Mayor Jeremy Harris USA – International Urban Design Conference 2010

At the request of the United States Congress, the National Academy of Science has conducted a detailed and thorough study of the serious and far ranging issues associated with global climate change. It is now clear that even if immediate action is taken to mitigate green house gas emissions, it is too late to avoid many of the effects of global warming. Therefore, in addition to analyzing what actions must be taken to reduce green house gas emissions, the Academy was also charged with developing strategies to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change.

As a member of this panel on adaptation it became clear to me that the world’s urban areas, especially its coastal cities, face unprecedented and potentially catastrophic challenges from climate change. Sea level rise, drought, and the increased intensity and frequency of devastating coastal storms, are but a few of the existential threats to our urban coastal communities and their citizens. Since most of our cities are not sustainably designed or managed they lack the resiliency to effectively respond to these threats. In my talk at the conference, I’ll look at how cities can be redesigned to become more sustainable and at the actions local governments can be taking now to prepare for and adapt to climate change.

Mayor Jeremy Harris USA

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