Climate Adaptation & Resilience

Track Leader: Andy van den Dobbelsteen


Track organisers: Andy van den Dobbelsteen, Nienke Scheenaart

Track volunteers: Arnout Sabbe, Vera van Maaren, Eva Labrujere, Dóra Hegyi, Sindhuja Janakiraman

Climate change is real, and Africa is one of the parts of the world that is suffering it already. Dry areas are prone to droughts ever more, endangering food production, and boundaries are shifting: areas that used to have a benign climate are experiencing more extremes. The continent will suffer even more if it does not adapt to climate change and become resilient. This track focuses on climate adaptation and resilience for African cities and buildings.

Climate change, global warming in particular, is manifesting itself in various ways: heat, droughts, severe storms, sea level rise, excessive rainfall, floods etc. And of course through secondary effects on nature, agriculture, living areas, human health, for instance. 

The main factors to adapt to are heat and water problems. Cities and buildings should be designed for higher temperatures, hence cooling, and for long periods of drought or water excess, so water retention and usage becomes increasingly important.

Resilience is an ecological context that describes the response of a system to disturbances. Urban areas should become resilient to a range of phenomena: next to climate change and its consequences this refers to the control over essential flows (food, water, energy, materials and their wastes). Circular design therefore becomes important for cities, buildings and products. 

This aforementioned technical resilience should go hand in hand with social resilience, in which communities have control over their living environment, collaborating, co-creating and co-ordinating an economically vital and socially inclusive urban neighbourhood or district.

This track will discuss strategies and solutions for climate adaptation and resilience of African cities and buildings.