Skip to main content

About this book

This book addresses the complexity of urbanization, impacts of climate change and climate change adaptation for the metropolitan region of Santiago de Chile, with a special focus on the most pressing issues of natural hazards, water and energy supply. The book exemplifies a conceptual approach for the development of adaptation measures, their evaluation and implementation in a decision support framework at the science-policy interface. It builds on scientific analyses of social and natural scientists, a participatory process with local authorities and a mutual learning network between large agglomerations in Latin America. The book is written for scholars of urban management, climate change, planning, governance and hazard research, as well as practitioners in local, regional and international organizations concerned with climate change, climate change impacts, and adaptation in metropolitan regions. While the regional focus is on Latin America the concepts and lessons learned are applicable and relevant to megacities around the world.​

Table of Contents


Challenges for Urban Climate Change Adaptation


1. Introduction

The introductory chapter focuses on the principal topics and conceptual frameworks to be addressed in this book. Placing urban climate change adaptation centre stage, it provides a general perspective on the relation between climate change and urbanization, and on adaptation and mitigation, highlighting the specific challenges for Latin America and Santiago de Chile in this context. Furthermore it defines the aims of the book and its research approach, and clarifies its essential contribution to current debates on urban climate change adaptation. In conclusion it presents an overview of the subsequent chapters.
Kerstin Krellenberg, Bernd Hansjürgens

Climate Change Impacts on the Urban-Regional Level of Santiago de Chile


2. Downscaling Climate Changes for Santiago: What Effects can be Expected?

This chapter describes the methodology used to analyse climate scenarios and their impact on hydro-meteorological variables in the Metropolitan Region of Santiago de Chile (MRS) and the results thereof. Using a downscaling methodology for future IPCC A2 and B1 scenarios (and B2 for stream flow), temperature, precipitation and secondary variable trends are estimated for the 2045–2065 time frame. The findings suggest that Santiago will be a drier and hotter city in the near future and have a high number of days with extreme temperatures. Lower precipitation rates are expected to lead to decreasing magnitudes in the stream flow of the two main rivers, Maipo and Mapocho, particularly in the summer months. Based on the data presented below, expected climate change impacts are analysed and adaptation needs identified for the MRS.
James McPhee, Gonzalo Cortés, Maisa Rojas, Lilian Garcia, Aniella Descalzi, Luis Vargas

3. Scenarios for Future Development

The analysis and governance of climate change in urban regions, notably in mega-urban agglomerations, faces a dual challenge: firstly, that of dealing with the increasing complexities and dynamics of the different drivers of development, institutions, and actors; secondly, of considering the limited knowledge of both climate change events and their impacts on natural and social systems, particularly at local level. Given that political and societal decisions must be taken under uncertainty conditions, the scenario method plays a major role in providing decision-makers with a basis from which to generate the relevant orientation and action knowledge. Being well-founded as a tool to cope with such complexities and uncertainties, scenarios are applied since long time in several thematic contexts. In this chapter, basic scenario functions, types, challenges and requirements are addressed and pointed out for the specific context of climate change adaptation efforts. The three-step methodological approach and the conceptual and analytical framework applied to the case of the Metropolitan Region of Santiago de Chile (MRS) are described in detail. Finally, selected methodological responses to challenges associated with the analysis and advisory efforts to improve adaptive capacities in strategic urban planning in this regional context are highlighted.
Jürgen Kopfmüller

Climate Change Impacts on the Urban-Regional Level of Santiago de Chile: Key Sectors and Vulnerabilities


4. Climate Change Impacts on the Water Sector

The regional impacts of global climate and socio-economic change will heavily influence the future balance of water availability (supply side) and water demand in the Metropolitan Region of Santiago de Chile (MRS). Reduced run-off in the Maipo-Mapocho river catchment coupled with natural precipitation variability will pose a major challenge for water resource management in the coming years. This chapter elaborates on an impact assessment for the year 2050, which combines two climate scenarios for the supply side with two explorative socio-economic scenarios for the demand side. While adaptive measures for water supplies also involve increasing water storage or recycling grey water in the urban area, adaptive options for water demand focus on upgrading water efficiency in both agriculture and private domestic households. In addition to technical aspects, institutional/policy-based matters and capacity development measures are considered.
Helmut Lehn, Laura Margarete Simon, Melanie Oertel

5. Climate Change Impacts on the Energy Sector and Adaptation Options

This chapter demonstrates the future impacts of climate change on the energy sector in the Metropolitan Region of Santiago de Chile (MRS) and develops measures to reduce problems ahead. The investigation is based firstly on an overview of recent energy supply and demand in the MRS. Existing data taken from the literature and interviews indicates that only a small amount of the energy consumed in the MRS is produced on its territory. Secondly, this chapter makes use of a description of the framework scenarios outlined in Chap. 3, where two quantitative scenarios for the supply and demand of energy were created for the MRS. Both scenarios see an increase in the consumption and supply of energy. Thirdly, a calculation was made for the future influence of climate change on the energy supply and demand. Using a methodology of fixed correlations between rising temperatures and energy consumption, it indicates that climate change will have a relatively low impact on energy supply and demand. So dependence of the MRS on energy imports is expected to rise even further in the future. Four measures were designed for implementation in the MRS as a response to future problems.
Volker Stelzer, Adriana Quintero

6. The Impacts of Climate and Land-Use Change on Flood and Heat Hazards

Urban growth and climate change are the primary causes of hydro-meteorological hazard generation in cities. This contribution takes the Metropolitan Region of Santiago de Chile (MRS) as an example of how land-use change has influenced flood and heat hazards and the exposure of built-up areas to both phenomena. It applies remote sensing, GIS, hydro-meteorological and census data to derive quantitative findings on the impact of land-use and climate change on flood and heat hazards. The analysis clearly proves that flood and heat hazard generation is not determined by climate changes alone but also by the shift in urban land-use patterns. Explorative scenarios that describe the variables most relevant to hazard generation are analysed to gain insight into the future development of both extreme events in the MRS. Results show that despite the different intensities of the scenario alternatives, flood and heat hazards will increase in the future, calling for specific adaptation measures to counter both phenomena.
Annemarie Müller, René Höfer

7. Understanding Hazard Exposure for Adaptation in a Climate Change Context

The literature reveals that marginalized groups are more exposed to hazards at their place of residence than other groups. Given the patterns of profound social inequality in Santiago de Chile and ongoing processes of socio-spatial differentiation, it could be assumed that the residents most exposed to hazards associated with climate change belong to the lower socio-economic strata. The research analysis of city-dweller exposure to flood and heat hazard, using innovative distributional indices, provides empirical evidence that in the case of Santiago residents from all social strata are exposed in one way or another. The present study shows the overall hazard exposure for the Metropolitan Region of Santiago de Chile (MRS), highlights the population groups most exposed to hazards and depicts inequalities in residential patterns with respect to socio-economic status and physical housing conditions. Finally, adaptive measures customized to suit existing legal and institutional frameworks are proposed and discussed in the pursuit of hazard exposure reduction.
Juliane Welz, Anke Schwarz, Kerstin Krellenberg

8. Synthesis: Climate Change Impacts from a Cross-Sectoral Perspective: Consequences for Political Response

The foregoing Chaps.​ 4, 5, 6 and 7 have indicated the need for action in response to the pressing issues of land-use change, its linkage to natural hazards, the associated vulnerabilities, and the supply of and demand for water and energy in the Metropolitan Region of Santiago de Chile. It was evidenced that serious problems already exist in this context and will most likely be aggravated under future climate change conditions. Consideration of other driving factors such as demographic, socio-economic and technological change in the assessment of future development paths allows for the assumption that sectoral developments are interlinked, e.g., land-use change and hazard generation or energy and water supplies. This chapter takes a closer look at these interlinkages and discusses them in the light of cross-sectoral policy recommendations.
Kerstin Krellenberg

Adaptation Strategy: Developing Measures and Implementation


9. Developing Climate Change Adaptation Measures in a Participatory Process: Roundtable Meetings

Participation plays a major role in contemporary urban planning. This is particularly the case for climate change adaptation, which—given the interwoven processes of climate change—involves a wide range of actors and sectors. This chapter discusses the overall need for participatory adaptation planning, exemplifying it with the process to develop a Regional Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Santiago de Chile. The experience highlights the most significant lessons learned, including the challenges and constraints that emerged during the process. The chapter stresses the use of a multi-stakeholder, inter-sectoral planning approach that involved the organization of ten roundtable meetings in Santiago de Chile over a period of two and a half years. Political legitimacy was provided by the two principal institutions responsible for climate change planning at city-regional level. Their participation in the process from the outset was central to the successful elaboration of the Regional Climate Change Adaptation Plan.
Jonathan Barton, Jordan Harris, Kerstin Krellenberg

10. From Planning to Implementation: Capacities and Competences

This chapter discusses the opportunities and constraints involved in implementing adaptation measures under real-world conditions. Based on an assessment of the participatory process that cornerstoned the elaboration of the Regional Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Santiago de Chile, it examines the execution of the 14 measures contained in the Plan. The discussion highlights the challenges along capacities and competences, and takes as its starting point a review of the literature, scientific assumptions and an evaluation by the actors who were part of the particpatory process described in Chap. 9. Although it will remain hypothetical until such time as the measures have been implemented under real-world conditions, the discussion helps to fill the general knowledge gap on the implementation of climate change adaptation measures.
Kerstin Krellenberg, Katrin Barth, Natàlia García Soler

11. Going Beyond Santiago: A Regional Learning Network for Climate Change Adaptation in Latin American Megacities

Adaptation to climate change is a highly context-specific field of political action. Not only do the features and impacts of local climate change vary from one area to another, political, economic and social contexts also generate diversity in terms of urgency and priority of concrete adaptation measures. In Latin America, metropolitan regions are the focus of demographic change and economic activity, concentrating high levels of poverty and consequently vulnerability to the risks produced by climate change. Hence, the need for specific climate change adaptation plans, policies and measures was discussed in a Regional Learning Network initiated within the context of an international research project.
This chapter summarizes the results of three workshops designed to address the expected features and impacts of climate change in six Latin American megacities and, focusing on adaptation, to examine how climate change policy is currently defined and implemented. In conclusion, it discusses concrete measures. In all of the cities under review, steps have been taken to institutionalize climate change response on an urban scale—albeit the approaches adopted and experiences gained are quite different. The measures in question prove more successful if linked to strategic goals or national urban policies, a shrewd move that produces co-benefits. The potential of these elements of climate change adaptation to pave the way for more sustainable cities without the obvious link to climate change indicates that ascertaining the exact dimension of climate change in the urban centres is not a high priority.
Ricardo Jordan, Kerstin Krellenberg, Johannes Rehner

12. Developing a Regional Climate Change Adaptation Plan: Learning from Santiago de Chile

This chapter draws conclusions and discusses lessons learned from Santiago de Chile by evaluating the overall process that led to the Regional Climate Change Adaptation Plan. Highlighting both the benefits and constraints of the applied approach, it takes a closer look at the various steps undertaken throughout the entire chain of analysis. It re-examines the actors involved and reflects on the role of science in climate change adaptation. The chapter furthermore addresses appropriate implementation and transfer mechanisms.
Kerstin Krellenberg, Katrin Barth, Bernd Hansjürgens
Additional information