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Climate Change Impacts on Urban Areas and Infrastructure

  • Mohsen M. Aboulnaga
  • Amr F. Elwan
  • Mohamed R. Elsharouny
Chapter
  • 470 Downloads

Abstract

In recent decades, climate change (CC) impacts on human settlements have been manifested worldwide. Such impacts arise from CC risks, notably sea level rise (SLR), desertification, drought, extreme events, food security, increased health risks and temperature-related morbidity in urban environments. Existing trends towards urbanization have been witnessed due to the negative impacts of climate change on rural livelihoods. However, settlement patterns’ changes may not only be restricted to the socially vulnerable but also will be extended to coastal areas’ dwellers and SLR, which will force people to migrate to unaffected areas. Large population movements caused by deteriorated environmental conditions may lead to conflict through competition for resources in the receiving area. It may also contribute to the failure of infrastructure and services’ provision. This chapter investigates the direct and indirect impacts of climate change on urban areas and infrastructure. The indirect impacts are reflected on the built environment and consequently on the economy of urban and rural regions. Moreover, the chapter explores whether all climate change risks occurred or not. Finally, it determines the continents that are most exposed to climate change risks related to the built environment and, thus, addresses the direct and indirect impacts on the built environment with a wider view about climate change consequences.

Keywords

Climate change risks Direct and indirect impacts Built environment Urban areas Infrastructure Exposed continents 

3.1 Indirect Impact of CC on Urban Areas and Infrastructure

Based on the impacts of climate change on different sectors explained in Chap.  2, this chapter investigates the consequences of climate change impacts on agriculture, ecosystems, forests, health, coastal zones, tourism, energy and economy on the built environment, which is known as indirect impact of climate change.

3.1.1 Impact of Agriculture and Food Security Risks

Migration of farmers to new settlements due to droughts, desertification and extreme events will increase the stress on cities infrastructure and lead to changing land use. Most of this migration will go to informal settlements, which will also increase the pressure on it [1]. In Nigeria, for example, the desertification effect can be explained as 3500 square kilometres of land is turning into desert every year, which forces farmers to move and exacerbate the problem of the unbalance between agricultural resource and population density which is a problem in the MENA region and Central Asia. As shown in Fig. 3.1, the red areas represent the affected areas [2].
Fig. 3.1

Agricultural resource poverty to population density. (Source: Geoinformatics Solutions)

3.1.2 Impact of Ecosystem Risks

Global warming, droughts and extreme events put pressure on species to migrate to find suitable condition. The migration of ecosystem is isolated by roads, settlements, canals and electric power lines, which block ecological migration and lead to injury to humans, property damage and loss of habitat [3]. In 2002, about 100 black bears, 1291 snakes, 1333 frogs, 374 turtles, 265 birds, 72 mammals, 29 alligators and 1 lizard were killed in NC, USA, when wildlife was crossing Florida’s highway [4]. The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) reported that animal-vehicle collisions doubled between the years 1990 and 2004, from about 175,000 to around 300,000 (Fig. 3.2). Humans’ safety has been threatened when elephants are crossing the road as shown in Fig. 3.3. Between 1977 and 2006, wildebeest populations in Nairobi National Park, Kenya, also declined by 93.4% due to the blockage of migratory corridors by urban areas as presented in Fig. 3.4 [5]. The above indicates the possibility of aggravating the problem in the future.
Fig. 3.2

Animal-vehicle collisions (AVCs) from 1990 to 2004. (Source: Federal Highway Administration)

Fig. 3.3

Elephant crossing the road causing threats to human’s safety. (Source: Sweetsangram, Wikimedia Commons)

Fig. 3.4

Decline in wildebeest populations in Nairobi National Park. Africa. (Source: UNEP global environmental alert service)

Rising temperatures and melting snow cover will affect the stabilization of mountains. The frequency of rock falls and landslides will be increased due to the destabilization of mountains, which will destroy settlements and infrastructure near these mountains [6]. About 24% of the northern hemisphere land surface contains permafrost. Thus, North America will be exposed to an increase in rock fall activity in the future due to climate change [7]. Every year, 25–50 people are killed by landslides in the United States alone [8]. Also, it was observed that increase in rock fall activity during the summer of 2003 in Alpine permafrost in Europe is due to increase temperature in that year [9]. Figure 3.5 shows landslides destroy buildings near these mountains.
Fig. 3.5

Landslides destroy buildings near mountains. (Source: Antandrus, Wikicommons)

3.1.3 Impact of Forest Risks

In the last year, forest fires that spread to settlements near forests are due to increased temperature and drier weather, namely, in California (USA), Spain and Greece. Increased spread and intensity of forest fires led to loss of lives, property and infrastructure [10]. All continents are suffering from the impacts of forest fires on settlements [11]. Forest fires increase local air pollution in cities, causing lung diseases and breathing difficulties even in healthy individuals. In the United States, financial loss due to property damages, between 2000 and 2009, is estimated to be US$665 million per year as well as loss of lives [12]. Figure 3.6 shows forest fire in a Chilean city that was responsible for killing 11 lives and the destruction of 1000 buildings. In July 2018, forest fire severely erupted in the coastal city of Mati, Greece, killing more than 90 people and injured more than 150 as well as destroyed hundreds of homes [13].
Fig. 3.6

Forest fire in the United States and South Europe. (a) Forest fire in a Chilean city in 2011, USA. (b) Forest fire in Mati city, Rafina, in 2018, Greece. (Image Source: a. Mrsramsey, Wikimedia Commons. b. AFP)

3.1.4 Impact of Water Risks

Low accessibility, quality deterioration, and demand of water in cities due to climate change impacts; such as droughts, floods and higher temperature led to water scarcity [14]. Floods decrease water quality and increase temperature which increases water demand. Slum areas or informal settlements suffer the most from low water access. In cities, the impacts of CC on water availability led to loss of lives and millions of US dollars daily (2.5 billion), and 768 million people have no access to safe sanitation and water. Experts estimate that by 2080, 43–50% of the global population will be living in water-scarce countries, compared to 28% today [15]. Most of these populations are in MENA region, horn of Africa and Central Asia. According to the World Resources Institute, water scarcity will expand to include some regions in Europe and North and Latin America [16]. Currently only 50% of Nairobi’s inhabitants have no access to clean water, and 60% do not receive water constantly [17].

3.1.5 Impact of Health Risks

Heat waves affect health and decrease productivity of construction workers; besides, heat stroke leads to increased mortality and morbidity rates. Labour productivity will decrease globally by up to 20% in hot months by 2050 due to global warming [18]. A study in Chennai, India, examined the relationship between climate conditions and productivity. This study looked at the change of daily work outputs of construction workers compared to the temperature change values. It also expressed productivity loss due to temperature change, and productivity loss varied from 44 to 54 and was projected to be reduced by 80% by 2050 [19]. Another study projected a decreased productivity of construction male workers by approximately 20% and 40% in cold days and hot days, respectively (Fig. 3.7).
Fig. 3.7

Productivity loss due to temperature change, (F = female, M = male). (Source: Karin Lundgren, Global Health Network)

3.1.6 Impact of Coastal Zone and Flood Risks

Floods cause damage to infrastructure and buildings, including possible structural failure of buildings, riverine and coastal zones being the most vulnerable. The damage intensity of flood depends on flood water velocity not the flood water depth [20]. Damage to infrastructure also causes disruptions to the supplies of clean water, wastewater treatment, electricity, transport, communication, education and health care, which eventually leads to loss of livelihoods, injuries and deaths and land degradation. Australia’s economic and financial loss due to floods over the period 1967–2005 is averagely US$377 million per year [21]. Loss from sandy storm is estimated at US$15.9 billion for New York and New Jersey due to damage of buildings and infrastructure as shown in Fig. 3.8 [22]. Coastal erosion, salt water intrusion and soil salinization will also damage the foundations of buildings and roads and affect underground water. Salinity will affect surface and subsurface reservoirs like lakes, soil moisture and groundwater due to salt water intrusion [23].
Fig. 3.8

Settlement damage due to sandy severe storm and floods. (Source: U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen)

A study on coastal Bangladesh roads predicted that maintenance expenditure of paved roads will be increased by 252% due to the increase in ground water salinity. It is important to note that soil salinization causes blistering and cracking of road surfaces [24].

Tropical cyclones will damage infrastructure and buildings, especially high-rise buildings. Tropical cyclones affect zones from about 25 km to 500 km, globally. Approximately 80 tropical cyclones occur each year, causing losses estimated at billions of USD, killing about 10,000 people and causing inundation of low-lying coastal areas, erosion of coastline, saltwater and damaging buildings and transport networks in Asia, Europe and America [25].

3.1.7 Impact of Tourism Risks

Climate change will influence tourists’ flows and destinations. Mountain regions and coastal destinations are the most affected areas resulting from climate change risks. The most affected tourism segments are beaches, nature and winter sport tourism [26]. Regions depending on tourism are under the threat of sea level rise (SLR) that will submerge small islands and coastal regions.

Desertification and the scarcity of water make regions less hospitable for tourists. Deforestation also harms biodiversity, and snow melting affects ski resorts and biodiversity on the mountains. Construction and maintenance of recreational buildings will decrease due to tourism economic loss [27].

3.1.8 Impact of Energy Risks

Heat island effect increases energy consumption for cooling in summer. In 1800, only 3% of the world’s population lived in cities, whereas in 2005, 50% lived in cities and consume over 75% of the world’s energy use. By 2030, it is predicted that 60% will reside in urban areas [28]. Heat island effect costs the city of Los Angeles about 100 million US$ per year in the energy sector [29].

A study in 30 urban areas in Athens, Greece, to evaluate the impact of the urban climate on the energy consumption of buildings, found out that for the city of Athens, where the mean heat island intensity exceeds 10 °C, the cooling load of buildings may be doubled and the peak electricity load for cooling purposes may be tripled [30]. The Environmental Protection Agency projected an increase cooling degree day and decrease heating degree days from 2005 to 2050 due to global warming as shown in Fig. 3.9 [31].
Fig. 3.9

Projected impact of CC on US heating and cooling degree days (2005–2050). (Source: Environmental Protection Agency)

The study analyses the impacts of global change on the hydropower potential of Europe in the future, project reductions in hydropower potentials in southern and south-eastern European countries due to low river flow as a result of glaciers recede and low precipitation pattern [32]. The study also analyses the future impact of global change on Batoka Gorge hydroelectric power station in Zimbabwe. Reductions in electricity production on Batoka Gorge hydroelectric power station are projected as a result of a reduction in the flow of the Zambezi river [33].

There is a decrease in thermal power plant efficiency due to reduced availability of cooling water, during droughts and heat waves. The nuclear power plant production loss may exceed 2% per degree Celsius. In 2004, a study found out that increase in ambient temperature as it happens in the desert environment, decrease thermal efficiency by 3–8% and reduce base load plant capacity and output by 20–24% for a gas-powered plant. Foreseen overall decline of hydropower potential and decreased thermal power plant efficiency due to reduced availability of cooling water will increase energy outages in cities and raise cost of buildings materials due to energy shortage [34]. A decreased winter heating energy will be followed by an increased summer cooling energy, so the overall energy consumption will be increased [35].

3.1.9 Impact of Economy Risks

People spend high proportion of their incomes on basic needs such as housing, energy and food, which are expected to experience the hardest impacts. People will suffer from poor housing quality, which will increase health impacts, resulting in higher morbidity and mortality rates [36]. Low income people living in informal settlements are the most vulnerable to CC impacts, especially in developing countries. They often live in most exposed areas to the effects of global climate change with little or no infrastructure existing to provide protection from extreme events or to ensure mobility. Informal settlements have no buildings’ regulations and lack housing finance. Low-quality housing will have weak resistance to floods, global warming and extreme events [37]. About 1.6 billion people out of 6.5 billion, which represents about 25% of the total world population, live in substandard housing, and 100 million are homeless in 2005. This represents about 25% of the world’s total urban population, and the number of slum dwellers worldwide will increase by 2030 to nearly 2 billion [38].

Climate change risks on urban areas increase economic losses of real estate investment. The rise in temperature reduced ground floor rent due to higher operating costs of cooling systems. Water scarcity led to a decline in ground floor rent due to higher costs for water supply and treatment. Extreme weather events and rising sea level affect real estate prices and rise insurance premiums [39]. There is a relation between adaptive buildings to climate change and real estate value, 4.8% higher rents for energy efficiency (Energy Star) buildings compared to non-Energy Star in USA [40]. According to Urban Land Institute, CC impacts affect property value by rise in temperature and water scarcity as it led to reduced buildings rent due to higher operating costs. Rising sea level reduces settlement area in coastal regions. An increase in extreme weather events causes direct loss in building damages, indirect loss through gaps in production or rent after hurricanes and consequential loss through declining number of tourists in flood areas and rising insurance premiums as presented in Table 3.1 [41].
Table 3.1

Climate change impact on real estate sector (after Sven Bienert [41])

Climate aspect

Commercial and residential real estate

Rise in temperature

Reduced ground rent (lower potential revenue due to regional population changes; also, increased need for cooling and thus higher operating costs)

Water scarcity

Decline in attractiveness of a region/decline in ground rent; higher costs for water supply and treatment

Rising sea level

Reduced settlement area in coastal regions

Increase in extreme weather events

Direct loss (e.g. hail damage to buildings)

Indirect loss (e.g. through gaps in production or rent after hurricanes)

Consequential loss (e.g. declining number of tourists in flood areas and rising insurance premiums)

3.2 Direct Impact of CC on Urban Areas and Infrastructure

Around half of the world’s population live in urban areas and are expected to increase by 60% by 2030. Urban areas are affected by heat island due to global warming. An urban heat island effect (UHIE) is described as the warmth of both the atmosphere and surfaces in cities compared to rural surroundings [28].

A rise in energy production to meet the increased energy demand for cooling due to UHIE will increase air pollution and GHG emissions from power plants, transport and waste [42]. Urban heat island affects health, especially on the vulnerable such as children, the elderly and patients with respiratory diseases. It also causes general discomfort and heat stroke. In 1979–2003, more than 8000 deaths were due to heat stroke in the United States. This number exceeded the normal recorded figures of mortalities by extreme weather events [43]. Also, high temperatures of pavements’ surfaces, specifically asphalt and dark colour tiles, led to an increase in the surfaces’ temperatures; besides, the temperature of sewage water temperature, underneath these surfaces, exceeded 35 °C. Consequently, when such hot water is released into rivers and lakes, this will raise the water temperature and harm aquatic life [44]. Figures 3.10 and 3.11 show that the urban temperatures are lower at the urban-rural border and parks than in dense urban areas.
Fig. 3.10

Image of Atlanta, Georgia, showing temperature distribution. (Source: Ryanjo, en.wikipedia)

Fig. 3.11

Surface and atmospheric temperatures of different land use area. (Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Climate change will force many people to immigrate in the next 40 years. Large displacement will occur within developing countries. The impact of CC on migration will become clearly tangible when global temperature rises 2 °C. Migration may also increase violent conflicts, while adaptation policy will minimize the risks. Therefore, climate change risks will force communities to migrate away from the risks’ zones. In addition, droughts force some pastoralists (sheep or cattle farmers) from the Sahel (north of Egypt) and Sudan to permanently migrate to safer areas. River banks’ erosion in Bangladesh, land degradation in southern Tanzania and droughts in in northern Ethiopia forced people to migrate. Climate change will force 200 million people to migrate by 2050 [45]. The UN Refugee Agency (UNRA) estimated that approximately 24 million people have migrated due to environmental factors between 2002 and 2012. Also, 141 million people lost their homes due to 3559 natural hazard events from 1980 to 2000 and 97% of the affected people lived in developing countries. Sea level rise (SLR) is threatening 41% of the world’s population living within 100 Km of the coast. The SLR may displace more than 14 million Egyptians in 2050 [46]. According to Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), the percentage of displaced persons due to drought in northern Kenya, southern Ethiopia and south-central Somalia is projected to reach 30% by 2040 (Fig. 3.12). Floods and storms played a major global role in regional displacement between the years 2008 and 2013 (Fig. 3.13). In 2013, 80% of the 20 largest events took place in Asia, with typhoons, floods and earthquakes. Two of the largest displacements of 2013 occurred in the Philippines in September by a typhoon that displaced 1.7 million people and in November displaced 4.1 million [47].
Fig. 3.12

Percentage of displaced due to drought in northern Kenya, southern Ethiopia, and south-central Somalia. (Source: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC))

Fig. 3.13

Regional displacement by hazard type. (Source: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC))

An increase in weather-related disasters around the world will lead to an increase in forced migration in the future. Destination cities will suffer from an increased pressure on infrastructure, housing, medical and social services and population increase. All this pressure will lead to more waste management problems resulting in widespread public health threats. In addition, displaced persons who cannot find adequate accommodation will be forced to build their own makeshift shelter in slums and shanty towns. Over 80% of internally displaced families in Khartoum are living in temporary shelters made out of plastic and paper. Almost 90% of shelters are vulnerable to extreme natural events. In Japan, the Kobe earthquake displaced 300,000 people, and more events such as the eruption of Mount Pinatubo volcano in the Philippines, hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in Sri Lanka increase the risk.

Most of the recent environmental disaster caused massive internal displacements [48]. Around 1.3 million Somalis were internally displaced due to drought in 2011, and 290,000 people are seeking refuge across international borders due to Horn of Africa drought [49]. Slums and congestion will increase electricity outages and force stress on sewage systems, especially in developing countries due to already overstretched infrastructure [50].

Recently, climate change has been causing internal displacement due to an increased drought, desertification, salinization of groundwater and soil and rising sea levels. In the future, CC will force some groups to migrate across international frontiers to neighbouring countries to avoid the risk. Yet, these groups will face problems while migrating because none of the existing international refugee law instruments interact with environmental disaster refugees [51]. Climate change also increases power outages by flood, high winds and other extreme events. California storm caused power outages effect on 113,000 households, closed roads and caused the cancellation of more than 200 flights [52]. High winds led to power cuts in 300 homes in Dorset, UK, and trees falling causing numerous roads to be blocked [53]. Las Conchas wildfire in New Mexico caused a threat to the power grid that delivers electricity to about 400,000 customers in summer 2011. Power outages by extreme events as Hurricane Sandy led to large financial loss in the United States, which cost the nation between US$27 billion and US$52 billion dollars in 2012 [54]. Also, weather caused 80% of all outages between the years 2003 and 2012, and 59% of weather-related outages were caused by storms and severe weather (Fig. 3.14) [55]. In September 2017, the recent storm in Florida left 6.5 million homes without electricity after Hurricane Irma that cut a deadly path through the state [56].
Fig. 3.14

Weather-related blackouts in the United States. (Source: Climate Central)

Climate change causes disruption of infrastructure due to flooding, landslides and fallen trees; all are caused by high wind, storm surge and floods. In Torbay, United Kingdom floods led to closure of the Torbay road four times in February causing massive disruption to 17,000 vehicles. Falling trees and landslides caused 250 roads’ incidents [57]. Figures 3.15 and 3.16 show New Orleans, USA, after floods that submerged approximately 80% of the city [58].
Fig. 3.15

Severe storm ‘Sandy’ and ‘Katrina’ in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. (Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEMA_-_15012. Photo credit: Jocelyn Augustino)

Fig. 3.16

Satellite photos of New Orleans, USA, after (right) and before (left) floods. (a) Before floods (b) After floods. (Source: WikiCommons)

Table 3.2 shows weather-related disasters around the world in 5 years between 2010 and 2015. The table indicates the intensity and severity of weather-related disasters that resulted in huge losses in life and economy.
Table 3.2

Weather-related disasters around the world (1–2)

Risk

Country

Date

Loses

Floods

United States

2017

134 deaths [59]

Heat wave

India

2016

160 deaths [60]

Floods

France

2015

20 dead [61]

Floods

South-eastern Africa

2015

200 people dead and 120,000 forced from their homes [61]

landslide

Burma

2015

100 dead [62]

Floods

Alexandria, Egypt

2015

Seven dead [63]

Heat wave

India- Pakistan

2015

2500 dead in India and 1229 people in Pakistan [61]

Landslide

India

2014

209 dead [64]

Floods

Nepal

2014

241 dead [64]

Landslide

Afghanistan

2014

256 dead [64]

Cold wave

Peru

2014

505 dead [64] (2–2)

Floods

India, Pakistan

2014

665 dead [64]

Sandy storm

U.S., Caribbean, Bahamas

2013

254, 65.00 billion loses [65]

Heat wave

India

2013

531 dead [66]

Floods

India

2013

1537 dead, 4211 missing 271,931 homeless 1.1billion loses [66]

Floods

Nepal

2013

118 dead, 1 missing 6 injured 4314 homeless [66]

Floods

Pakistan

2013

234 dead 93,000 homeless [66]

Storm surge

Philippines, Vietnam, China, Palau

2013

7345 dead [66]

Flooding

North Korea, South Korea

2012

1901, 1.04 billion loses [65]

Flooding

Nigeria

2012

363, 636 million loses [65]

Typhoon

Philippines, Palau

2012

1901, 1.04 billion loses [65]

Drought/heat wave

United States

2012

20.00 billion loses [65]

drought

East Africa

2011

30,000 dead [67]

Floods

Thailand

2011

657 dead and $45 billion loss (18% of the country’s GDP) [67]

Tornado

US Southeast

2011

321 dead, $7.3 billion losses [67]

Floods

Columbia

2011

116 died and $5.85 billion loses (2% of Columbia GDP) [67] (2-2)

Storm

Philippines

2011

1249 died [67]

Storm

France

2010

51 dead [68]

Typhoon

Philippines

2010

31 dead [69]

Floods

Mexico

2010

1000 dead [70]

Wildfires

Russia

2010

15,000 deaths and $15 billion loss [70]

Floods

Pakistan

2010

2000 dead and over 20 million affected, 9.5$ billion losses [70]

Area of forests and timber prices will increase in some areas and decrease in others. Scenarios project that the overall impacts of CC on timber markets will be beneficial [71]. On the other side, there are other scenarios that project an increase in the global timber prices. These price changes are due to an increase in forest fires that will hinder expanding forests northward.

Forests will shift northern due to increase in precipitation and temperature causing reduced winter snow pack, which will increase global forest area by 5–6% by 2050. Forest productivity is also expected to increase, and timber harvests will increase 6% in 2050. This increase may lower average timber prices [72, 73].

Table 3.3 shows global CC risks on agriculture and green areas, ecosystems, forests, water, health, coastal and flood-prone zones, tourism, energy and economy that indirectly affect cities and buildings in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and Latin America. The table is based on literature review of many studies and reports for investigating the geographical distribution of global CC risks and their effect on cities and buildings.
Table 3.3

(a) Global climate change risks and their impact on cities and buildings (1–4)

✓ Mark means that the impact has not occurred till now but will occur in the future

Open image in new window Coloured tick mark in square means that the impact occurred

The dark red underline CCA risk is the positive impact

CC impact in black text is the CC risk

Open image in new window The red number between two red bracts is the reference

This table is important in order to classify the continents in terms of the exposure of the built environment to CC.

Results of Table 3.3 are summarized in Table 3.4. The CC risks in row header refer to the risks and their effect on cities and buildings identified and concluded in row header titled CC risks impacts on construction sector.
Table 3.4

Classification of global climate change risks on cities and buildings

Classification of CC risks on cities

Africa

Asia

Europe

North America

Latin America

Total

Future positive impact

1

1

1

1

1

1

Negative impact already occurred

15

13

11

13

13

65

Future negative impacts

2

4

6

5

4

21

Total of CC negative impacts

17

17

17

18

17

86

In Table 3.3, the dark red underlined text refers to a positive impact, while the black text refers to a negative impact (climate change risk).

The tick mark (✓) means that the impact has not occurred yet, but the CC scenarios project that it will occur in the future. Also, the coloured tick mark ( Open image in new window ) in the blue square means that the impact has occurred, whereas the red number between two bracts ( Open image in new window ) is the reference.

Table 3.3

(b) Global climate change risks and their impact on cities and buildings (2–4)

✓ Mark means that the impact has not occurred till now but will occur in the future

Open image in new window Coloured tick mark in square means that the impact occurred

The dark red underline CCA risk is the positive impact

CC impact in black text is the CC risk

Open image in new window The red number between two red bracts is the reference

Table 3.3

(c) Global climate change risks and their impact on cities and buildings (3–4)

✓ Mark means that the impact has not occurred till now but will occur in the future

Open image in new window Coloured tick mark in square means that the impact occurred

The dark red underline CCA risk is the positive impact

CC impact in black text is the CC risk

Open image in new window The red number between two red bracts is the reference

Table 3.3

(d) Global climate change risks and their impact on cities and buildings (4–4)

✓ Mark means that the impact has not occurred till now but will occur in the future

Open image in new window Coloured tick mark in square means that the impact occurred

The dark red underline CCA risk is the positive impact

CC impact in black text is the CC risk

Open image in new window The red number between two red bracts is the reference

Table 3.4 shows the classification of global climate change risks on cities and buildings. The table indicates that the global CC impacts on cities and buildings are mostly negative. Figure 3.17 shows that 75% of CC risks on cities and buildings have already occurred. Risks frequency and severity gradually increase overtime; hence the next chapter will focus on CC adaptation measures to counterbalance effect of CC risks.
Fig. 3.17

Classification of climate change impacts: frequency and severity gradually increase over time. (Source: Developed by authors)

Till now, Africa is the most affected continent, but in the future CC risks will extend to affect all continents equally. This is mainly demonstrating that CC risk on cities and buildings affects all mankind unlike the rest of the CC risks.

In this book, focuses will be on developing countries such as these in Africa, particularly Egypt.

A question that needs to be addressed is that what is the importance of adaptation, if the world mitigates GHG emissions?

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), if emissions were completely halted, even though this is unexpected in the most optimistic scenarios, climate change severity would continue to increase.

Thus, adaptation to climate change is inevitable; therefore, Chap.  4 will address climate change adaptation measures globally to offset climate change risks.

3.3 Conclusion

This chapter mainly investigates the consequences of climate change risks on the built environment and infrastructure in cities, including agriculture and food security, ecosystems, forests, water, health, coastal and flood-prone zones, tourism, energy and economy risks related to the built environment that is known as climate change (CC) indirect impact. Also, the chapter clarifies the direct damage from CC risks while addressing the direct and indirect impacts on the built environment; thus the whole image about climate change consequences was completed including pros and cons.

In addition, the chapter presents weather-related disasters around the world in 5 years between 2010 and 2015 to emphasize such significance. Moreover, it discusses which climate change risks happened and what will happen in the future. Furthermore, the classification of continents’ exposure is carried out.

The investigation indicates that the CC impacts on cities and buildings are negative. About 75% of these risks on cities and buildings have already occurred; thus risks’ frequency and severity gradually increase over the time. The investigation also points out that Africa is the most effected continent, but in the future risks will extend to affect all continents equally which demonstrate that CC risks on cities and buildings are global risk directly affecting all mankind.

All of the previous risks reflect on urban areas and city in many forms. Migration of farmers to urban areas due to droughts will increase the stress on receiving cities. The increase in ecological migration isolated by roads and settlements will, in return, increase car accidents. Landslides will destroy roads and buildings near mountains, settlements near forests face the risk of forest fire and water stress decreases water access. Soil salinization damages foundations of buildings and roads. Heat stress decreases productivity of construction workers. Furthermore, an increase in temperatures increases energy demand and affects air quality in cities.

Thus, the importance of reducing emissions arises; however, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), if emissions were completely halted, even though this is unexpected in the most optimistic scenarios, CC severity would continue to increase; therefore CC adaptation is inevitable.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohsen M. Aboulnaga
    • 1
  • Amr F. Elwan
    • 2
  • Mohamed R. Elsharouny
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Architecture, Faculty of EngineeringCairo UniversityGizaEgypt
  2. 2.Faculty of EngineeringMilitary Technical CollegeCairoEgypt
  3. 3.Architect & Out-sourced Project CoordinatorAfrican Export Import Bank (Afreximbank)CairoEgypt

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