Sustainable Mediterranean Construction

Sustainable Mediterranean Construction



Carlo Gerundo

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Climate change is a current and scientifically proven phenomenon, as it has been ascertained that the majority of global warming occurred since the middle of the twentieth century is due to the greenhouse gases concentration increase caused by anthropic emissions (IPCC, 2013). As confirmed by international reports, in the next decades, Europe and, in particular, the Mediterranean area will have to face up extremely negative impacts of climate change, combined with the effects of anthropic pressures on natural resources. For these reasons, the Mediterranean region is considered one of the most vulnerable in Europe (EEA, 2012; IPCC, 2007).
Many experts declared that the raising mean and maximum temperature will lead to a water availability reduction and to an increase of drought periods. Therefore, these phenomena will drive to a possible fall in agricultural production, loss of natural ecosystems and biodiversity, intensification of electricity demand during summer and related risk for people health (IPCC, 2007).
To fight climate change, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN, 1992) identified two main strategies: mitigation of anthropogenic causes and adaptation to environmental effects; the latter, in practice, has been pushed right into the background in scientific debate compared with the former, and restricted to a generic list of indications, often not supported by models and instruments to implement them (Mickwitz et al., 2009; Swart et al., 2009).
A strong rethinking of urban planning basis is essential in order to pursue climate change adaptation in cities. It could only be done acknowledging the crucial role assumed by urban settlements form and function in climate alteration process and, therefore, in cities adaptive capacity determination. In other words, it is urgent to define operational protocols, synthetic indicators, parameters, quantitative thresholds to cope with the complex issue of urban areas adaptation, still not codified through procedures to implement adaptation plans. Making cities more sustainable and resilient should be supported by taking into account their climatic features in urban planning processes, aiming at carrying out actions to minimize negative effects and maximize benefits coming from specific climatic conditions. […]


SMC N.04 2016

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