrialisation in Lodz heavily affected the city’s rivers altering their ecosystems and hydrology. Many rivers in the densely built-up city were canalized. This resulted in a higher flood risk from runoff during heavy rain periods. Low water retention also implies reduction of soil moisture during dry spells, contributing to higher temperature and reduced air humidity (urban heat island).
The Zaragoza Water Saving City programme was initiated in 1996 in response to water scarcity. It included awareness raising campaigns, the implementation of examples of good practice and voluntary public commitments by citizens and businesses. The water tariffs were revised to provide disincentives and incentives that ensure a full cost recovery whilst maintaining affordability for low income households. The programme also involved improvements to the water distribution infrastructure to reduce the waste of water.
In Berlin inner city, plans for the development of new buildings fall under a regulation requiring a proportion of the area to be left as green space: the Biotope Area Factor (BAF) or BFF (Biotop Flächenfaktor). All potential green areas, such as courtyards, roofs and walls are included in the BAF. The regulation is a part of a larger set of documents relating to landscape planning and design and species protection. It responds to the need to encourage more green space in densely built-up urban areas.
Šibenik-Knin County in Croatia has 960 km of coast and 285 islands and rocks. Its coastal zone consists of seven municipalities and three cities including Šibenik, the administrative centre. The Coastal Plan for the Šibenik-Knin County focuses on the impacts of climate change in the coastal zone and adaptation to projected changes. The Coastal Plan (at December 2014) is being prepared by the PAP/RAC (Priority Actions Programme/ Regional Activity Centre) in Split and the Plan Bleu: both are components of the UNEP Mediterranean Action Programme.
The neighbourhood of Augustenborg, during the 1980s and 1990s an area of social and economic decline, was frequently flooded by an overflowing drainage system. Between 1998 and 2002 it was regenerated. The physical changes in infrastructure included the creation of sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS), including 6km of water channels and ten retention ponds.
To combat the impacts of cloudbursts, the City of Copenhagen developed a Cloudburst Management Plan in 2012, which is an offshoot of the Copenhagen Climate Adaptation Plan. The Plan outlines the priorities and measures recommended for climate adaptation including extreme rainfall. The City carried out an overall assessment of the costs of different measures (traditional vs different options including adaptation measures), the cost of the damages despite the measures and resulting financial impact.
As a result of its topography and impermeable ground surface, the Gomeznarro Park in Madrid was affected by erosion during heavy rainfall events, and the surrounding residential areas suffered from flash flooding. In response to these problems, in 2003 complex works aiming at improving the natural drainage and rain water retention were carried out in the park.