Friday, January 17, 2014

How Are Canadian Cities Adapting to Climate Change?

Adapting to Climate Change: An Introduction for Canadian Municipalities (48 page pdf, Richardson, G. R. A., Natural Resources Canada, 2010)

And here: Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan (107 page pdf, City of Ottawa, Nov. 2004)

Today we review a report on how some Canadian municipalities are planning to adapt to impacts expected from climate change which vary from melting of the permafrost in the North to heat health alerts in Canada’s largest city in the South to water level maps showing where sea level rise or flooding would impact communities, both in the interior and coastal regions, unless changes are made by amendments to zoning plans. What is amazing to this blogger is the absence of some cities from the list of those who have community adaptation plans, including notably and regrettably, the national capital of Ottawa which in 2004 had only addressed ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the corporate structure and not by the community and has not yet developed a climate adaptation plan. temp ch canada by seasons  

Key Quotes:

Climate change adaptation refers to actions that reduce the negative impact of climate change, while taking advantage of potential new opportunities. It involves adjusting policies and actions because of observed or expected changes in climate.”

Clyde River (Nunavut).. “permafrost degradation, landscape hazards, sea-level rise, coastal erosion and freshwater supply. The Clyde River Adaptation Action Plan, the first of its kind in the Canadian Arctic

Kamloops (British Columbia)…” actions to reduce the wildfire hazard on the 4036 hectares (ha) of city and crown land that had been assessed as extreme and high hazard.”

Metro Vancouver (BC)..” water management issues, including watershed health, land use planning, engineering, community values, and climate variability and change.”

Edmonton (Alberta)…”Half of Edmonton’s trees are on private property…. Develop a replacement strategy for dead or dying plant material….Review existing planting strategies.”

Regina (Saskatchewan)…”modification to the pricing structure, which charges users for every cubic metre of water used, is the flagship feature of this successful program”

London (Ontario)…” transferred responsibility for the construction of all stormwater management infrastructure from property developers to the City….unique among Ontario municipalities

Toronto (Ontario).. “Heat Health Alert System… an increase in the number of cooling centres …a Green Roof Bylaw, the Toronto Green Standard, an Eco-Roof Incentive Program, Doubling the Tree Canopy Initiative, and ”Greening” Surface Parking Lot guidelines”

Qu├ębec City (Quebec).. « measures affecting the quality and availability of water, a vital resource that is particularly sensitive to changes in temperature and precipitation.”

Le Goulet (New Brunswick)…”modified the village’s zoning bylaw to prevent unsuitable development in flood-prone areas. …produce a high-resolution digital elevation map of the coastline”

Halifax (Nova Scotia)…”water levels relative to the land have risen by 32 centimetres (cm) over the last century, a combination of land subsidence (-16 cm) and local sea-level rise (16 cm)…. …prescribes that any development (ground floor elevation) must be a minimum of 2.5 m above the ordinary high-water mark.”

Annapolis Royal (Nova Scotia)….”used an airborne laser to scan the ground to obtain elevation data to an accuracy of ±15 cm. The team then created flood risk maps with these data…revealed that during a major flooding event, the fire hall…would become an island separated from the rest of the community”
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1 comment:

  1. And Calgary? Worst flood of the decade, I would think. And kudos to Manitoba how many years ago for building the ditch around Winnipeg. Poor Ottawa -- but you tried, Bill!