Urban Climate Change: The objective of the retreat on “Urban Climate Change” was to have interdisciplinary conversations on the areas climate change touches and influences specifically in the urban context. The keynote talks looked at the socio-economic challenges, the biological and ecological aspects and the urban infrastructure. The breakout sessions were guided by the questions of status quo in Bengaluru and the possibilities and challenges with respect to climate change mitigation and adaptation in our city. Following key points were discussed during the retreat:
- here is a need for civil society to be more proactive in urban climate affairs. ivic participation in the management of Bengaluru’s water bodies is a reference for civil society to be involved and this should be carried forward to matters of urban climate change.
- Science behind climate change better needs to be better communicated to the general public and the stakeholders.
- Most of the climate change models are based on the conditions in the developed world. Many presenters felt Indian scientists and organisations researching climate change should develop models for Indian conditions.
- Rapid changes in the urban landscape will affect rainfall in the cities . Changes in climatic conditions have peculiar impacts on the urban areas. For instance, how intensity and time course of rainfall has an impact on urban flooding was highlighted to the participants. Similarly, in what ways does climate change and land use patterns affect precipitation and urban water systems were also discussed.
- The science of climate change is not absolute and in fact considers many uncertainties. The presenters felt it’s important to quantify uncertainties so that policy making can be better informed. It is furthermore important to understand the term uncertainty in the context of climate change better.