Analyse the present local climate and the future climate scenarios for your area. Pay special attention to extreme events.

Identify the possibilities and challenges in local climate

Local climate influences the solutions called for in planning. Information concerning the future climate regarding the relevant meteorological parameters forecasted in scenarios is useful to have when starting to plan. Changes in temperature, precipitation, humidity etc. provide critical information for long term planning processes. Additionally, present weather conditions and climate variability (e.g. heavy rain, moisture and wind) have impacts on local activities and land and water use, for example related to farming, forestry, water management, leisure time, etc.

Minimise the risks caused by the extreme meteorological events

Extreme events, such as heavy rains, heat waves, snow storms, droughts, forest fires etc. can occur in locations which are potentially unprepared for them. Snow storms and a heavy snowpack during the winter can create infrastructure related problems to e.g. electricity lines: sufficient snow removal needs to be guaranteed also in the future. Extreme events can have influence on built infrastructure, but also on farming and forestry in the region. 

Heavy rains will increase the need for storm water management. A compact urban structure with non-permeable (i.e. asphalt) surfaces increases the chances of urban flooding if storm water management systems are not updated to the future requirements. Green areas can act as buffer zones for urban flooding and protection against erosion. In areas with less dense population, heavy rains can also create problems for the infrastructure, e.g. smaller roads can be damaged by landslides, and river banks can collapse.

Heat waves during summers can create a significant risk to health. Heat islands, created by highly compact urban structures and a lack of cooling air can make this phenomenon worse.

Wind protection is essential especially in more open areas, such as near lakes, shorelines and fields. The microclimate of an area can be modified by locating buildings, trees, etc. in a way that they block heavy winds.  

Account for climate change risks and impacts within the impact assessment processes related with planning

Prevent or minimise building in areas with climate risks. It is essential to determine areas at risk for floods, landslides, erosions and other risks and restrict building in these areas and protect these vulnerable areas. Good tools for identification of these areas are existing topographic maps or flood risk maps. Highly vulnerable areas can benefit from the use of warning systems (heavy rain or heavy wind).

See also other categories in planning for climate change mitigation and adaptation:

» Compact and diverse urban structure
» Sustainable transportation
» Energy efficiency
» Comfortable and healthy environment
» Public participation and stakeholder involvement
» Strategic planning
» Costs