Should we consider climate change in the process of urban planning? According to Assistant Professor Chia-An Ku from the Department of Real Estate and Built Environment at National Taipei University, extreme weather events caused by climate change have had severe impacts on urban development, especially in terms of the negative consequences of flood hazards. This has led to discussions on the concepts of “resilient cities” and “sponge cities” amongst researchers and practitioners, and also the importance of exploring the interactions between urban planning and climate change in related research.
Awarded MOST Young Scholar Fellowship by Ministry of Science and Technology, Chia-An Ku is currently developing a modelling framework that is able to evaluate future urban flood risks considering the spatial and temporal interactions between climate and environmental changes. The framework consists of urban flood modelling, land-use change modelling, and GIS-based risk evaluation. The interdisciplinary methods are applied for understanding the impacts of change in urban environment and human behaviors on future flood risk based on spatial and temporal analysis and simulations, as the foundation for developing effective strategies towards a low-risk urban area under the treats of climate change.
In order to enhance the credibility of the models, Taipei Metropolitan Area, including Taipei, New Taipei, Keelung and Taoyuan Cities, was selected as case study area to calibrate and validate the models. Although connected with each other, each city has its unique developmental issues when facing the impacts of climate and environmental change, and thus need to be addressed individually. Preliminary results found that western part of the region might face the largest increase in flood risk due to urban expansion and climate change in the near future, and this has to be coped with based on strategies at different spatial scales. In addition, it is found that the spatial patterns of built-up, forest, water land uses significantly influence inundation areas and depths, indicating that proper spatial planning can be very useful for mitigating flood risk. The proposed framework can be further extended to wider regions and other disaster-risk-mitigation topics in Taiwan, providing solid reference for sustainable and resilient urban planning in the future.
Dr. Chia-An Ku
Department of Real Estate and Built Environment, National Taipei University.
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, MOST