Adapting to a failed system in an age of climate change
We Need Cities of Resistance:
Adaptation to Global Warming’s Cataclysms Is No Longer an Option
FlaglerLive | October 12, 2018
“We can no longer continue with the delusional planning
that somehow doing ‘less bad or harm’ is sustainable.”
Adapting to a failed system in an age of climate change, as the devastation from Hurricane Michael attests, is failure, not adaptation.
Our nation spent more than
on recovery from climate disasters last year.
The historic barrage of hurricanes in 2017—
wiping out Puerto Rico’s and the U.S. Virgin Islands’
infrastructure, grinding the city of Houston to a stop, and placing Miami’s downtown streets under water—served as a brutal and costly reminder that our major cities along the coasts have reached a reckoning with the rising tide.
The old adage that a crisis is never a crisis until it is validated by disaster has become a reality for seventy percent of our cities already dealing with flooding, drought, fire and environmental decay.
Cities, towns and campuses can no longer champion the disingenuous framework of climate adaptation plans based on volunteer efforts to recycle, change light bulbs, eat less meat on Mondays or carpool with coworkers that willingly cross a bridge to the future that everyone now knows is on the verge of collapse.
This is the first step toward a regenerative city.
By building on Commoner’s landmark “four laws of ecology,” urban theorist and author
as a natural sequence in planning in an age of climate change.
“The urban metabolism currently operates as an inefficient and wasteful linear input-output system,” Girardet posited in his groundbreaking work in cities in Europe, Australia, and around the globe.
“It needs to be transformed into a resource-efficient circular system instead. The only way to overcome notions of ever-greater scarcity is for cities to continually regenerate the living systems on which they rely for their sustenance.”
Following this regenerative approach,
reduced its carbon emissions by 20 percent from 2007 to 2013, and is on track to become the first carbon neutral city in the world.
The city galvanized a boom in green jobs, developed walkable neighborhoods powered by solar energy, converted urban waste to compost and revamped local food markets. The city also planted three million trees to absorb carbon.
In an age of climate change, such a vision is not only an essential framework for a new climate resistance.
It may be our only option—for adaptation.