How Climate Change Is Disrupting Infrastructure, and What Is the Road Ahead?
Climate change is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon. The impacts of climate change are not only felt in the natural world, but also in the built environment. As our climate changes, our infrastructure is increasingly threatened, and humans are forced to adapt to the new realities of an altered planet.
The question is not whether climate change will affect infrastructure, but how climate change affects infrastructure, the challenges to urban space, and what we can do to mitigate the effects.
Climate change impacts buildings, bridges, and roads
The world has seen how climate change can impact the environment and its inhabitants. But many people are not aware of the impact it has on buildings, bridges, and roads. Most of our existing infrastructure was designed and built for a different climate. As the climate continues to evolve, so, too, will the risks to our infrastructure.
Rising sea levels will force some people to evacuate their homes as they are no longer livable. This could lead to an increase in homelessness and crime rates. In addition, there will be an increased demand for affordable housing.
Bridges and roads might need to be raised due to the changing landscape, which would make them more expensive to maintain or even need replacement altogether. New developments must be built with minimum impact on the natural environment such as by using minimal amounts of concrete in construction.
Overpopulated cities will suffer from overcrowding, increased pollution, and overheating. Urban landscapes that are dry and arid one moment and flooded the next will suffer from previously unimagined stress on buildings, roads, and unseen infrastructure.
Climate change is impacting transportation networks
The impacts of climate change on transportation networks are not just about melting ice caps and rising sea levels.
The effects are also about the changes in weather patterns, increased frequency of extreme weather events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding, as well as changes in precipitation levels. All these factors can be disruptive to the transportation networks that have been built up over decades or even centuries. It disrupts the supply of food and fuel, having consequences for how we live and the energy we can produce to live life as we know it.
Large cities are at extreme risk due to climate change
One of the most immediate impacts of climate change is that it’s causing more storms and floods in coastal cities. As the world warms, oceans expand and glaciers melt, leading to an increase in the amount of water on Earth.
The warming atmosphere also causes more evaporation from the oceans, which leads to more rainfall. As sea levels rise due to melting ice sheets and thermal expansion, cities are increasingly at risk of flooding during storm surges.
However, the risks of climate change are not only limited to coastal cities. The increase in extreme weather events has been shown to be correlated with an increase in heat-related deaths, droughts, wildfires, and major floods and storms across all our landscapes.
Building resilience to climate change with better infrastructure design
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges that humanity has ever faced. It will have an impact on every single person on this planet, but it’s not just about polar bears or ice caps – it’s about how we live our lives and how we travel.
Infrastructure is the backbone of our society. It’s what makes everything else possible. Infrastructure is what keeps our water clean, our buildings standing, and our power running. Without it, we would not have access to the resources we need to live.
It’s crucial to have a strong infrastructure to be able to function as a society, and it is important for every individual to be aware of the importance of infrastructure in their lives.
To future-proof our society, we should design infrastructure that is resilient to future climate change as well as other changes in how we live. Resilience means being able to adapt and recover quickly from difficulties or shocks. Infrastructure should be designed with these concepts in mind so our homes, business, and services can withstand disasters like floods, landslides, heat waves, and more.
At ACB Consulting, we are committed to helping improve the communities in which we live, work, and play – including how they are conceived, designed and created. To leverage our experience in sustainable design and construction, contact ACB Consulting.