Climate change adaptation framework for multiple urban areas: Northern Portugal case study

14:00 Tuesday 28 May


Room S10


Sandra Rafael (Portugal) 1; Sílvia Coelho (Portugal) 1; Miguel Coutinho (Portugal) 2; Alexandra Monteiro (Portugal) 1; João Medina (Portugal) 3; Susana Figueiredo (Portugal) 3; Sofia Cunha (Portugal) 3; Ana Isabel Miranda (Portugal) 1; Myriam Lopes (Portugal) 1; Carlos Borrego (Portugal) 1

1 - CESAM & Department of Environment and Planning, University of Aveiro; 2 - IDAD - Instituto do Ambiente e Desenvolvimento; 3 - SPI - Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação, Porto

Cities worldwide are increasingly experiencing the pressures arising from climate change and are projected to face aggravated climate-related impacts in the short, medium and long-term future. Despite cities are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, it is recognized that they play a significant role in the European Strategy on adaptation to climate change. The main goal of this study was to apply a climate adaptation framework, identifying potential development effective measures, having as case study multiple urban areas located in the northern of Portugal.

The climate adaptation framework was developed following the Urban AST, adapted to the Portuguese reality. The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model were used to provide future projections with a high level of spatial resolution (1×1 km2) over the study area, which increased the accuracy of the identification of future climatic vulnerabilities, since it allows to include, in greater detail, the effects of the topography. The study was conducted for the medium-term future climate (2041-2070) using the Representative Concentration Pathway RCP8.5 scenario. The results shows a tendency for an increase in maximum, average and minimum temperature, as well as an increase in extreme events associated with this temperature increase. Increases in extreme precipitation events are also projected and consequently an increase in annual accumulated precipitation for the medium-term future climate. A set of both urban and rural measures to promote a sustainable development path to climate adaptability and increase cities resilience to climate change were identified. These measures include grey infrastructures (e.g., flood protection measures), green infrastructures (e.g., green corridors), and non-structural solutions (e.g., promotion of water saving).

This type of studies are crucial to accomplish the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development goals, namely the one that clearly mention the need of ‘take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact’. It is a target of this goal, by 2030, to integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning. The work also confirms the importance of the scientific knowledge for policy makers and stakeholders’ decision making in the development of local adaptation strategies.