Climate Change Adaptation. Challenges and Opportunities for a Smart Urban Growth

  • Adriana Galderisi University of Naples Federico II
Keywords: Climate Change, Urban Adaptation, Smart Growth


Climate change is one of the main environmental issues challenging cities in the 21th century. At present, more than half of the world population lives in cities and the latter are responsible for 60% to 80% of global energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which are the main causes of the change in climate conditions. In the meantime, they are seriously threatened by the heterogeneous climate-related phenomena, very often exacerbated by the features of the cities themselves. In the last decade, international and European efforts have been mainly focused on mitigation rather than on adaptation strategies. Europe is one of the world leaders in global mitigation policies, while the issue of adaptation has gained growing importance in the last years. As underlined by the EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change, even though climate change mitigation still remains a priority for the global community, large room has to be devoted to adaptation measures, in order to effectively face the unavoidable impacts and related economic, environmental and social costs of climate change (EC, 2013). Thus, measures for adaptation to climate change are receiving an increasing financial support and a growing number of European countries are implementing national and urban adaptation strategies to deal with the actual and potential climate change impacts. According to the above considerations, this paper explores strengths and weaknesses of current adaptation strategies in European cities. First the main suggestions of the European Community to improve urban adaptation to climate change are examined; then, some recent Adaptation Plans are analyzed, in order to highlight challenges and opportunities arising from the adaptation processes at urban level and to explore the potential of Adaptation Plans to promote a smart growth in the European cities.


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Author Biography

Adriana Galderisi, University of Naples Federico II

Assistant Professor at the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering - University of Naples Federico II. Professor of Town Planning at the Faculty of Engineering of the University Federico II; Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning. Since 2004, she has been Member of the Researcher Doctorate in Hydraulic, Transport and Territorial Systems Engineering of the University of Naples “Federico II”. Research activities are mainly focused on the urban environment requalification and namely on two issues: the relationships between land use planning, mobility and environmental issues; vulnerability and resilience of urban systems to natural and na-tech events. In respect to the latter, she has coordinated research teams within numerous National and European Projects (e.g. EU Project ARMONIA - Applied Multi Risk Mapping of Natural Hazards for Impact Assessment”. VI Framework Program; EU Project SCENARIO - Support on Common European Strategy for sustainable natural and induced technological hazards mitigation) from 2000 to 2008. From 2008 to 2011, she has been the Scientific Responsible for the European Project “ENSURE - Enhancing resilience of communities and territories facing natural and na-tech hazards” (7° Framework Programme - Theme 6 Environment - Topic Frame for better vulnerability assessment). From 2012 to 2015, she is Responsible for the Training Project of the National Project “Smart Energy Master for the energy management of territory” (PON 04A2_00120 R&C Axis II). She is author of more than 70 publications (monographs, chapters in books and articles). 


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How to Cite
GalderisiA. (2014). Climate Change Adaptation. Challenges and Opportunities for a Smart Urban Growth. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 7(1), 43-68.