Climate Proofing Urban Development

Connective Cities Dialogue Event in Dortmund, Germany

Overview

 

Almost 30 local practitioners from 12 cities, 10 countries and four continents accepted the invitation of Connective Cities and the city of Dortmund to a dialogue event on the topic of "Climate proofing urban development", which took place from 3 to 5 September 2019 in Dortmund, Germany.

Climate change and the effects of more frequent climate impacts and extreme weather events such as heavy rainfall, severe thunderstorms, storms, prolonged droughts and heat waves are posing major challenges for cities around the world. In addition, climate change is a cross-cutting issue that affects all areas and departments of a city administration and therefore requires a cross-departmental approach.

Starting with an exchange of experiences on good practices and projects in the cities, implementation challenges were identified and eventually the participants developed six project ideas for six cities, which could lead to an improvement of the respective strategies and implementation plans.

The event concluded with an excursion to Lake Phoenix - a mega-project of the city of Dortmund to transform an industrial wasteland into a new vibrant area providing new housing, workplaces and recreation opportunities around an artificial lake. The transformation of the area also had positive effects on the climate of the area contributing to local climate adaptation. 

Program

Starting with two keynote speeches on climate proofing urban development on a global level as well as from an African perspective, the participants presented the ongoing or planned project in ten of their cities focusing on the following topics:

1.       Cross-departmental coordination in integrating climate adaptation and urban development;

2.       Climate change adaptation and urban development: land management win-win and conflict situations;

3.       Integration of climate adaptation measures in the urban built environment (e.g. projects to prevent heat islands)

A number of major challenges were identified, among other the challenges of cross-departmental coordination of action as well awareness raising among citizens.

The final step was transforming the challenges into concrete action planning to overcome obstacles, reduce the risk of negative impacts and setbacks and accelerate the speed of implementation.

Event Programme

Keynotes

Climate is home game, welcome address of the host city of Dortmund
Michael Leischner, City of Dortmund

Climate proofing urban development: a global overview
Prof. Stefan Greiving, TU Dortmund University, Germany

Climate proofing urban development: an African perspective
Justice Paa Kwesi Simmons, Chief Planning Officer
Ejisu Municipal Assembly, Ghana

Presentations

Presentations of Connective Cities

Connective Cities - an introduction
Alice Balbo und Alexander Wagner

Networking opportunities for project planning
Alexander Wagner
 

Projects / Case Studies

Working Group I: Cross-departmental coordination to climate proof strategies and masterplans

Masterplan of Integrated Climate Change Adaptation (MiKaDo), City of Dortmund, Germany
Sophie Arens

Multi-Sectoral Cooperation in the "Keep Kumasie Clean & Green" Project, Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Ghana
Joshua Nii Noye Tetteh-Nortey

The Resilient Skopje Strategy, City of Skopje, North Macedonia
Ratko Dimovski

Planning for a Resilient Niteroi, City of Niteroi, Brazil
Axel Schmidt Grael
 

Working group II: Mapping climate risks and resources for an informed urban planning

Urban Climate Management System (UCMS) Gelsenkirchen, City of Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Ulrich Axt-Kittner

Urban Green Infrastructure (UGI) for Climate Change Adaptation in Informal Settlements, City of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Patricia Himschoot

Implementing Keny Climate Change Adaptation Plan, Nairobi City County, Kenya
Christine Mwende Kivuva
 

Working group III: Integrating climate adaptation measures in the urban built environment

Reconstruction and Greening of Kosmonautiv Avenue in Vinnytsia, Vinnytsia Institute for Urban Development, Ukraine
Yanna Chaikovska and Mariia Druzhynina

Green Roofs: Facing Global Warming in Arabian Gulfs Regions, University of Bahrain, Bahrain
Prof. Islam El Ghonaimy

How does green roofing get into town, City of Dortmund, Germany
Michael Leischner

Climate Proffing the Empangeni Revitalization Plan in uMhlathuze, City of uMhlathuze, South Africa
Sharin Govender and Nikosinath Mthethwa

Results

The expertise of the participants was as diverse as the cities they represented: Buenos Aires (Argentina), Bahrain, Niteroi (Brazil), Dortmund, Gelsenkirchen, Lüdenscheid, Kumasi and Ejisu (Ghana), Nairobi (Kenya), Skopje (North Macedonia), Ajja (Palestinian territories), uMhlathuze (South Africa), Vinnytsia (Ukraine).

Even if the specific situations in the respective cities were very different, there were great similarities in the structural implementation problems - but there were remarkable differences in the solution strategies. For example, the experts from Dortmund benefited among others from the experience of their colleagues from Niteroi, Brazil and uMhlathuze, South Africa. The exchange of experience worked in all geographic directions.

At the end of the conference, six concrete project ideas were developed which have a serious potential to be put into practice. The spectrum ranged from protecting school trees in Kumasi, Ghana and green infrastructure in informal settlements to reduce heat islands in Buenos Aires, Argentina, revitalizing small rivers in the city of Vinnytsia, Ukraine and climate proofing of the Empangeni Central Business District in the city of uMhlathuze, South Africa, to climate protection planning for the city of Niteroi in Brazil and developing a climate protection strategy for Nairobi, Kenya.

The event concluded with an excursion to Lake Phoenix - a mega-project of the city of Dortmund to transform a former steel smelter into an artificial lake. With the newly created lake and the renaturalised river Emscher, new green spaces, nature conservation areas and a water landscape were created, which form an attractive natural and recreational area for the inhabitants of the adjacent districts as well as a vibrant new area for housing and workplaces in Dortmund. At the same time, the project implemented measures to protect against the impacts of climate change, such as protection against flooding during heavy rainfall and the improvement of the local climate.

The expertise of the participants was as diverse as the cities they represented: Buenos Aires (Argentina), Bahrain, Niteroi (Brazil), Dortmund, Gelsenkirchen, Lüdenscheid, Kumasi and Ejisu (Ghana), Nairobi (Kenya), Skopje (North Macedonia), Ajja (Palestinian territories), uMhlathuze (South Africa), Vinnytsia (Ukraine).

Even if the specific situations in the respective cities were very different, there were great similarities in the structural implementation problems - but there were remarkable differences in the solution strategies. For example, the experts from Dortmund benefited among others from the experience of their colleagues from Niteroi, Brazil and uMhlathuze, South Africa. The exchange of experience worked in all geographic directions.

At the end of the conference, six concrete project ideas were developed which have a serious potential to be put into practice. The spectrum ranged from protecting school trees in Kumasi, Ghana and green infrastructure in informal settlements to reduce heat islands in Buenos Aires, Argentina, revitalizing small rivers in the city of Vinnytsia, Ukraine and climate proofing of the Empangeni Central Business District in the city of uMhlathuze, South Africa, to climate protection planning for the city of Niteroi in Brazil and developing a climate protection strategy for Nairobi, Kenya.

The event concluded with an excursion to Lake Phoenix - a mega-project of the city of Dortmund to transform a former steel smelter into an artificial lake. With the newly created lake and the renaturalised river Emscher, new green spaces, nature conservation areas and a water landscape were created, which form an attractive natural and recreational area for the inhabitants of the adjacent districts as well as a vibrant new area for housing and workplaces in Dortmund. At the same time, the project implemented measures to protect against the impacts of climate change, such as protection against flooding during heavy rainfall and the improvement of the local climate.

Report

A detailed documentation of the event is expected to be available for download at the end of January 2020.

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