2 October 2006
Changes in seasonal and extreme weather conditions have impacted both our population and infrastructure. As the Stern Review concluded, adaptation to climate change – that is, taking steps to build resilience and minimise costs – is essential.
Some of the more immediate risks posed by inevitable climate change include flooding, over-heating and water resource shortages, all of which have recently affected the United Kingdom’s economy and the well being of the population.
Over the next twenty years a significant amount of new housing will be required in the UK, and particularly in the South East, London and the East of England. The government’s response, as set out in the Sustainable Communities Plan, is to develop integrated communities at appropriate sites across the three regions. It is therefore vital we think from the outset how buildings and infrastructure can be adapted to cope with the climate they are likely to experience over their lifetime.
The Adapting to Climate Change Impacts: A Good Practice Guide for Sustainable Communities report sets out the climate change adaptation issues that planners and developers should consider at each stage of the development process, and ways to respond to them. It will help planners and developers implement current planning guidance, including Planning Policy Statement 1: Delivering Sustainable Communities. It links up with the government’s wider approach to climate change adaptation as an output of Defra’s cross-regional research programme as well as with our own A Checklist for Development: Guidance on designing developments in changing climate.
Through use of this document we can help ensure that the new communities we construct are truly sustainable – that they remain comfortable, safe and attractive places for many decades to come.