Building Climate Change Adaptation with Smart Growth and Green Infrastructure: Adaptive Planning Policies from Rotterdam, Lyon, and Barcelona
Cities in both the United States and Europe are experiencing floods, heat waves, droughts, and other effects of climate change. At the same time, cities are constantly updating their built and natural environment in a way that supports the adaptive planning needed to respond to changes in climate, including exacerbation by growing populations and aging infrastructure. Local land use and infrastructure planning provide the framework for new stormwater systems, buildings, parks, and public spaces. Smart growth approaches that consider where and how cities develop, as well as green infrastructure systems for managing stormwater, can prepare for greater fluctuations in weather conditions. Importantly, these approaches are also capable of producing additional community benefits. This brief looks at the adaptive planning policies and practices that the European cities of Rotterdam, Barcelona, and Lyon are instituting to combat the effects of climate change. The local approaches these cities are developing provide examples of innovations that U.S. cities can look to when implementing their own local climate action plans.