In this interview, World Bank urban specialist Anthony Bigio succinctly outlines three critical areas for North African coastal cities to consider when thinking about climate change adaptation and resilience:
- Urban Planning – cities are projected to grow rapidly from now to 2030…where and how they grow is critical
- Infrastructure Investments – cities need to consider improving drainage (and stormwater retention), shoreline protection, and the protection of critical coastal infrastructure
- Institutional Capacity – cities need to build regulatory systems that enable technical bodies to work with one another
Although his work is geared towards cities in developing countries along one of the most vulnerable coastlines in the world (and a hotbed of political unrest), the lessons are universal. Here in the U.S. not all coastal cities are poised to grow smart, there are institutional barriers to implementing innovative stormwater controls and shoreline protection systems, and many government agencies – though well intentioned – are at odds when it comes to coastal zone management.
Federal, state, and local officials should heed Mr. Bigio’s advice and continue pushing for a more integrated planning process.