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Heat-proofing East and South Asian cities

4 speakers

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This session, featuring three academic institutions from East and South Asia, explores various strategies of dealing with the Urban Heat Island Effect, including morphological solutions, urban forestry, and energy-efficient cooling.
Presentations: 1. Presentation: CONSERVATION OF URBAN FOREST FOR REDUCING THE IMPACTS OF URBAN HEAT ISLAND: CASE OF GUWAHATI, INDIA Restoring streams running through a city is a measure to adapt to climate change. This measure has interesting co-benefits, especially better livability. The other way around climate change adaptation itself often is the co-benefit of a measure aimed at something else, think of nature inclusive urban agriculture. Although climate change adaptation is almost unthinkable without co-benefits, this is not how finance of this adaptation works. That is problematic in two ways: chances to profit from co-benefits are missed, and co-benefits are perceived as risks. From a fund to enhance livability a city government can add money to empower a project to restore streams, funded with money to adapt to climate change. Simple as this may sound, this is often not how cities work. Rules to spend money on livability can prevent the city to profit from this chance to spend it with good effect on livability. Private finance for e.g. agriculture can go to nature inclusive urban agriculture when the yields promise to be profitable. If this agriculture is beneficial for climate change adaptation in the city, than a project might get extra funding for that. However, from the perspective of funding the agriculture, this can be perceived as a risk. This risk can block the extra funding, thus prohibiting the chance to have effect on climate change adaptation. Working with co-benefits gives an interesting chance to spend money with greater effect. The workshop looks at problems that go with financing co-benefits.2. Presentation: Mitigating urban heat by land use planning and an energy-efficient built environment – A numerical simulation study of Hong Kong In face of climate change and an ever-increasing urban population, cities worldwide need to seek ways to develop sustainably while protecting its citizens from the anticipated climate extremes, notably the extreme hot weather that is expected to be more severe and frequent in the future. The effect of extreme heat is exacerbated in high-density urban areas which suffer also from intense heat islands and weak wind conditions. Moreover, high energy demands for cooling are inevitable, impeding the progress towards carbon neutrality aimed to mitigate climate change. Taking Hong Kong as a case study, this study aims to examine how the urban thermal environment can be improved by the tactful urban planning during a heatwave. Strategies to reduce cooling energy in buildings from both the top-down and bottom-up approaches are also explored. Enabled by the multi-layer coupling between the mesoscale atmospheric model Meso-NH and the urban surface parameterisation TEB-BEM, the effectiveness of these mitigation strategies is realistically simulated at high resolution for a future urban development scenario. Based on the simulated results, practical advice on the future planning of Hong Kong is offered. Such include the proposal of a point-line-plane planning approach to facilitate wind penetration within an urban district, as well as the adoption of district cooling systems and higher cooling setpoint temperatures in non-domestic and domestic areas, respectively. To aid the transformation of scientific knowledge into real-life implementations, this study takes a further step to present the findings as simple recommendations accessible to urban planners and policymakers3. Presentation: