Asia-Pacific Cities Future-Proofing Framework (FPF): Addressing the Global Climate Crisis in the Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic

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Abstract Summary
The issue of global climate crisis in city’s planning has been rising over the last 20 years while evidence of complex shifts in our planet’s system has been accumulated. This includes rising average temperatures, rising seas, melting glaciers and biodiversity loss. However, having been mostly neglected, the issue finally turned into a declared “climate emergency” in 2019 after a total of 409 natural disasters occurred across the globe including forest fires, floods and hurricanes. 1,490 local governments of 30 countries signed the Climate Change Emergency Declaration and aiming to support a global urban green deal movement. The Asia-Pacific region experienced the highest number of natural disasters during 2019. Even before the declaration of climate emergency, many Asia-Pacific cities are susceptible to natural hazards e.g., volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis and floods. The hazardous level is even higher for big-coastal cities including Jakarta, Indonesia; Singapore city-state; and Auckland, New Zealand, since the global sea-level rise is occurring at a faster rate in recent years. Responding to the global climate crisis, city’s planning in these three cities has been driven by transit-oriented development (TOD) strategy shaping a compact city with a high-density mixed-use area of residential, commercial, and business activities within the walking distance and integrated by a frequent public transport (PT). Today, the COVID-19 pandemic becomes another global crisis triggering researchers and planners into rethinking city planning strategies. It hit dense big cities like Wuhan, Milan, New York and London which is why many argue that density is the key factor, allowing the virus to spread faster. Governments around the world put cities into a lockdown which then stopping them from normal functions and crippling the economy. Ironically, the lockdown which followed has shown that it is possible to transform the big cities behaviour to consume less energy and reduce carbon emission in an extremely short time. But with the global economy collapsing, political leaders are now under pressure for economic-recovery scenarios which are predicted to postpone the urban green deal movement. In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, it becomes more important than ever for cities to be future-proof towards climate adaptation and mitigation, also from less predictable events such as pandemics, volcanoes, earthquakes and floods. The objective of this research is to compose a framework that aims to increase cities resiliency and sustainability while also becomes a tool for post-pandemic economic recovery. To do so, the research will be focusing on the case of big-coastal cities in Asia-Pacific including Jakarta, Singapore, and Auckland. These three cities are quite different in geography, history and COVID-19 responses thus they can provide diverse samples. The research uses qualitative methodological approach to do a comparative assessment of the three cities in terms of (1) their vulnerabilities; (2) their methods to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic; (3) their existing planning strategies; and (4) their future-initiatives. The finding of this research is the cities future-proofing framework (FPF) formulated from the comparative assessment. The FPF focuses on matters of resilient urban form and infrastructure and develops recommendations for physical urban planning and strategic urban design. There are three key elements of the FPF: (1) planning principles, (2) strategic design initiatives, and (3) design prototypes. The FPF refers to regenerative urbanism to shape the city’s quality of life in the long-term vision. Conceived from three different cities, the FPF is globally applicable for the whole Asia-Pacific region and relevant to future studies regarding coastal cities, cities for refugees, and re-thinking smart cities.
Abstract ID :
Submission Type
Submission Track
4: Safeguarding the Urban Resilience
Master of Urban Design
University of Auckland | School of Architecture and Planning
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