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Urban green space planning for climate adaptation in Indian cities



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Urban green space planning for climate adaptation
in Indian cities
Dhanapal Govindarajulu
Centre for Climate Change and Environment, National Centre for Good Governance, LBSNAA, Mussoorie, Uttarakhand 248179, India
article info
Article history:
Received 30 April 2014
Revised 25 July 2014
Accepted 7 September 2014
Available online xxxx
Urban green spaces
Climate change
Indian cities are currently facing high challenges because of growing
urbanization and the impacts of climate change. And there is a lack of
understanding on using urban green spaces for climate adaptation
and mitigation. This article highlights urban green spaces as a cost
effective measure for climate adaptation. Following a review of
global literature, it also recommends best practices in green space
planning for the conservation of urban biodiversity, climate change
adaptation, disaster risk management and enhancement of ecosys-
tem services for Indian cities. The article proposes that there should
be guidelines for urban planners and foresters on green space
planning, by using integrated approaches that meet the social and
ecological needs of the cities.
Ó2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Urban green space planning in the 21st century requires greater insights in social, ecological and
economical aspects that provide a sustainable urban form (Thompson, 2002). Urban Centers are a
key driver of climate change; and while being the prime emitter of Green House Gases (GHGs), they
are also vulnerable to the impacts of climate changes. The major effects of urbanization on the
environment are an increase in temperature (urban heat island effect) (Wilby and Perry, 2006),
increase on the runoff due to impervious surfaces and a surge in the emission of carbon dioxide
(Whitford et al., 2001). Urban and suburban expansion deteriorates native ecosystems, and affects
air and water quality (McKinney, 2002). Changes in the precipitation pattern and sea level rise, on
2212-0955/Ó2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Urban Climate xxx (2014) xxx–xxx
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cities. Urban Climate (2014),
the other hand, are increasing the vulnerability of urban centers lying in low coastal areas, often lead-
ing to extreme events such as floods (De Sherbinin et al., 2007) that are likely to cause economic losses
and damages in billions of dollars (Hallegatte et al., 2013).
1.1. Climate change and Indian cities
India, being a tropical region, is more susceptible to extreme events such as cyclones and floods.
Such hazards are likely to increase in the future, as predicted by the IPCC fifth assessment report
(IPCC, 2013). In many Indian cities temperatures have rised over the years. Kumar and Hingane
(1988), for instance, have noted a marked rise in temperatures in the three Indian cities of Kolkata,
Mumbai and Bangalore; while Ramachandra and Kumar (2010) observed a temperature rise of
2°C in Bangalore city due to an urban heat island effect. In 2005, Mumbai, one of India’s most
populated cities, was completely shut down due to extreme rainfall and flooding, with flood waters
rising up to a 0.5–1.5 m level in low-lying areas, causing severe economic losses and damage to infra-
structure. Ranger et al. (2010) noted that though the city is prone to frequent floods, because of its
geographical location in a tropical region that receives abundant monsoon rains, its risks to flooding
gets more aggravated due to manmade interventions in its geography—especially due to the inhibition
of natural runoff surface water and loss of a network of drains, rivers, creeks and ponds that drain
directly into the sea. There is thus a clear need for adaptation to future climate changes in Indian cities
(Revi, 2008). Urbanization is important for India’s economic growth and the Indian Government has
recently emphasized the need for creating smart and sustainable cities. Climate resilience should be
an important component for future and existing cities in the country. Mainstreaming climate adapta-
tion in urban development planning (Sharma and Tomar, 2010) is one such option to build climate
resilience, along with climate change adaptation and emergency management.
This essay proposes that Urban Green Spaces is a cost effective ecosystem-based approach for
climate adaptation in Indian cities; and recommends a strategy of Green Spaces Planning in the Indian
context, drawn from global best practices for climate adaptation, environmental and social
2. Urbanization and green spaces in India
India has been experiencing rapid urbanization since 1970, with its urban population rising from
109 million in 1971 to 377 million in 2011, a percentage increase from 19.9 to 31.6 over four decades.
The number of million-plus cities in the country, meanwhile, has steadily increased from 23 in 1991,
and 35 in 2001, to 53 in 2011 (Census of India, 2011). The vehicular traffic in Indian cities has also
risen from 5.4 million in 1981 to 141 million in 2011, which is a phenomenal growth. The transport
sector of Indian cities contribute to over 7% of total GHG emissions in India. High vehicular emissions
in many cities have raised air pollution to unbearable levels (Ghose et al., 2004). By 2030 India is
projected to have six cities with a population over 10 million, and more than a 100 million-plus cities
(IIHS, 2012). Environmental degradation and loss of green spaces are likely to increase too; and
combined with climate change challenges, the environmental sustainability of Indian cities will face
serious threats, going forward.
Green spaces across many cities in India have decreased significantly and are further decreasing
with growing urbanization and population increase. To take the case of Bangalore city, it has lost much
of its open spaces and urban wetlands due to urban sprawl, which has affected its drainage network,
local hydrology and ground water table levels (Sudhira et al., 2004). With rise in urban population the
per capita availability in many urban areas has reduced drastically and can be expected to decrease
It can be noted from Table 1 that many cities in India already fall short of green space available per
capita, which is much below the WHO recommended norms of 9 sq m/capita. Gandhinagar and
Chandigarh being post-independence planned cities of India, their City Master Plans offer better
integration of urban greenery. Chandigarh city, in fact, is one of the greenest cities of India.
2D. Govindarajulu/ Urban Climate xxx (2014) xxx–xxx
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3. Green space planning
Urban green spaces enrich aesthetic and recreational avenues for urban communities and
facilitates the general well-being of city dwellers (Attwell, 2000; Maas et al., 2006). Green spaces also
reinforce the process of carbon sequestration, and mitigate the effects of climate change (Nowak and
Crane, 2002; Escobedo et al., 2010). Gill et al. (2007) show that green spaces help in reducing urban
heat island effect, and improve the hydrology by preventing surface runoff, while providing ground
water recharge too. Green spaces can act also as buffers in case of extreme events such as floods,
and act as natural storm water drains, thus reducing climate-related disaster risks for cities and pro-
viding climate adaptation. Urban green landscapes can act as ‘‘soft engineering’’ strategy for climate
adaptation (Kitha and Lyth, 2011), which is ideal for low income countries like India. Green spaces
provide ecosystem services, which are highly linked to help in climate change adaptation and disaster
risk reduction (Munang et al., 2013), and such Ecosystem Based Approach (EBA) in climate adaptation
has been widely reported as a cost effective tool in climate adaptation (IUCN, 2011).
The important aspects of green space in urban form are:
1) Quantity: what percentage of the urban area is filled with green space?
2) Quality: can the green space improve urban biodiversity and provide better ecosystem services?
3) Connectivity: how much of the green space is connected?
4) Accessibility: how much of the population has access to the green space?
Li et al. (2005) suggested a three-layered system, which constitutes an integrated ecological network
for urban sustainable development of Beijing. Uy and Nagakoshi (2007) developed a simple frame-
work for developing green spaces in urban areas and demonstrated its use on Hanoi city, Vietnam,
as a case study. Based on such successful green space planning projects, the following key approaches
are discussed, which can be helpful in guiding urban planners plan environmentally and socially
sustainable urban green spaces for Indian cities for climate adaptation.
3.1. Site selection in green space planning
Urban planners are often confused with selecting the right areas for green space planning. McHarg
(1969) was probably the first person to propose the concept of design with a nature and site suitability
analysis framework. The initial site suitability analysis can help identify areas suitable for develop-
ment, and those that can be maintained as open spaces. The technique involves a comprehensive
Table 1
Major Indian cities with per capita green space.
City Geographical area
(sq km)
Population in million
(Census, 2011)
Forest and tree cover
(sq km)
Per capita green space
(sq m/inhabitant)
Delhi 435 16.31 90.74 5.5
Bangalore 226 8.43 150 17.79
Mumbai 735 18.48 122 2.01
Hyderabad 172 7.74 3.87 0.5
Ahmedabad 469 6.35 21.8 3.9
Chennai 174 8.69 9 1.03
Kolkata 186.23 14.11 0 0
Surat 395 4.58 11.84 2.7
Jaipur 484.64 3.07 61.4 20
Gandhinagar 75 0.20 30.75 147.6
Chandigarh 114 1.05 16.78 54.45
Source: Population of cities from Census of India (2011), geographical area taken from, and green cover of
cities taken from Forest Survey of India report (2011). The per capita green space for cities of Ahmedabad, Surat and
Gandhinagar were available in a report by Gujara Forest Department (2011). The per capita green space for Jaipur is provided by
Singh et al. (2010).
D. Govindarajulu / Urban Climate xxx (2014) xxx–xxx 3
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Geographical Information System (GIS) analysis of several layers. This approach uses overlaying layers
of land use, slope, water features (which include floodplains, wetlands, steep slopes, etc.) as well as
agricultural, visual, and historical resources. Based on a suitability analysis of physiographic and
hydrological features, areas suitable for development of buildings and infrastructure, as well as areas
with a potential for green space development, can be identified. Planning for conservation involves a
clear investigation into which natural values should be protected from development, and how they
should be managed. Setting priorities for conservation will rely on parameters such as integrity, rarity,
diversity, vulnerability or uniqueness of landscapes and ecosystem components. Location decisions
will be determined by their existing spatial distribution and dynamics (McHarg, 1969).
GIS-based land suitability analysis is fast becoming a strong, efficient and effective application for
green space planning (Miller et al., 1998). Kong et al. (2010) developed green space network for Jinan
City, China, based on graph theory and the gravity model. It simplified and systematized the complex
landscape, helping to identify the significance of each green space, and guiding urban planning for bio-
diversity conservation. Such models can also be used in the Indian context, especially in planning
green spaces, with an objective for conserving the rich biodiversity of urban India, while avoiding
the incompatibility of environment and development.
3.2. Landscape ecological approach
Landscape-ecology principles are useful tools for planning ecologically sound urban green spaces
(Dramstad et al., 1996). Landscape ecology focuses on three fundamental structural elements—
Patches, Corridors and Matrix. The function also includes ecological flow of animals, energy, minerals,
water and other elements across the landscape. Taken in its entirety, this is widely known as ‘‘patch-
corridor-matrix’’ (Forman, 1995). The framework includes the identification of spatial elements (large
patch areas, major corridors, special sites, etc.) and landscape functions (water protection, wildlife and
human movement). It is important to connect the patches (parks, gardens and green spaces) using cor-
ridors (riverine buffers, streetscapes, green ways, etc.) to maintain ecological connectivity. Corridors
are important elements in green space planning and design; and ecological corridors can be used to
reduce the negative impact of landscape fragmentation. Landscape-level habitat connectivity plays
an important role in population viability by maintaining gene flow and facilitating migration,
dispersal, and recolonization that on the whole enhances urban biodiversity. Majka et al. (2007) devel-
oped a GIS-based tool ‘‘Corridor design’’ that helps in creating habitat and corridor models. It is impor-
tant to connect patches using corridors to maintain ecological connectivity and models. For example,
using the least cost method (Kong et al., 2010) can help planners to develop green space networks
from potential corridors, identify relatively high-quality habitats, and choose the best opportunities
to maintain and restore connectivity.
3.3. Green spaces planning for climate change mitigation
Using models such as the Urban Forest Effects Model (UFORE) (Nowak et al., 2006) can help in
quantifying key values of urban green spaces such as carbon storage and sequestration, as well the
selection of appropriate trees that help in air pollution mitigation. The GIS-based UFORE model can
help to understand and quantify urban forest structure, function and value. The model helps to quan-
tify the structure of urban forests (e.g., species composition, number of trees, tree sizes, tree locations,
etc.). The model also helps planners in evaluating existing green spaces, and making informed
decisions on tree planting requirements and urban forestry improvement.
3.4. Planning green spaces for meeting social needs
The social aspect of open spaces in urban sustainability deals with access to open spaces and avail-
ability of open space per capita or per 1000 population. Improving the quality of life in the cities is a
major objective in green space planning. As we aim towards planning more livable cities in the 21st
century, it is important to provide our residential areas with accessible and attractive green spaces.
Global standards recommend 33% green cover for urban areas, and that the maximum green spaces
4D. Govindarajulu / Urban Climate xxx (2014) xxx–xxx
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be connected. The LEED ND (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design Neighborhood develop-
ment) recommends that the green area per capita be >20 sq m or maintain a minimum of 1.25 ha
of open space per 1000 residents, and that the access to open space be within 250 m of residential
areas for smaller parks. The type of open space required at each level may vary, such as children’s
parks near schools and residential areas, small parks for daily activities, and large parks that can serve
as weekend destinations. Models such as the one developed by Herzele and Weidmann (2003), which
was used to assess the accessibility of green spaces in the four Belgian cities of Antwerp; Ghent, Aalst
and Kortrijk, can be used for planning urban green spaces with social accessibility.
4. An integrated approach
In India planning urban green spaces requires an integrated approach that balances ecological and
social aspects of green spaces with urban development needs. It is important to preserve the existing
green spaces that are biodiversity-rich from unplanned urban development, while simultaneously
developing green spaces with higher connectivity to ensure ecological sustainability. Models that
combine ecological, aesthetic and social needs are critical in planning green spaces. With the advance-
ment in tools such GIS, planning has become much more easier by incorporating social and ecological
needs (Herzele and Weidmann, 2003). In the 1970s, GIS had emerged as an important planning tool
based on the overlay method framed by McHarg (1969). With the addition of landscape ecological
tools into land use and landscape planning since 1990, the concept of connectivity among patches
has become enhanced; and with additional tools such as neighborhood analysis, the social aspects
of green space planning has also been accounted for. At patch level use, models like UFORE can help
in evaluating the patch quality and planning for efficient utilization of green spaces for climate adap-
tation and mitigation. Teng et al. (2011) developed an integrated approach to green space planning,
which integrates animal conservation, human recreation and water protection objectives. The frame-
work allows priorities to be added, interchanged or weighted according to local needs—making it
applicable for developing as well as developed cities. Such models need to be used in India for green
space planning.
5. Conclusion and recommendation
Currently India’s urban development policies clearly lack climate adaptation strategies (Sharma
and Tomar, 2010; Revi and Mukhopadhyay, 2009). The potential of green spaces in social and environ-
mental urban sustainability, and its potential in cost effective climate adaptation and mitigation is not
fully realized in India as yet. The short-term economic benefits of converting land for development
over retaining it as open space have sometimes led to shortsighted vision in urban planning in the
country. The cost of maintaining open spaces sometimes becomes high, wherein the intervention of
the State or a collective decision making body is required to conserve urban green spaces, as their
non-market benefits clearly outweigh market or material benefits and achieve economic efficiency
(Chaudhry et al., 2011).
The Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, has issued guidelines on Urban Devel-
opment Plans Formulation and Implementation (UDPFI) on protecting environmentally sensitive areas
from urban development, while providing adequate open space network. The urban development
agencies of many metropolitan areas have also developed guidelines for protecting open spaces during
urban development. There is no mandatory norm, however, to set minimum green space per capita in
Indian cities or any guideline on developing and improving urban green spaces by utilizing the avail-
able area to its maximum potential for ecological and social needs.
Presently many metropolitan development authorities are considering the inclusion of more green
spaces in future urban/suburban development plans; and there are several schemes such as social and
urban forestry in India that aims at improving urban green spaces. A timely policy input on setting
mandatory urban green space norms and guidelines to plan environmentally and socially sustainable
urban green spaces by incorporating criteria such as accessibility and availability per capita, and
scientific principles such as landscape ecology, can go a long way in developing urban green spaces
D. Govindarajulu / Urban Climate xxx (2014) xxx–xxx 5
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... Hence, ecosystem services, used through ecosystem-based adaptation, are described as important for both enhancing climate change adaptation and other economic, social, and environmental objectives. This is at times also described as 'noregrets' strategies and solutions Govindarajulu's 2014;Munang et al 2013a;Wilson 2006). Moreover, it has been articulated that the involvement of politicians and civil servants in networks, through which knowledge and experiences of 'good examples' of adaptation are shared, is important to help promote this type of adaptation (Wilson 2006). ...
... The emphasis on the integration of ecosystems through the multiple co-benefits that ecosystem services provide for other concerns, especially short-term development concerns, are also related to descriptions of current political systems and planning cycles as having tendencies to favor short-term objectives, notably economic growth, at the expense of long-term sustainability goals like ecosystem resilience (Govindarajulu 2014;Ojea 2015;Dymén and Langlais 2013;Serrao-Neumann et al. 2013;Hurlimann and March 2012). 54 It has been emphasized that the promotion of ecosystem-based adaptation creates opportunities to integrate long-term environmental sustainability with short-term concerns, such as economic growth objectives, through synergies (Dymén and Langlais 2013;Govindarajulu's 2014). ...
... The emphasis on the integration of ecosystems through the multiple co-benefits that ecosystem services provide for other concerns, especially short-term development concerns, are also related to descriptions of current political systems and planning cycles as having tendencies to favor short-term objectives, notably economic growth, at the expense of long-term sustainability goals like ecosystem resilience (Govindarajulu 2014;Ojea 2015;Dymén and Langlais 2013;Serrao-Neumann et al. 2013;Hurlimann and March 2012). 54 It has been emphasized that the promotion of ecosystem-based adaptation creates opportunities to integrate long-term environmental sustainability with short-term concerns, such as economic growth objectives, through synergies (Dymén and Langlais 2013;Govindarajulu's 2014). 55 It is also articulated that this is crucial in light of the pressures that climate change place on ecosystems and society. ...
Full-text available
By describing climate change as one of the greatest challenges of our time, the Swedish government has expressed a commitment to climate change adaptation as an integral part of the country’s sustainable development efforts. Sweden has also been portrayed as a frontrunner of climate policy and sustainable development. However, research and rankings describe even the ‘good example’ of Sweden as unsustainable, including its responses to climate change. Transformation is needed. Based on the ‘what’s the problem represented to be?’ (WPR) approach, this thesis describes and problematizes conditions of ‘sustainability’ constituted through problem representations of governing climate change adaptation in Sweden. In addition, the study provides a discussion of alternative problem representations constituting conditions with new possibilities for transformation. The empirical material for the analysis of current conditions in Sweden consists of policy documents as well as interviews with municipal and regional experts involved in promoting and implementing adaptation. I also analyze conditions constituted through problem representations in research. These are used as points of comparison for the problematization of conditions in Sweden. My conclusions are that the current conditions of ‘sustainability’, constituted through the problem representations in Sweden, create a focus on advancing functional governance of adaptation as well as a focus on reducing marginalization of neglected sustainability concerns by integrating them with the current order of things. Problematizations of domination are largely absent. I argue that possibilities for transformation could be advanced by problematizing domination. Through problematizations of the current decentralization of responsibility, the integration imperative, and the primacy of economic growth over environmental and social dimensions of sustainability, I suggest ways in which this type of problematization could be facilitated.
... However, the provision of green and blue spaces in Indian cities are very poor (Govindarajulu, 2014). Due to overpopulation and rapid (Govindarajulu, 2014). ...
... However, the provision of green and blue spaces in Indian cities are very poor (Govindarajulu, 2014). Due to overpopulation and rapid (Govindarajulu, 2014). The proper green and blue space planning should be in the master plan, as these are not only reducing the extreme heat-health risk but also providing other ecosystem servicescalled as nature-based solution which is very promising in sustainable city development. ...
Rapid urban growth and land-use transformation has intensified urban heat island effects and exacerbated the heat-related health risk (HRHR). However, it remains debatable what are the interconnections between densification or sprawling and HRHR. Thus, the present study aimed at two crucial issues: 'whether the denser or sprawling growth is more prone to heat-related risk?' as well as 'what are the spatial interconnections or dependences of heat-risk on urban morphologies (ULM)' while taking Delhi as a case for the year 2001 & 2017. Four successive steps were followed (1) developing a comprehensive HRHR index adopting Crichton's risk triangle, (2) calculation of ULM and building a composite density index (DI), (3) testing correlation between HRHR and DI, (4) spatial autocorrelation and spatial regression modelling for exploring spatial dependence and interaction between ULM and HRHR. The result showed a strong positive correlation between DI and HRHR (R2 = 0.36 & 0.64 for 2001 and 2017, respectively). The models revealed ULM and HRHR as both spatially interconnected although spill-over, direct and total effect varies. The findings may contribute to the long-standing academic debate on 'dense growth' vs. 'sprawling growth' and help to effective heat-resilient LULC planning.
... In 2015, collaborative research ( Figure 2) by various researchers and organisations stated that the open areas in the city dropped from 25% of total areas in 1990 to a meagre 10% by 2015, while residential and commercial land covered 79% of the total area (Reporter, 2017). Recorded forest cover is nil (Govindarajulu, 2014), with only 6% road infrastructure (Bardhan, Debnath et al., 2016;Census/of/India, 2016). ...
... 12.5 sq. m per inhabitant (LEED-ND -Leadership in Energy and Environment Design Neighborhood Development) (Govindarajulu, 2014) The graphs in Figure 6 compare Kolkata with some important cities in India and worldwide in terms of spatio-physical distribution and per inhabitant availability of UBGS. This comparison gives an idea of the actual situation of the built-open space relationship in Kolkata compared to other cities of equivalent stature. ...
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Urban-blue-and-green-spaces (UBGS) comprising waterbodies and green spaces are intrinsic to the urban environment due to their immense ecological, social, economic, and health benefits. Owing to high population densities, megacities in countries with emerging economies are losing their natural areas, adversely affecting the urban environment. This article studies the existing built-open space dynamics, and proposes a conceptual framework for the quantitative assessment of UBGS in the Indian megacity of Kolkata at the smallest administrative unit called wards. Results show that the available UBGS is 11.51% of the total area and 5.08 sq.m per inhabitant, both of which are far below the national and international urban planning guidelines. The wards are appraised for two indices namely, UBGS Distribution Index and UBGS Availability Index, based on spatio-physical distribution and per inhabitant availability respectively, by comparing them with the Indian urban planning standards. The indices represent the actual shortfall of UBGS in each ward in terms of minimum requirements as per national standards. The present unequal distribution of UBGS in the city is a matter of social and environmental justice that needs to be addressed. The indices show a correlation of 0.6688. This framework can help decision-makers to protect, preserve, and promote the city’s UBGS by adopting a bottom-up approach to solve local issues, and to provide safe and socially inclusive public spaces for all sections of the society.
... The results of such land suitability analysis are used for site selection for designated use, conducting impact studies and are fundamental for future land use planning. Therefore, this tool can be utilized to identify areas suitable for green spaces' planning and development in urban centers in the most efficient manner (Govindarajulu, 2014). ...
Urban planning, with special attention to green space development, offers a relatively simple and low-cost solution to the impacts of climate change and urbanization faced by urban centres. The present work examines the spatial variability of availability of adequate sites for the development of urban green amenities in Noida city. Multi-criteria assessment of potential locations has been accomplished using Analytical Hierarchical Process coupled with geospatial technology. Urban land use, physiographic factors (slope and elevation), accessibility (proximity to roads), and presence of grey, green and blue amenities (Normalised Difference Built-up Index, Normalised Difference Vegetation Index and proximity to water bodies, respectively) are the seven key criteria used to derive the final green space suitability map. A total of 46.47 % of the land was found to be in the category of highly and moderately suitable for greening the city, highlighting the potential of developing different forms of green spaces in the area. Such holistic city scale analysis of availability of potential sites for green space development can be utilised by the city administrators and urban planners for future land use planning and improving the distribution and spatial connectivity of the green spaces in the city with the common goals of better health, a cleaner environment, and climate change mitigation.
Green space (GS) plays a crucial role in reducing the urban heat island (UHI) effect and helps in mitigating climate change. In Indian cities, GS are highly vulnerable due to rapid urbanization and infrastructural development. This study aims to assess the cooling effect of urban parks such as GS on the thermal environment in Kolkata Metropolitan Area (KMA), India. Five urban parks were selected from different parts of KMA for the assessment during the summer season. Three greenness indices (normalized difference vegetation index, enhanced vegetation index and soil adjusted vegetation index) and two thermal indices (land surface temperature and temperature condition index) were used to find out the cooling effect on the thermal environment. Relative land surface temperature (RLST) and vegetation cooling index (VCI) was developed for a better understanding of the relationship between greenness on the thermal environment. Correlation and regression analysis was also performed to show the relationship as well the effect of greenness parameters on thermal conditions. From the result, it was found that urban parks had a substantial impact on the cooling effect. (i) Botanical Park was the coldest park with an average LST of 33.55⁰C, followed by Nicco park (34.33⁰C), Nature park (34.48⁰C), Rabindra Sarabor (34.55⁰C), and Central Park (36.65⁰C) (ii) RLST had a negative correlation with PV (R = -0.51 for Botanical Park; R= -0.65 for Nature park; R= -0.57 for Central park) and (iii) finally, greenness had a negative impact on the thermal pattern in KMA (R = -0.16). Thus, from the results, it was documented that urban parks (as GS) had CA on the surrounding areas. Therefore, the conservation of GS is essential to achieving sustainable development goals (particularly goals- 3, 11, 13, and 15).
Sustainable Development Goal 11 (sustainable cities and communities) is important to be localized and achieved due to increasing urbanization across the world. Air quality management has emerged as a major urban challenge because of increasing pollution load and people getting exposed to polluted environment due to the rapid urbanization. Local climate modifications by urban landscape such as building morphology, vegetation, and water bodies define the transport of pollutants. Diminishing water bodies, dwindling green spaces, and ever-increasing built-up area have further pushed the urban centers toward the tipping point. Passive air pollution abatement and microclimate modification by mainstreaming integrating nature-based solutions (NbS) (especially nature-based infrastructure (NbI) and green infrastructure (GI)) in urban planning can help. Mainstreaming NbS in urban planning has found its relevance in the developed countries and needs recognition in urban plans of developing and underdeveloped countries. In the present chapter, we provide evidence to support mainstreaming of NbS in urban air quality management and heat mitigation in the urban canopy layer that has the potential to bring multiple co-benefits with it. Urban resilience and sustainability in the Anthropocene will equip future cities for improving air quality and also cushion the harmful effects from extreme weather events (urban heat island effect, heatwaves, flash floods, groundwater depletion, etc.) which are accelerated due to climate variability. This chapter explores opportunities and challenges of integrating blue-green infrastructure in improving urban resilience and sustainability and especially to localize SDG 11 and other interlinked SDGs.
Urban green spaces (UGS) can counter the ill effects of urbanization in high-density cities. Studies related to these aspects are rare in Indian cities, however. This article aims to assess the availability and accessibility of UGS in Raipur, India. The objectives are to identify the status of UGS alteration, determine the status of available UGS, and identify the optimum population density for which UGS can be made available and accessible. Land use change detection, fragmentation index, availability index, UGS per capita, and neighborhood accessibility are used to assess aspects of UGS. The results show an increase in built-up area (24.32 percent) from 2010 to 2020. They also show a decrease in the UGS availability index and an increase in the fragmentation index from the city center to the outskirts. Uneven distribution of UGS categories is found all over the studied urban area. Low-density areas have more UGS per capita available than high-density areas, whereas medium-high-density areas have the maximum UGS accessibility. The study concludes with density-wise implications to maximize the UGS benefits and identifies medium-high density as the optimum density that allows high accessibility to the available UGS.
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Several human activities in the urban environment pose as a source of pollution including environmental noise. The increasing human population movement towards urban areas has brought a series of environmental pressures that affect the quality of life and the quality of the overall environment. A response towards the problems caused by noise is the creation of quiet areas in agglomerations. The quiet areas of an urban complex, as defined in the Directive 2002/49 / EC, are a societal response in order to deal with environmental noise. However, the concepts of noise and quietness are multidimensional and vague. So far, two approaches have been applied in order to find quiet areas. The first recognizes noise as a sound of increased intensity and the rational that "less" is better than "more", urges the creation of noise maps in order to highlight areas with lower levels of intensity. An important remark about this particular tactic is the homogenization of all sounds in the light of their intensity. However, the emergence of noise as an urban disease and the promotion of quietness as a panacea, offers short-term and one-dimensional benefits. The second way concerns the general conclusion that the quality of the acoustic environment is responsible for declaring an area as quiet and not the intensity of the sounds it contains. This soundscape approach inevitably leads to the search for the concept of the aforementioned quality and its connection with the concept of quietness. The potential risk of using this tactic, which has now been applied in several European countries, is left to the human instrumental rationality towards the environment, the grouping of opinions in order to highlight the preferred one and the practical application of the dominant opinion in a public space without investing in ecological co-benefits. The goals of this dissertation was to create a flexible protocol for urban quiet areas identification, the efforts of ecological connection of quiet areas, the redefining of the concept of urban quietness and the creation of the new Composite Urban Quietness Index (CUQI) that quantifies the state of urban quiet areas, so that possible changes in the quality of the urban environment are observed in a timely manner. The main research tools were noise level measurements and sound recordings. The collected data were used in such a way as to extract noise maps and sound maps that strengthened the efforts of quiet area identification, with the study area being the city of Mytilene. At the same time, altered fixed tactics of evaluating soundscapes such as the soundwalk were used in order to highlight the perception of the acoustic environment. Then, using a special sampling protocol, the Composite Urban Quietness Index was formed. In conclusion, noise emerged as an immaterial barrier to ecological connectivity in an urban environment. Finally, the dysfunctionality of the so far evaluation metrics which concern exclusively to intensity or preference emerged. The introduction of additional aspects of sound in the analysis of urban acoustic environments regarding frequency and acoustic complexity is considered necessary.
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Due to undergoing urbanization trend worldwide, distance between city inhabitants and nature is increasing. Urban greenery/forestry is one of the ways to bridge this gap between people and nature. Most of the Indian cities are far behind in quality as well as quantity of urban forests than their counterpart in Europe and America. High population density is one of the reasons for underdevelopment of urban greenery sector. India can learn a lot from Chinese model of urban forestry development as both of them are the topmost populated countries of the world. Recently, some of the Indian cities like Chandigarh, Gandhinagar and Delhi have shown some improvement in this field. Status of urban greenery in some of the Indian cities has been discussed in the paper.
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Based on field data from 10 USA cities and national urban tree cover data, it is estimated that urban trees in the coterminous USA currently store 700 million tonnes of carbon ($14,300 million value) with a gross carbon sequestration rate of 22.8 million tC/yr ($460 million/year). Carbon storage within cities ranges from 1.2 million tC in New York, NY, to 19,300 tC in Jersey City, NJ. Regions with the greatest proportion of urban land are the Northeast (8.5%) and the southeast (7.1%). Urban forests in the north central, northeast, south central and southeast regions of the USA store and sequester the most carbon, with average carbon storage per hectare greatest in southeast, north central, northeast and Pacific northwest regions, respectively. The national average urban forest carbon storage density is 25.1 tC/ha, compared with 53.5 tC/ha in forest stands. These data can be used to help assess the actual and potential role of urban forests in reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide, a dominant greenhouse gas.
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Flood exposure is increasing in coastal cities owing to growing populations and assets, the changing climate, and subsidence. Here we provide a quantification of present and future flood losses in the 136 largest coastal cities. Using a new database of urban protection and different assumptions on adaptation, we account for existing and future flood defences. Average global flood losses in 2005 are estimated to be approximately US$6billion per year, increasing to US$52billion by 2050 with projected socio-economic change alone. With climate change and subsidence, present protection will need to be upgraded to avoid unacceptable losses of US$1trillion or more per year. Even if adaptation investments maintain constant flood probability, subsidence and sea-level rise will increase global flood losses to US$60-63billion per year in 2050. To maintain present flood risk, adaptation will need to reduce flood probabilities below present values. In this case, the magnitude of losses when floods do occur would increase, often by more than 50%, making it critical to also prepare for larger disasters than we experience today. The analysis identifies the cities that seem most vulnerable to these trends, that is, where the largest increase in losses can be expected.
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The changing climate is no longer an abstract issue, and the realities of its impacts are being felt across the globe. Climate change is affecting millions of people, and thwarting their efforts to escape poverty. Against this harsh reality, it will be imperative to speed up the integration of climate risk considerations into policy, in order to ensure that development proceeds along pathways that are resilient to climate change. However, the questions as to the type of strategies, approaches and actions required still generate divergent views on the international policy arena. Closer attention to a broader spectrum of adaptation options is urgently needed. Approaches that go beyond words into actions with potential to informing and guiding policy practices are imperative and urgently needed. In particular Ecosystem-based Adaptation approaches have proved to provide flexible, cost effective and broadly applicable alternatives for reducing the impacts of climate change and as such are a critical tool at adaptation planners disposal for tackling the threats that climate change poses to peoples lives and livelihoods across the globe.
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Bangalore is experiencing unprecedented urbanisation and sprawl in recent times due to concentrated developmental activities with impetus on industrialisation for the economic development of the region. This concentrated growth has resulted in the increase in population and consequent pressure on infrastructure, natural resources and ultimately giving rise to a plethora of serious challenges such as climate change, enhanced green-house gases emissions, lack of appropriate infrastructure, traffic congestion, and lack of basic amenities (electricity, water, and sanitation) in many localities, etc. This study shows that there has been a growth of 632% in urban areas of Greater Bangalore across 37 years (1973 to 2009). Urban heat island phenomenon is evident from large number of localities with higher local temperatures. The study unravels the pattern of growth in Greater Bangalore and its implication on local climate (an increase of ~2 to 2.5 ºC during the last decade) and also on the natural resources (76% decline in vegetation cover and 79% decline in water bodies), necessitating appropriate strategies for the sustainable management. Introduction Urbanisation is a form of metropolitan growth that is a response to often bewildering sets of economic, social, and political forces and to the physical geography of an area. It is the increase in the population of
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If climate change is perceived as a global threat, this can mean that too little attention is paid to the ways in which it affects local populations and settlements. This also means too little attention to the importance of locally driven adaptation, both to reduce risks and to be better prepared to cope with consequences. This paper reviews the many initiatives underway in India that respond to climate change, and discusses what else is needed to mainstream effective adaptation, as well as identifying what currently constrains this. It also discusses how adaptation has to be mainstreamed within urban development and urban governance. Most municipal authorities in India are already grappling with large deficits in infrastructure and services and do not see climate change adaptation as a priority or as their responsibility. However, their attention may be engaged if they can see the co-benefits between adaptation and measures to address development and environmental health concerns.
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Well-planned urban green landscapes, including wildscapes and green spaces, have the potential to contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation. Yet for cities in low-income countries, the value of these urban landscapes in climate change response strategies is often disregarded and remains largely unexploited and unaccounted for. This paper discusses the potential role of urban green landscapes as a “soft engineering” climate change response strategy, and calls for the pursuance of management practices that preserve and promote the use of these urban spaces. It does so by combining theoretical arguments with an empirical example based on an innovative and novel approach to landscape rehabilitation, the Lafarge Ecosystems Programme, in the coastal city of Mombasa, Kenya. The paper finds that a well-managed system of green landscapes in resource-poor urban areas can generate net social benefits under a range of future scenarios. It further finds that climate change adaptation and mitigation responses can be initiated by a range of stakeholders operating at all scales.