Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Envisioning Future Strategies

The City of Copenhagen, Denmark recently won an INDEX: Award for their Climate Adaptation Plan - which includes all levels of their city's Master plan. The INDEX: Award Design to Improve Life is under the patronage of HRH the Crown Prince of Denmark. This organization is intended to encourage people in designing sustainable solutions to global challenges.

 “Copenhagen is already a world leader for green and sustainable solutions. By implementing the Copenhagen Climate Adaptation Plan, the city can stimulate growth and sustainability at the same time. We believe that a climate proof city is more attractive to live and invest in”, says Frank Jensen Lord Mayor of Copenhagen.

In the Climate Adaptation Plan, experts have assessed which climate change challenges are the biggest and where Copenhagen as a city can derive the greatest benefit by taking action now and in the coming years. At the same time, the city is looking at how such measures – necessary for Copenhagen to adapt to the future climate – can be of pleasure and benefit to the city immediately. Thus, the Copenhagen Climate Adaptation Plan is “designing the city of tomorrow today” as INDEX: Award jury member John Heskett puts it.

 The Copenhagen Climate Adaptation Plan site discusses how the plan is the starting point for incorporating the necessary climate adaptation into the thinking in all areas of the city’s development in good time. So, climate adaptation and the development of an attractive and green major city will become two sides of the same coin.

This kind of "future planning" is critical for the success of cities and suburbs as our planet moves into planetary climate change. The design and planning professionals are in the best place to 'lead' the effort to see the earth as single system and learn to treat it like a 'library of ideas' rather than a 'warehouse of materials'. It's important to work with the natural processes of a place, as well as embed the intelligence to manage the increasingly capricious impact of weather and resources available to human habitation and what remains of the natural world.