Adapting Buildings and Cities for Climate Change
Growing popular concern about the climate change reflects the alarming rate at which the scientific evidence predicts the growing, dire, consequences of our energy profligate life styles and the growing global populations. By 2020 it is predicted that 75% of the world’s population will live in cities and it is increasingly obvious that it is in cities that the great strides will have to be made to control emissions. London has risen to this challenge and through e range of bold actions taken at the Borough level and by the Greater London Authority a wide range of strategies and action plans have been put in place. This paper outlines a range of these mitigation strategies and questions if they have gone far enough in the face of the potentially catastrophic climate impacts that are beginning to be felt around the world. The author asks if it is now time to put in place stringent measures to Adapt to these changes as well as to Mitigate against the rapidly rising levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
Susan Roaf, award winning teacher, designer, researcher and author, is director of the Low Carbon Cities Initiative, consultant for The Carbon Trust and the Green Consultancy advising on low carbon design for major projects, visiting professor at the Open University and Arizona State University, and an Oxford City Councillor. She has degrees from the University of Manchester, the Architectural Association and Oxford Brookes University. Having spent ten years in Iran and Iraq she completed academic studies on the windcatchers of Yazd, nomadic architecture in Iran, and the ancient water systems, technologies and archaeology of Iraq. She has written books on landscaping in arid lands, the ice-houses of Britain, energy efficient buildings, thermal comfort, ecohouse design, benchmarks for sustainable buildings and adapting buildings and cities for climate change. She lectures to a wide range of specialist and general audiences on related subjects. During her time as lecturer, then Professor of Sustainable Architecture at Oxford Brookes University she developed a national and international reputation for work on thermal comfort, photovoltaics, passive building design, ecohousing and the education of architects. She chaired the 2006 2nd International Solar Cities Congress in Oxford dealing with the fields of energy and emissions mitigation policy, carbon counting, climate change action planning and case studies of city level programmes. She has served on a range of national and international committees, think tanks and working groups with architects, planners and engineers. She is a member of the EPSRC College and has organised numerous national and international conferences and outreach events. She is currently engaged in research, consultancy and Council work on domestic thermal comfort, fuel poverty, urban renewal, health, emergency response planning, low carbon college and campus design, and the adaptation of buildings and cities for climate change, using Oxford as a case study in many projects.