Record temperatures are becoming the new normal as a changing climate reality begins to make its presence felt worldwide. This is a major problem for those urban areas and cities unprepared for such conditions. As Europe begins to wake up to a ‘new normal’ regarding climate, how can the urban fabric of it’s cities adapt and retrofit for a much warmer future?
As economic and environmental clouds begin to form on the global horizon, the risks of an under-investment in physical infrastructure need to be taken more seriously than ever and the failure to do so now, could have significant consequences further down the line. With road, rail and other public works increasingly feeling the strain of chronic funding shortages across the board, this is exactly the situation the US may find itself in over the coming years.
When rapid urbanisation, growing populations and increased flood risks combine, the potential for disaster is never far away. With the need to increase resilience and adaptation to a rapidly changing climate now greater than ever, China’s ‘sponge cities’ are looking to find ecological alternatives to traditional flood defence and drainage infrastructure.
The science of complexity and the way in which individual elements, processes and interactions come together, play perhaps the most crucial role in explaining not only how cities function, but also how they evolve and grow organically over time.
In understanding the way in which these complex systems form and play out in the urban environment, it’s possible to gain insight into the advanced dynamics that operate within the city space.
Circular cities follow the same principles of the circular economy and look to use nature as a template for guiding urban development towards systems and processes which are sustainable. With several cities already adopting a circular approach to urban planning and design, does this strategy hold the key to helping us address some of the most pressing issues facing the built environment?
Do the places people visit tell a deeper and more accurate story of urban inequality that goes beyond the reach of the usual metrics we associate with neighbourhood demographics? Using the power of big data and spatial analytics, this is the question researchers are now beginning to answer.