Senior fellow Armando Carbonell has just returned from Australia, where he participated in the International Urban Planning and Environment Association's 10th Symposium, Next City: Planning for a New Energy and Climate Future at the University of Sydney. He was also down under for the Australian launch of Resilient Coastal City Regions, which examines initiatives in adapating to the impacts of climate change in the U.S. and Australia, with co-author Ed Blakely. His takeaway: planners are taking climate change very seriously indeed, halfway around the world.
"It is very dynamic on the planning and climate fronts, as the carbon tax is implemented," says Carbonell, chairman of the Department of Planning and Urban Form. There are not only many initiatives for adapting to climate impacts, from wildfires to drought to sea level rise, but an emerging system for evaluating adaptation measures, he reports. An additional thread through all the discussions relates to Aboriginal land rights, adaptation strategies, and perceptions of climate change among indigenous people.
The impacts of global warming have been much in the news on these shores, as severe weather and drought in the Midwest wreak havoc on agricultural land and daily life. The analysis varies, but many suggest these are the early signs of things to come, including at least one converted skeptic.
Resilient Coastal City Regions is now available as an eBook.