The Mediterranean City: A Conference on Climate Change Adaptation
Join an ongoing collaboration of cities working together to share ideas, needs and strategies to realistically adapt to the current and future impacts of climate change as they similarly affect the five Mediterranean-climate regions of the world.
June 25 - 27
Los Angeles, CA
The Mediterranean City: A Conference on Climate Change Adaptation will initiate an ongoing collaboration of cities working together to share ideas, needs and strategies to realistically adapt to the current and future impacts of climate change as they similarly affect the five Mediterranean-climate regions of the world. The conference will bring together an international network of experts from the academic, policy, business, public health and government worlds, and will stand as an example for how cities can work together across regional and national boundaries to bring more resources and knowledge to building solutions.
Location and Hotel Accomodations
The Mediterranean City Conference will take place at the Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel. Conference attendees will qualify for discounted accommodations at a special $149 Single/Double rate. This discounted rate is available from June 24 – 28.
Please make your reservations by visiting the event booking website. You may also call the Sheraton Los Angeles Central Reservations line at 1-800-325-3535 and ask for the "Mediterranean City Conference Room Block."
Discount expires May 29, 2012.
A Focus on Cities
More than fifty percent of the world's population now lives in an urban setting. Throughout the five Mediterranean-climate zones of the world, these urban centers have become driving forces behind scientific research, technological innovation and policy change. Economic forecasts further show that urban centers in Mediterranean-climate regions are becoming key players in the global economy and technology development.
With their unique geographies of landscape, economy, population and ecology, these same five regions are thought to be among the most vulnerable to climate change impacts. They are some of the most highly altered on the planet, with the least amount of undisturbed land area of any biome. Future climate change could challenge any efforts for sustainable development. In particular, climate change may exacerbate problems of water scarcity, food, energy and open space, both for recreation and wildlife. At the same time, the increasing populations and developing economies require adequate protection against the hazards of floods, droughts and sea level rise – hazards that are expected to become increasingly variable and severe because of the higher stakes and changing climate.
An Integrated Approach
Although countries across the Mediterranean regions may have differing developmental priorities, the urban centers face similar challenges of growing populations and economic needs that are balanced with healthy livable spaces, limited water and other natural resources, and threats to human health and food security. The Mediterranean City Consortium will therefore collaborate to develop integrated climate change adaptation strategies and seek to share resources, technology and information for regionally relevant responses.
Integrated thinking involves consideration of regions and fields outside of one’s individual expertise while still holding traits and objectives common to the area of focus. Integrated thinking also applies to the concept of an integrated city – one that is developed as a whole as a livable, connected, sustainable space. Integrated adaptation in an uncertain future climate will require adaptive management of socio-ecological systems10; making the policy and practice of conservation and resource management vital components of a city’s ability to be resilient.
The Mediterranean City: A Conference on Climate Change Adaptation will address the integrated issues common to Mediterranean cities with workgroups gathered around the following six interrelated topics, which will then reconvene across disciplines and around the three pillars of sustainability: economic, social, and ecological health. The result is a systems approach to solutions that recognizes overlaps and gaps across disparate fields.
Water: Resilient Water Management Strategies for a Changing Climate
Water is among the most basic of human needs and is necessary for economic vitality and food security. In the Mediterranean City, water is harnessed for consumption, industry, and waste management, while flood control systems seek to move water away from cities as efficiently as possible. Degradation of water quality occurs from urban practice and single purpose policy. As water scarcity increases with climate change, and as demand continues to outpace sustainable supplies, human and natural communities of the City and of the water-supply-shed are threatened at the most basic levels.
Energy: Transitioning to an Energy Efficient and Low Carbon Future
With a natural supply of abundant solar energy and the potential for tidal and off-shore wind and wave-to-energy power, the Mediterranean climate zones have great potential to harness renewable energy supplies. However, as urban populations in Mediterranean Cities continue to grow, renewable resource demand may outstrip renewable resource availability. Needs and costs of production must be better understood and affordable to move forward in producing green energy.
Biodiversity and Open Space: Building an Ecological City
Mediterranean ecosystems have nutrient−poor soils and are seasonally climate−limited, yet have evolved species−rich ecosystems with a great deal of endemism. Healthy ecosystems provide nature’s services to urban centers, cleaning air and water; providing spaces of beauty to refresh the soul and encourage recreation; producing food, fiber, and fuel; and mitigating natural disasters (e.g., drought and flood) while cleaning of polluted urban runoff.
The Built Environment: Designing Healthier Communities
In the face of rapid development and population growth, cities are under increasing threat of loss of functionality and ability to meet the needs to their residents. By redefining the built environment to require or incentivize green building design, ecologically-functional streets, transit-oriented communities, and open spaces, cities can become more resilient to the impacts of climate change. By becoming more compact, for example, cities can promote the preservation of regionally-unique habitats while also combating urban sprawl. Smart building and landscape designs can also effectively reduce the energy footprint of buildings while contributing to the overall energy portfolio of cities.
Public Health: Preparing People for Their Future
A healthy ecosystem - dependent on clean air and water, natural hydrogeologic processes, and biological diversity - nurtures a healthy human population, which in turn must respect and tend those resources through conservation. Human systems too must reorient towards healthier outcomes for natural and human populations through changed practices in sanitation, food provisioning, and ecosystem services management. Planning for greener cities that conserve these Mediterranean resources will also provide avenues for improving public health.
Governance: Rethinking Boundaries
Cities are now the engines of the world economy and social structure and must, therefore, work as a network across sectors and national boundaries to bring more resources and knowledge to building solutions. To bring resiliency to the city and to the network of information sharing, new forms of governance and public-private partnerships must be examined for their efficacy in supporting an open exchange and transfer of ideas and technology.