Introduction

The urban environment is vulnerable to climate change. For example, a rising temperature leads to more heat problems than in the countryside, and extreme precipitation causes more flood problems in built-up areas than in the landscape. The choice of urban development locations also influences the effects and vulnerability of urban areas for the changes in climate. An anticipative strategy is required to minimise effects in the long-term.

In cities both the government and inhabitants will take measures to minimise the effects of climate change. If this anticipation is too late or not enough these measures may work counter-productively and increase the climate-related problem or cause other negative effects. If heat is enduring, people will react with buying more air-conditioning. This leads to an increase of greenhouse gas emissions and thus the increase of the climate problem. If the extreme precipitation increases municipalities will react with the realisation of larger sewage systems and rainwater discharge systems. These systems cause problems in sewage treatment plants or cause water annoyance elsewhere. In order to prevent these problems the government needs to anticipate climate change if urban functions are developed. It would be wise to take a period of 100 years in mind, because most buildings and neighbourhoods last the same length of time at least.

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