Climate change costs a LOT.
Like, more than the cost to build the largest spaceship. The International Space Station cost $150 billion dollars over 30 years.
In 2022, it cost $275 BILLION to pay off climate disasters from only 2022. Imagine what else you could do with $275 billion dollars!
Costs from climate change will grow. More and more people are moving to cities. Cities face big risks from climate disasters. The way we build cities impacts how costly and dangerous climate disasters will be.
How we got here
Cities are fantastic places to live. There are tons of fun events, lots of jobs, and plenty of new people. Cities are growing faster than rural areas. Cities also produce more planet warming greenhouse gases — 70% of them, in fact.
This can be a problem. A warmer earth means higher sea levels, more intense storms, and unexpected weather.
Between 1993 and 2023, global sea levels rose by around 10cm. Take a look at this video from NASA to see just how much sea levels have risen over the last 30 years:
The Changing World
Cities have been built on what we expect from the past. But the city of today and tomorrow is different from yesterday. Snowstorms in Texas. Heatwaves in Seattle, Vancouver, and the Arctic. Stronger hurricanes in New York and Halifax.
Changes are coming fast and cities need to adapt. Climate disasters impact cities so strongly that many insurance companies won't provide disaster insurance in some areas anymore.
The amount of hard surfaces like roads, sidewalks, and buildings impacts cities. The heat island effect happens when cities are built in a way that makes them hotter.
Asphalt and concrete release more heat than natural objects like trees, soil, and water. This can result in deadly heatwaves and higher air conditioning bills.
Check out the video below for a closer look at urban heat islands:
Hard human-made surfaces also stop water from being absorbed into the ground, making it easier for floods to happen.
Solution 1: Urban Planning and Technology
Cool Cities, Literally! 😎
Imagine turning your city into a chill paradise! 🌬️
Cities can combat the urban heat island effect by adding more green spaces — parks, rooftop gardens, and tree-lined streets. Nature's AC, anyone? 🌳
Flood-Free Fiesta! 🚣♂️
Don't let your city turn into a swimming pool! 🏊♀️
Smart city planning can prevent flooding. Cities can design streets and buildings that handle heavy rain like a boss. Let's keep those streets dry and your socks intact! 🌧️🏙️
Tech-Savvy Superheroes! 🦸♂️
Who needs capes when you've got sensors and AI? 🕵️♀️
Smart technology helps cities monitor climate conditions in real time. Imagine a city that adjusts itself like magic — traffic lights changing with the weather, and energy use optimizing automatically! 🔍💡
Solution 2: Community Engagement and Capacity Building
Power to the People! 🔥
Your city, your rules! Involve local communities in the climate change game.
Why? Because when plans match your neighborhood vibes, everyone wins! It's like creating a superhero team with unique powers! 💪🏠
Knowledge is Green Power! 📚
Become a climate smarty-pants! 🤓
Spread awareness and educate your crew about the climate crisis. Imagine a city where everyone knows the super moves to beat climate change — knowledge is the ultimate power-up! 🌱🧠
Building Blocks of Resilience! 🏡
Let's make our homes climate-proof fortresses! 🛡️
By building resilience within our community, we can withstand anything Mother Nature throws at us. It's like giving your city a superhero cape against climate villains! 🌪️🏰
Solution 3: Government Policies and Incentives
Show Me the Green! 💸
Guess what? The government's got a bag full of goodies to fight climate change!
Policies like the US Inflation Reduction Act are like the superhero capes we need — substantial incentives that make going green the coolest thing in town! 💼💚
Global Squad Goals! 🌍
It's not just us — it's a worldwide mission!
Check out the European Union's Net Zero Industrial Act — proof that countries are joining forces. When the whole world's in, you know it's a big deal! 🌐🌱
Policy Magic, Green Results! 🧙♂️
Governments are the wizards behind the curtain!
Their policies, subsidies, and regulations are the spells that shape how cities fight climate change. It's like a magic show, but for saving the planet! 🪄✨
Don't just talk the talk, walk the walk!
Action is where the real climate magic happens. Even small changes add up to a big impact. It's a win-win for you and Mother Earth!
Form an unstoppable eco-squad with your buddies. Together, you can create a ripple effect of green habits and inspire your entire city to join the climate action party. Saving the planet is way more fun as a team!
You have the power to shape the future. Governments listen to youth — let's make sure they hear our green roar!