Climate adaptation: How to mitigate the impact of climate change?
Micène Fontaine, June 22, 2021
The words we choose tell a story of their own. First, we talked about "global warming," then "climate change." Now the conversation has moved away from "fighting climate change" to "climate adaptation." I think it tells us a lot about where we are. Words, of course, matter, but what about action? How will we "adapt," and what does it mean for our cities? What can design professionals do? Climate adaptation thinking and resilient cities go hand-in-hand. Should we go, or should we stay? Build here or there? Rebuild or not? Seawalls or floating cities? What are the economic, ethical, legal, social ramifications? When it is all connected, whose responsibility is it? In other words, how do we prepare for and bounce back from the way climate change impacts us now and in the future.
In my last post, I suggested embracing constraints and using our imagination to not let "what is" get in the way of "what could be." So, of course, it resonated with me when I heard Dr. Susanne Moser explain that the climate adaptation approach has so far been that "everything has to pretty much stay the way it is under changing conditions." In other words, maintaining what is and "cleaning up the mess" (what can be) each time a disaster strikes, which is increasingly more frequent. For Dr. Moser, part of the problem is that "we are so limited in our imagination that we could really live a better and different life on this planet." I happen to agree. What about you?