Climate Resilient Urban Design
“How can urban designers incorporate resilient design into their profession?”
Urban designers are at the forefront of creating new visions for urban metropolises. And with the advent of climate change, Climate Resilient Urban Design will become a critical component in the profession, whether it be looking at how to make housing structures able to weather wildfires better or creating urban drains in city centers.
Wildfire Fuels Management
“How can we manage the amount of burnable fuels found in wildfires?”
Wildfires are becoming an increasingly difficult problem in dense, forested, dry regions as a result of climate change. One of the most critical vulnerabilities in these areas are the fuel, or material that can ignite wildfires on the ground. Through Wildfire Fuels Management, we can look at what might be igniting these fires and ensure that proper mitigation is achieved.
Image credit http://people.forestry.oregonstate.edu/
How a Circular Economy Enhances Societal Resilience
“How can a circular economy enhance climate change resilience?”
The circular economy is touted as a strong pathway to curb emissions and material waste. But since it also reduces the amount of materials that a society needs to consume, it also ends up increasing societal resilience as there are less choke points that can harm it. For example, a community with a localized supply-chain for critical items such as food can keep themselves stable in case of a natural disaster and an economy that can recycle some of the rare-earth minerals it uses will not need to rely as much on suppliers which may act against their interest given conflict. This is How a Circular Economy Enhances Societal Resilience.
“How can we suppress a wildfire?”
Wildfires pose a grave danger to the communities that are affected by them. Many active mitigation measures call to change this by employing Wildfire Suppression which stops fires in their tracks. This can either be done through firefighters on the ground or flame-retardant sprayed by helicopters.
Image credit http://sustainablenorthwest.org/
“What is the border region between the wilderness and urban areas and why is it a resilience risk?”
In the human imagination, urban areas and wilderness are two distinct areas. However, in reality, there is a transition zone known as the Wildland-Urban Interface, where human populations mix with forests. Because these areas usually contain copious amounts of burnable fuel, living inside them creates a risk for wildfires to occur. As such urban planners, civil engineers, and policymakers will need to work together to minimize human presence in these areas.
Image credit https://c1.staticflickr.com/
“How can communities and institutions recover from disasters?”
Disasters happen all the time, particularly with the rise of climate change. As a result, when they strike, communities and institutions will need to be prepared with Disaster Recovery methods, whether it be codified plans or asset resilience prioritization.
Why Too Much Wildfire Suppression Can Lead to More Fires
“Why should we calm down on wildfire suppression so more fires can be prevented?”
Wildfires can be quite scary. Their uncontrollable, deadly nature makes it inconvenient for municipal governments and damaging to nearby communities. For this reason, the wildfire emergency management programs in the United States, Canada, and Australia usually put out such disasters at first notice. However, this leads to a large amount of flammable material being present, making future wildfires bolder and even more deadly. To prevent this, controlled burns need to be instituted to ensure that regenerative processes can occur. This is Why Too Much Wildfire Suppression Can Lead to More Fires.