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Urban Thinkers Campus “Climate Adaptation in Challenging Environments in the MENA Region”

ISOCARP Institute together with Middle East Cities Center at the American University in Dubai will organize on the 22nd of June 2021 the UTC on Hot Cities in the MENA region. According to the latest IPCC simulations, the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) has been identified as a hotspot for future temperature changes due to its arid environmental conditions. Heat extremes are expected to increase significantly in both frequency and intensity across the MENA region. Heatwaves will occur for 80 days of the year by 2050 and 118 days of the year by 2100. Combined with increased sandstorms associated with longer drought periods, predicted temperature rises would make large parts of the region uninhabitable. Extreme heat has been identified as a serious threat to human health, heightening an individuals' susceptibility to exhaustion, heart attack and mortality.

Hot cities in the MENA region - with the reference to Dubai- are a current trend that will be highlighted and discussed during the UTC. At the same time, we would like to expand the discussion on what other trends related to the Hot Cities trends are emerging? Among the main trends that we would like to touch upon and discuss possible solutions are: water scarcity, biodiversity loss, sea-level rise, loss of coastal defence and storm surges.

The main objective of this UTC is to discuss and explore solutions that are being tested to ameliorate the future of urban living conditions. The Campus will explore and discuss solutions on how cities can better respond to changing climate conditions, using Dubai as an example of a city, which due to its demanding climate conditions, has from the beginning had to plan in ways, which can offer valuable best practices to urban planners around the world.

The discussion will strive to answer the following questions:

  • What are the main trends in climate adaptation in hot cities around the world?

  • What are new trends that are emerging?

  • How did the implementation of SDGs in these cities affect their way towards climate adaptation?

  • What best practices can urban planners around the world pick up from Dubai?

  • What are the main forecasting and scenario building tools that can be used for local/regional and national governments to work on urban hot areas?


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