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In your opinion:
Cities at risk from coast flooding

We invite our readers to debate the issues and personalities discussed in articles published by City Mayors. We also welcome suggestions on how our coverage of cities and their people could be improved and extended. Praise us. Criticise us. Write for us.

Below we publish a cross-sections of recent comments by City Mayors readers. If you wish to join our worldwide dialogue on urban affairs, then please post your views, comments or suggestions using the form at the bottom of this page.

Topics debated on other pages: Richest cities | Most expensive cities | Best cities in the world | Urban poor and crime | Illegal immigrants in the US | Homelessness in the US | Great Lakes | Wasteful urban development | India’s urban development | Coastal flooding | Cycling in US cities | Mayor of Chacao | Mayor of Denver | Mayor of Detroit | Mayor of Porto Alegre | NEW TOPIC |

Calcutta and Miami most at risk
from coastal flooding by 2070

F From Roberto S., Tijuana, Mexico:
Attention to this type of problems needs to encourage more detailed studies in coastal urban areas. Detailed studies of social and urban vulnerability are needed to reduce the social, economic and environmental negative consequences of climate change. They are also an important instrument in the design of policies and programs to adapt to climate change in urban areas. Adaptation to climate change should be considered a priority for urban areas. Investments made in urban programs and infrastructure should be made in light of current local needs but also considering the potential impacts of climate change.

From Pradeep M., Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India:
The very heartening thing is that the impact of climate change is so serious that it does not have any boundaries. Now is the time for everybody to act locally  and we should change our attitude towards reducing global warming, starting from the individual.

Climate change modelling and India
One of the most accepted climate change models is that if global warming will continue USA will be drier, India will be wetter, and Europe will be warmer. Regarding Indian subcontinent, the forecast is that there will be more destructive sea storms, sea surges, coastal erosion and coastal inundation. Even if serious efforts are now made to reduce green house gases, the effect of such gases already released to atmosphere will continue be felt for decades to come, because of long residence time of these gases in atmosphere. Another apprehension is that global temperature   may not rise in a linear manner; there may be sudden and stiff rise in temperature. That is to say that the temperature curves instead of being linear it can be kinked

Climate change Orissa context
A poor state like Orissa unfortunately is in the path way of depressions and cyclones formed in the Bay of Bengal during south west monsoon. With advance in global warming if sea storms acquire greater destructive power as is being forecast, the state will be required to bear the brunt of such storms which means all the gains of development will be washed away in flood/storms waters.

Natural calamities have become a serious problem for the poor people of Orissa. It has increased vulnerability and has caused serious fiscal imbalances through a heavy demand on revenue on expenditure, expenditure on restoring assets and reduction of revenue in terms of taxes and duties because of crop and property loss‰. We are witnessing coastal inundation in many places.

The two important emergent issues are: accelerated degradation of environmental and natural base consequent and marginalization process continuing unabated. Resilience of and adaptation to vulnerability of livelihoods have been threatened in coastal, rural and urban areas too. The Environmental costs are increasing manifold and mitigation response is also challenging. Poverty, hunger, trafficking, foeticides, drinking water, slum growth, sanitation, health-hygiene are very acute.

From Mike S:
My own calculations point to US$8 billion to relocate 500,000 across 500 km to safe ground for least-developed-cities. That means US$ 2.4 trillion for 150 million people in Least-Developed-Cities on the coast, close to your USD 3.5 billion in 2008 dollar terms. I am starting a public-private-partnership on financing the displacement of communities. (Posted 19 August 2008)

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