The plan aims to help those already impacted by change as well as futureproof the city and aid more people to understand the direct and sometimes unseen indirect local impacts of climate change.
Glasgow has adopted a climate adaptation plan to futureproof the city as well as help residents that are already impacted by climate change.
The council’s agreed Climate Adaptation Plan 2022-2030 focuses on the local impacts of global temperature increases, what they mean for the city and how, with other partners, they city plans to respond to them now and in the future.
The heatwave of 2018 saw a record temperature of 31.9 degrees celsius in the city and caused the roof of the Glasgow Science Centre to melt. Local flooding experienced shortly before the start of Cop26 climate change conference, caused by intense rainfall, triggered travel disruption and journey delays.
Glasgow City Council reckons the trend in variable and extreme weather patterns is predicted to worsen due to harmful emissions already locked into the atmosphere and, globally, the relatively slow action to curb further emissions being released.
The climate adaptation plan considers climate hazards, exposure levels and local vulnerability to them. Interventions and solutions include working with other organisations on a range of actions around city development, housing and transportation as well as considering more nature-based solutions such as tree planting, green roofs and raingardens, to meet the challenges it faces.
“Combatting the climate emergency is not only about reducing the harmful emissions being released into the atmosphere, but also about dealing with the impacts of climate change that are already being experienced”
The plan includes helping more people to understand the direct and sometimes unseen indirect local impacts of climate change and what is needed to protect Glasgow from further harm. It also looks at learning from cities facing similar challenges and their responses, incentivising retro fitting solutions on older buildings, surface water management, and introducing natural cooling solutions.
“Combatting the climate emergency is not only about reducing the harmful emissions being released into the atmosphere, but also about dealing with the impacts of climate change that are already being experienced,” said councillor Angus Millar, climate convenor. “Cities like Glasgow will not be immune to the impacts of warmer and wetter weather and our Climate Adaptation Plan is all about ensuring we are prepared.
The plan will also assess risk and vulnerabilities on city’s existing buildings and push for action within the City Development Plan to mandate green roofs for new or retrofit buildings over a certain size threshold and require developers to include adaptation designs within projects like green roof/walls and rainwater collectors and promote the use of permeable surfaces.
A key focus with also be to work with transport partners to better prepare for extreme weather events to minimise the disruption for those using public transport.
“Climate change has a knock-on impact on just about every aspect of our daily lives, from the cost of living via higher food, fuel and energy prices, to health impacts such as air quality”
The adaptation plan dovetails with the Glasgow Climate Plan whose overall aim is to forge a path for the city to become a net zero carbon by 2030.
One such community that is already reportedly reaping the benefits of a project to reduce incidences of flooding and creating new areas for both school children and the community to enjoy is in the Kings Park and Croftfoot areas, in the south east of the city.
The South East Glasgow Surface Water Management Plan, delivered by the council, has introduced a range of measures including flood basins, raingardens and new woodlands to capture, slow down and manage surface water runoff during extreme rainfall and mitigate the heat island effect of urban areas.
New outdoor learning and play spaces have been designed to help manage flooding. The amphitheatre in the playground provides above ground flood storage during severe weather and a multi-use games area (Muga) for the children of Croftfoot Primary School sits atop an underground flood storage tank.
The new community woodlands around the area also promote conservation, boost biodiversity and have paths to encourage active travel and exercise and spaces for people to enjoy.