Development of Urban Adaptation Plans for cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants in Poland

44 Polish cities, in cooperation with the Ministry of the Environment, participate in the project aimed at adapting them to the observed and prognosed climate changes.

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Prepare for extreme events

Experts from Maritime Department of Institute of Meteorology and Water Management – National Research Institute (IMGW-PIB) together with members of urban teams have prepared proposals for climate change adaptation activities, that are to protect and mitigate the effects of threats from the changing climate in Gdynia, Gdańsk and Sopot. Development of information and warning systems for threats (in particular floods), construction and development of the blue and green infrastructure, groundwater level monitoring in the city, as well as strengthening of emergency services (taking into account climate change) and construction of municipal emissions reduction system in cities, these are only few examples of activities that will improve the safety and living comfort of residents. At workshops, which took place in March this year, proposals for adaptation activities were consulted with representatives of the local communities of Gdynia, Gdańsk and Sopot.

MPA W3 2018 03 22 Gdańsk 3 892x356 - Prepare for extreme events

The development of action plans to adapt the city to the changing climate conditions and the observed increase in the occurrence of extreme weather events is a key part of the work on Urban Adaptation Plans for climate change. The proposals and adaptation activities prepared by experts and specialists from city offices are consulted at working workshops with representatives of local communities.

Gdynia, Gdańsk and Sopot, which are preparing urban plans for adaptation to climate change, have to choose adaptive activities in a special way, mainly due to the rainfall risk from storms, sudden urban floods, floods from rivers and stormy seaside floods or specific local conditions that affect the intensification of adverse effects of changing climate conditions, i.e. wind (dangerous gusts), storms or landslides.

Threats that have been identified for the Tri-City (Gdańsk, Sopot, Gdynia) – according to the expert Halina Burakowska, Director of the Maritime Department of Institute of Meteorology and Water Management – National Research Institute in Gdynia – are the occurrence of storms, sudden floods, floods from the side of rivers and the sea, extreme temperatures or strong and very strong winds.

During workshops, experts from IMGW-PIB presented a summary of carried our analyzes and a proposal for adaptation activities – technical, organizational and informative-educational for Gdynia, Gdańsk and Sopot. The workshops took place on 20th of March in Gdynia, 22nd of March in Gdańsk and on 23rd of March in Sopot.

Adaptation activities will prepare the Tri-City primarily for dealing with the impact of precipitation (floods from the sea, sudden/urban floods, heavy rains), wind (strong and very strong wind), storms and extreme temperatures (higher maximum temperatures) – says Dr Ewa Jakusik from IMGW-PIB. – In the case of Sopot, the directions of activities increasing the city’s resistance to occurrence of drought (i.e. water shortage especially in the summer season) and negative effects of increased concentration of air pollutants (exceedance of concentration standards), will also be taken into account.

Effective adaptation to climate change in the Tri-City can be achieved also by informative-educational activities, strengthening the emergency services’ potential by crisis management bodies and technical measures i.e. preventing flooding or urban flooding, as well as drainage and retention of rainwater with the possibility of using it, for example to maintain greenery. The creation of blue-green infrastructure is a also very important activity.

Gdańsk is an example of a city in which the local government actively works on adapting the city to changing climate conditions, especially heavy rains – adds MSc. Halina Burakowska from IMGW-PIB. – Planning the adaptation activities also included the city’s development strategy and the already implemented activities related to adaptation to the effects of climate change.

It have been third workshops ad a part of the work of MPA (City Adaptation Plans). Experts from IMGW-PIB emphasize the involvement of employees of the city teams in preparation of MPA in Gdynia, Gdańsk and Sopot in the work on preparing a strategy for adaptation of cities to climate change by 2030 with a perspective up to 2050.

Experience and involvement of local government employees and local organizations and institutions i.e. ARMAAG Foundation, The Centre for Ecological Information and Education, WIOŚ, RDOŚ, Gdańsk Waters, Maritime Institute, Maritime Office, Polish Geological Institute – National Research Institute, etc. In workshops have also participated representatives of: Districts Councils, housing communities and cooperatives. The participants of the workshops got acquainted with lists of adaptation activities and obtained explanations and comments from the Team of Experts and the City Team. Stakeholders commented on individual adaptation options and proposed their verification – they eliminated or proposed additional activities.

The developed adaptation options will then be subjected to a multi-criteria analysis (cost-benefit analysis) in the next stage of the MPA project.

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