University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Department of Geography - main Departmental seminar series > Adapting Cities and Their Infrastructure to Global Change: An Integrated Modelling Approach to Understand Risks and Tradeoffs

Adapting Cities and Their Infrastructure to Global Change: An Integrated Modelling Approach to Understand Risks and Tradeoffs

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The urgent need to reconfigure urban areas to emit less pollution (including greenhouse gases), be more resilient to climate risks and more sustainable in general can be assisted by rigorous analysis of these complex systems. In this talk I shall present the Urban Integrated Assessment Framework (UIAF) that was developed initially as part of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research Cities Programme and subsequently advanced via several other projects. The UIAF provides a consistent framework for analysis of greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks in the context of multiple drivers of long term change. A case study in London (U.K.) shows that risks from heatwaves, droughts and floods could more than double and CO2 emissions could rise 28% without adaptation and mitigation over the 21st century. Notably, socio-economic drivers are responsible for a greater proportion, compared to climate change, of increased weather risks. There are also trade-offs in climate risks, land use choices and energy demand from adaptation policies. The work highlights the need for portfolios of adaptation and mitigation options, providing the evidence to motivate climate-sensitive development in London. Finally, I shall consider the role of tools like the UIAF and their utility for informing spatial development strategies such as the London Plan after a placement at the Greater London Authority.

Prof. Dawson is currently Professor of Earth Systems and Engineering at Newcastle University. He is also the Director of the Centre for Earth Systems Engineering Research (CERER) at Newcastle, a EPSRC Research Fellow, and co-ordinates the Climate Change Research Cities Programme at the Tyndall Centre. He holds an MEng and PhD from the University of Bristol.

This talk is part of the Department of Geography - main Departmental seminar series series.

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