4. Adapted for climate change

Every person in the municipality will be aware of - and manage - risks associated with climate change. We will adapt to ensure long-term benefits for the community and capitalise on opportunities for adaptation.

The municipality is already experiencing the effects of human-induced climate change, including: reduced rainfall; higher temperatures and heat waves; increased evaporation; sea level rises and storm surges; intense rainfall events; increased storm frequency and intensity; increased wind speed.1 These changes in our local weather conditions and climate signal the start of a long-term shift, they are not merely a variation of the norm.

Developed cities around the world are preparing for climate change. Given the potential high risk impacts of these changes on our economy and sustainability, our municipality must prepare for climate change, developing and implementing strategies to reduce its vulnerability and make the most of its opportunities.

Melbourne has world leading research resources in this area and can become a world centre for research and innovative industries and businesses that meet the challenge of a changing climate. In July 2008 The City of Melbourne released its public consultation draft Climate Adaptation Strategy 2 for the municipality. Operational research is needed into the specific localised effects and solutions in Melbourne including key institutions such as Melbourne Water, hospital and retailers.

Adapting to climate change requires a better understanding of the city's dependence on resource-based or climate-sensitive industries, the capacity and resilience of its infrastructure, and the needs of its diverse and growing population. We will need to:

  • manage water shortages and flooding through actions such as stormwater harvesting and other strategies set out in The city as a catchment ;
  • use cooling from the city parks and rooftop gardens as part of the city ecosystem to delivering eco-system cooling services along with passive shading to reduce the impact of heat stress and the heat island effect3; and
  • ensure that buildings and infrastructure are designed to mitigate the impacts of projected sea-level rise, storm damage surge, and flooding.

We will successfully adapt to climate change through a good public awareness of the municipality's specific risks based on the best scientific and professional research and advice. We will also adapt through organisations in the municipality collaborating to develop effective, innovative and economically productive adaptation solutions. These solutions will be aligned with the municipal greenhouse gas mitigation strategy. This will enable residents, visitors and workers within the municipality to understand their shared and individual responsibilities.

Goals Indicators Outcomes

Climate change

Manage risk to the municipality from climate change

Percentage of organisations with climate change adaptation strategies.

Survey community understanding of municipal risks and responses.

A community that is highly aware of climate change risks, and understands and is implementing the necessary adaptation strategies for risks in 2010, 2030, and 2070.

Leader in climate adaption research

Melbourne is a world leading research resource and centre in urban climate change adaption and innovative businesses develop strategies, technologies and products to meet the challenge.

Indicator to be developed Melbourne is a leading example of urban adaptation strategies and technologies and exports these to cities around the world.

Innovative climate adaptation solutions

Innovative and productive climate adaptation solutions tailored specifically to the municipality and which make a measurable contributions to greenhouse gas mitigation.

Indicator to be developed. Melbourne has adapted to the risks of climate change and continues to prosper.

See also


1 : The Victorian Climate Change Program. Climate Change in Victoria:2008 Summary

2 : City of Melbourne (2008) Towards a City of Melbourne Climate Change Adaptation Strategy - A Risk Assessment and Action Plan. Discussion Paper Responding with Resilience

3 : Urban Climate Research, Urban Heat Island Research links, Monash University

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Topic revision: r65 - 16 Feb 2009 - 22:13:26 - DavidMayes
FMPlan.S2G3P4AdaptForClimateChange moved from FMPlan.PlanS4Goal3Direction3Point04 on 12 May 2008 - 09:53 by MarkElliott - put it back