Integrating Climate Change in Urban Planning in Naples

Naples has to cope with unbearable heat waves. Now, the city wants to do more climate adaptive planning. In order to do so, the requirements for urban regeneration, new construction and retrofitting in highly densely populated areas need to be evaluated by integrating inevitable constraints. Here is a step-by-step methodology how CLARITY aims to realise all of the above.

The first challenge is climate adaptive planning focussing on hazards. Heat waves need to be visualized and landslide as well as pluvial flood hazard maps have to be made. These maps stand in relation to the climate change projections for the area of the Metropolitan city of Naples.

 Sometimes water fountains and a cool airstream is just not enough.

Sometimes water fountains and a cool airstream is just not enough.

These maps and visualizations enable service users to identify the most exposed areas in terms of buildings and population density considering the expected hazard exposure variation due to climate change.

Secondly, the impact of heat waves, landslides and pluvial floods in relation to certain elements such as population, buildings, transport infrastructures and local economy has to be quantified in order to understand the effect of extreme climate events in the area. These extreme climate events stand in relation to climate change projections considering the expected impact variation due to climate change.

The results of CLARITY simulations and climate services will be applied to both existing conditions and design scenarios with different levels of details in relation to the area. For example the Metropolitan City vs. city neighbourhood. The CLARITY system can be used in different operational contexts, depending on the role of the Municipality of Napoli.

New Tools for Spatial Planners

Spatial planners using the methodology should to apply the model to different proposed options, which may include variations in the volumetric distribution of new buildings, the hydraulic and sewerage system, the urban surfaces and vegetation.

If Neapolitan spatial planners would be equipped with this information, they could better prioritize design scenarios and identify the benefits of climate adaptive solutions and measure the cost-effectiveness of investments in relation to both short- and long-term benefits.

Visualizing the Climate Change

The results of CLARITY simulations and climate services have to be visualized as Georeferenced maps so that they can be used as official planning documents for the redevelopment projects to be directly implemented by the Municipality of Napoli.

Also, the results would have to be visualized as a synthetic document such as a pdf with text and images. They then can be used as consultation documents for the redevelopment projects to be implemented jointly with Regional or State level authorities.

Climate Change in City legislation

The second challenge is climate adaptive design guidelines and building regulations. A set of design guidelines needs to be acquired which are also applicable to the multi-risk conditions of the Metropolitan area. Then, public policies and private investments aimed at integrating Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction can be promoted.

On one hand, there is multi-risk integration. A set of guidelines to integrate climate adaptive solutions within current building regulations has to be acquired which concern landscape protection, volcanic risk, landslide floods, hydrological issues and earthquakes. Ongoing structural retrofitting interventions can then be addressed, both public policies and private investments, to include climate adaptation within a multi-hazard resilience perspective and evaluate the opportunity of climate financial incentives.

On the other hand, there is benchmarking. A set of benchmarks and assessment tools for alternative Disaster Risk Reduction and Cause-consequence analysis techniques needs to be acquired in order to evaluate projects presented by private entities for new buildings and retrofitting actions.

Taking hazards into account

All of the above will be realised with this new approach based on climate modelling, directing to the use of sustainable materials and technologies aimed at climate adaptation. This model may help investigating the performances of different typologies of land use and alternative technological options.

Furthermore, in compliance with the standard building regulations, the model can be run for different alternatives to help the project manager to choose a project. This maximizes climate benefits and enables city planners to evaluate the best practices for public policies and address private investments that may represent a fast way for urban and social change.