environment

How Auckland is planning for climate change

*Watch the video in the player above*


If climate scientists have got their predictions right, Auckland will be progressively hit by more extreme weather, including more frequent and possibly more severe droughts, floods and damaging winds. Coastal storm surges will damage coastal property, beaches, roads and affect our biodiversity. Sea levels could rise by more than a metre in the next 100 years.

Climate change has the potential to seriously impact the city’s economy, people, culture and the natural environment - and increase risks to public health and wellbeing.

Auckland is already starting to feel the effects and costs. A storm in 2014 caused $300,000 of damage to Auckland Council property at the Westhaven Marina. This included $200,000 to repair a public boardwalk and $50,000 to modify stormwater pipes to prevent backflow. Local boards will have to cope with the cost impacts from more frequent storm events.

Last year Auckland Council recognised the urgency for action by declaring a climate emergency. In New Zealand, 13 city and regional councils, covering 74 percent of the population, have joined this global initiative – alongside 1355 jurisdictions in 26 other countries.

Local initiatives and citizen science are growing, documenting the physical changes along our coasts, and iwi and hapu-led climate adaptation strategies are being developed across Aotearoa New Zealand.

Climate change presents significant challenges for urban systems in all parts of the world, requiring resilient and progressive urban planning. Major cities around the globe are developing and implementing plans for adaptive changes to cope with its effects.

In the video at the top of this story, planners and hazard experts Bryce Julyan, from Beca, and Lara Clarke from GNS Science - Te Pῡ Ao, talk to Newsroom’s Eloise Gibson about how climate change will impact Auckland and how good planning can help the city adapt.

Beca is a foundation supporter of Newsroom's New Auckland section.

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