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What fair urban adaptation outcomes can look like

This article presents dilemmas in Urban adaptation that require a consideration of effective adaptation solutions and intervention.
Vegetation growing on top of a building
© University of Groningen

In this step, we provide you with a model answer of the task we set you in the previous step.

Example answer to Intervention 1

Green roofs have many advantages. For instance, they can moderate temperatures at the microlevel, mitigate heat during heat spells, hold water and thus ensure better water management in the city, they are also a safe space for plants and insects, and provide opportunities for urban farming. Therefore city Alpha has decided to subsidize the installation of green roofs.

Although the many advantages for biodiversity, heat mitigation, water management, and clean air are important benefits of green roofs, subsidies for such roofs may only benefit the relatively rich, who are more likely to have free-standing houses with large roof surfaces. Possibly this city could decide to put a cap on subsidies for people with a certain level of income, to ensure that other people benefit than those who are richest. Alternatively, this city could subsidize communal green roofs on top of larger apartment buildings where low- or middle-income families live.

Model answer to Intervention 2

During heavy rainfalls city Beta is heavily affected. Many traffic tunnels and streets are flooded, and traffic comes to a near standstill. Therefore city Beta has decided on a large investment programme to make traffic infrastructure resilient and ensure traffic flows during bad weather.

Although efficient traffic networks and transport during all types of weather are necessary for the basic functioning of any city (for instance for home-office commuting, or supplies for companies, supermarkets, etc.), a focus on mobility alone could lead to even more traffic. If not combined with, for example, clean vehicles, air pollution may become a persistent problem, damaging the health of urban dwellers.

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© University of Groningen
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Sustainable Cities: Governing Urban Adaptation Under Climate Change

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