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Adapting Cities for Climate Change: The Role of the Green Infrastructure

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The urban environment has distinctive biophysical features in relation to surrounding rural areas. These include an altered energy exchange creating an urban heat island, and changes to hydrology such as increased surface runoff of rainwater. Such changes are, in part, a result of the altered surface cover of the urban area. For example less vegetated surfaces lead to a decrease in evaporative cooling, whilst an increase in surface sealing results in increased surface runoff. Climate change will amplify these distinctive features. This paper explores the important role that the green infrastructure, i.e. the greenspace network, of a city can play in adapting for climate change. It uses the conurbation of Greater Manchester as a case study site. The paper presents output from energy exchange and hydrological models showing surface temperature and surface runoff in relation to the green infrastructure under current and future climate scenarios. The implications for an adaptation strategy to climate change in the urban environment are discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 13, 2007

More about this publication?
  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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