Urban environments will experience more heat stress, which will negatively affect people’s physical & mental health, the habitability of urban areas, and labour productivity among other impacts. River flooding and extreme events related to rising sea levels will damage properties and infrastructure, disrupt economic activities, cause social disruptions and even deaths. The recent damage caused by the river flood that hit Western Europe in July 2021 exemplifies this trend of negative climate change impacts on the urban environment. With increasing global warming levels, the costs of infrastructure maintenance and reconstruction will increase – especially for areas located near rivers and coasts.
Actions and investments in adaptation and mitigation projects that limit global warming to 1.5 Co or below, will substantially reduce projected losses and damages related to climate change. Urgent actions and investments will improve not only the position of the investor and the investment aligned to climate change goals in the short-term but also ensures the longevity of the investment.
More green spaces in urban areas will lead to more biodiversity, reduce air pollution, provide water storage and cooling in hot periods, thereby improving the quality of life. Not to mention the rise of seawater and the accompanying challenge of sustainable drainage, especially in the Netherlands for example. Mapping risk areas for flooding could prevent properties from becoming stranded assets. Therefore, climate mitigation and adaptation solutions should be the core focus in urban and rural planning.