Climate Ready Clyde is a cross-sector initiative funded by the Scottish Government and 12 member organisations to create a shared vision, strategy and action plan for an adapting Glasgow City Region.
To realise this, we have developed a vision for the City Region, based on three key principles,
We put people at the centre;
We strive for economic resilience;
We work with nature, not against it
The Climate Ready Clyde secretariat lead this work on a day to day basis, acting as a catalyst to create significant change in the City Region by the 2020s, to transform the City Region by the 2050s
People at the centre
Work to include green networks and sustainable urban drainage at the heart of community regeneration and land use plans is having a transforming influence, most notably in communities that previously suffered decades of decline.
In particular the 2014 Commonwealth Games athletes’ village is an internationally recognised example of how the games legacy is also promoting climate resilience that will have benefits for generations to come.
Community-led projects to reintroduce permeable surfaces and create natural wetland areas are springing up across the region, making a valuable contribution towards reducing the risk of flooding. Communities that are most at risk of flooding are aware of the risks that they face and are involved in helping to make decisions about how these risks should be managed. Their proactive engagement has, for example, made insurance more available in the most ‘at risk’ areas.
Communities are well aware of what to do and where to go for help when severe weather events happen Extra help is available for vulnerable groups thanks to support networks developed by voluntary sector organisations, local authorities and the emergency services.
Communities across the region are transformed as a result of investment in green networks incorporating sustainable urban drainage, as well as large-scale flood prevention schemes. This investment is paying dividends as people enjoy and use green networks and benefit from jobs created as business and investment is attracted to the region.
Temperatures have increased across all seasons and green networks are now playing an increasingly important role in helping people to keep cool during the summer by providing natural shading and cooling. Green spaces make it easy for people to enjoy outdoor activities during warmer, sunnier days. Warmer winter temperatures and improved home insulation have also helped to reduce the number of cold-related deaths and illness among vulnerable groups.
Community enterprise companies and local food cultivation projects are part of day to day life across the region. This helps to build community resilience and create opportunities for local action to improve resilience to climate change.
We strive for economic reslience
Glasgow City Region is benefiting from its growing reputation as a climate resilient region where climate risks are understood and acted upon. Businesses understand that climate change presents risks and opportunities, and take a robust but adaptive approach to these. Investments in climate resilient infrastructure and its maintenance, combined with business continuity planning, mean that disruption to business is minimised even when severe weather events occur.
Local businesses based in communities that are at particular risk of flooding are regularly consulted about local flood risk and have a say in how local risks are managed. Support is available to help small businesses develop continuity plans and recover quickly if they are affected by severe weather events.
Green networks incorporating sustainable urban drainage are at the heart of local communities. Road and infrastructure networks are now also much more resilient thanks to innovative drainage solutions and significant investment in upgrading sewerage networks. These measures have made the region a more resilient and attractive place to live and work, drawing increasing numbers of people to the region.
Glasgow City Region is well established as a climate resilient region. It is now one of Europe’s leading destinations of choice for visitors, investors and people. The region has developed extensive climate resilience knowledge and expertise providing employment opportunities to the local workforce. Business leaders across the region continue to play a leading role in identifying ways that new and emerging climate risks may impact on the sustainable economic development in the region. They are playing a crucial role in keeping the region climate ready.
Businesses are at the forefront of developing expertise and technologies in urban design and buildings, and water management. These skills are in demand internationally. Business districts across the region are ‘water sensitive’ with excellent land drainage and innovative technology that allows reduced water use and reuse of storm and waste water. Temperatures have risen and investment in natural ventilation systems for buildings and green roofs and walls into our urban areas is paying off. This helps to keep offices and business premises cool and avoids the need for energy intensive air conditioning systems.
Remote access and home working are part of business as usual. Many companies have well established plans in place to cope with disruption to transport or infrastructure. This does still happen occasionally as a result of extreme weather events.
We work with nature, not against it
Changes in climate are beginning to have a marked impact on the types of plants and trees that are growing in the region’s parks, woodlands and pathways. New species are appearing and some of the more familiar species are becoming less common. We have taken steps to help our natural environment adapt to changes in climate by carefully managing how it is used and developed.
The natural environment is playing a vital role in helping us cope with changes in climate. Natural wetlands and woodland expansion are helping absorb increases in autumn and winter rain and in some places parks and playing fields have been designed to safely hold flood waters when water levels become dangerously high. We protect vulnerable coastal areas from development, and create natural wetland areas to protect areas further inland.
Pioneering work is underway to introduce trees, plants and green spaces into urban streets and town centres that are hundreds of years old. These new trees, plants and greenspaces will help absorb rainwater, reduce pollution and keep places cool as temperatures increase in the future.
Rainfall has increased markedly during autumn and winters and the street trees, plants, green roofs, walls and spaces introduced in the 2010’s are playing a crucial role in helping to absorb water and manage flood risk. It’s also warmer and these features are providing natural shading and cooling during the summer. Natural wetland areas are commonplace in urban areas. This helps to manage the risk of flooding by storing flood water and reducing the speed of surface water flowing into rivers and drains.
The cost of implementing and maintaining this ‘urban nature’ has been more than covered by savings made through avoiding flood damage and reducing the need for air conditioning in the summer. The greenest areas of our towns and cities are also attracting significant inward investment as businesses and residents are attracted to invest and live in these locations.
Our natural environment is changing as a result of warmer temperatures across all seasons and changes in rainfall that have occurred over the last few decades. Some species have become less common and others are emerging. Green spaces and networks that are in place across the region are helping our natural environment to adapt.
Research is playing an important role in protecting habitats that are at risk. For example, increases in temperature and periods of dry summer weather are causing changes to wetland areas. New research is helping us to find solutions for these habitats to cope as temperatures continue to increase.
Periods of warmer, drier weather have also increased the risk of wildfires in the region’s woods and forests. Emergency services, local authorities, woodland managers and volunteer organisations have established networks to raise awareness of the risk of wildfires and support rapid responses when fires happen.