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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Selection of methods of adaptation to the effects of climate change for 16 Silesian cities

What activities to improve the safety and health of residents need Silesian cities to better adapt to changing climate conditions? Experts from the Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas and ARCADIS faced with this problem together with representatives of 16 cities preparing Urban Adaptation Plans for climate change as a part of the Project of the Ministry of the Environment. The proposed adaptation activities include strengthening flood protection, building blue-green infrastructure, increasing retention and use of rainwater, introducing early-warning systems for residents, educational campaigns or proposals for organizational changes in offices that support the implementation of adaptation activities. Consultation workshops has begun on 6th of April this year from the meeting in Gliwice.

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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 to Climate Change. The choice of these methods by the local government, experts and residents greatly determines the everyday life of the city and its inhabitants and affects their sense of security and health.

The most important stage of the project is ahead of us – the development of adaptation options, which is packages of activities of a different nature – technical, organizational, educational and promotional. They are a response to the identified risks resulting from changing climate conditions – informs Dr. Justyna Gorgoń from the Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas. – The proposed adaptation measures should considerably limit the effects of adverse impacts resulting from climate change. In the next stage, we will submit the adaptation options to the analyzes, which will result in the final selection of a set of activities that will be entered into Urban Adaptation Plans document for each city.

The basis for proposing adaptation measures is the risk assessment developed for the identified climate threats, taking into account the city’s vulnerability in the most sensitive sectors. Four sectors most sensitive to changing climate conditions were indicated for each city. When planning adaptation activities, the city’s development strategy and measures taken to adapt to the effects of climate change were also taken into account.

Silesian cities most need all activities related to the protection of their residents, especially the elderly, the sick and children against the effects of high temperatures, heat waves, additionally compounded by the phenomenon of urban heat island – emphasizes Katarzyna Kobiela from ARCADIS. – It will also be important to propose measures to prevent flooding or urban flooding, such ad drainage and retention of rainwater with the possibility of using it, for instance to maintain greenery. The creation of blue-green infrastructure is a very important activity.

Workshops in Gliwice (6.04.) has started a series of meetings in 16 cities of the Silesian Voivodship. The closest workshops took place in Siemianowice Śląskie (10.04.), Ruda Śląska (11.04.), Dąbrowa Górnicza (12.04.), Zabrze (13.04.), Katowice (17.04.).

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