After witnessing the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in New York and Katrina in New Orleans, people are increasingly becoming aware of how vulnerable first-world cities are to violent storms. Several proposals have been made to make to safeguard the world’s cities from the effects of global climate change and sea level rise. This article here discusses how in this rapidly changing world, well-resourced and empowered cities can work as the best first line of defense. In this discussion, you will find about the urban ark, urban alternatives to building an ark, etc.
What is Urban ARK?
The Urban ARK stands for Urban Africa Risk Knowledge. It is a global research program that aims to break cycles of risk accumulation and reduce disaster risk in sub-Saharan Africa.
Sea Level Rise isn’t Just a Heresy
Today, you can’t deny that over the past few decades, the sea level has risen measurably. What is more alarming is that this level continues to increase. Although the world is trying to find ways to deal with global warming, it should also put more focus on the symptoms of global warming like sea-level rise.
Two-thirds of the world depends on inexpensive fossil fuels for generating electricity. The likelihood of seeing a global shift from fossil fuel to non-emitting sources like renewable and nuclear for electric power generation is remote. This is because the developing world is striving to improve economically. Also read Superstorm Sandy – A Climate Change Reality Check
The current solar, hydro, geothermal, and wind power technologies are not scaled enough to achieve significant emission reductions. On the other hand, most of the developing world can’t afford or manage commercial nuclear power.
Cities in developing and developed nations are more vulnerable to storm surges and sea level rise. Earlier, there was a belief that only developing countries are vulnerable to natural hazards but this myth has long been laid to rest by hurricanes like Sandy. Cities like New York, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Miami are as much vulnerable to storm surges and sea level rise as Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangkok, and Ho Chi Minh City. However, fortune favors the cities in wealthier nations as these cities have better resources and capabilities to deal with such natural hazards better.
Global Climate Change Policy Should Narrow the Vulnerability Gap Between Developed and Developing Nations
It is a global challenge to make cities less vulnerable to climate change effects. Wealthy nations and cities have resources to address the issues of great scale and scope and that is why they have an edge against developing nations. Because of their geographic locations, rapid urbanization, large populations of poor, and limited resources, many developing nations are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. These nations can narrow this vulnerability gap with the help of technology.
How to Protect Important Cities like New York? What is Urban Alternative to Building an Ark?
One of the major reasons for the uptick in property damage from storm events is due to overdevelopment of vulnerable coastal areas. The loss from storms has increased in recent years, not due to the increased violence of the storms but because of the built assets placed in the path of these storms. Many people think that the best alternative to physical flood defense is to abandon vulnerable coastal areas and allow them to return to their natural state. However, if this thing is implemented practically, it will have an enormous impact on communities and property owners. It will not be a great urban alternative to building an ark. A balance needs to be struck between the rights and needs of property owners and sustainable development practices. After this, let’s see how to build an ark.
How to Build an Ark and Protect the World?
After learning about the urban alternatives to building an ark, let’s learn how to build an ark. Climate change is too big of a problem to ignore. It is changing rapidly and is responsible for natural hazards like storms and sea level rise. It’s quite certain that in the near future lowland and coastal flooding will become far more challenging. Though there are physical defenses in the world they are only appropriate in certain circumstances. Moreover, they are expensive to build and maintain. To protect the world from the aftermath of natural hazards, society should follow these steps there should be more research to develop as well as test alternative solutions to construction techniques and development patterns, the private utilities, and business groups should protect critical infrastructure and ensure the continuation of vital services and the public should be best educated on how to conduct themselves if some natural hazards happen. They should know how to protect themselves and their property. They should also be well-versed on how to aid in recovery operations.