Belo Horizonte - Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment of the city of Belo Horizonte

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Challenges

Belo Horizonte is facing increases in the magnitude and frequency of extreme weather events and changes in precipitation and temperature patterns. The situation is aggravated by the population’s lack of resources to cope with climate change-related impacts such as landslides, floods, heatwaves and dengue fever. 
As with most large cities in Brazil, the distribution of resources in Belo Horizonte is highly unequal and the exposure and vulnerability to climate change effects varies across the city’s territory. Therefore, the project was implemented to include climate change as a dimension into urban planning and to develop a mitigation plan in vulnerable areas.  

 

Actions

The Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment has resulted in an adequate diagnosis of the city’s actual and future vulnerability to climate change. For the first time, the project made it possible to identify the most vulnerable areas to landslides, floods, heat waves and dengue, where resilience projects will be implemented. 
The project resulted in the identification of four major vulnerability hotspots, all of which have an overall vulnerability index greater than 0.5 (and in the 75th percentile). The project showed that the area of such hotspots increased from around 26km² to 88km² (8% and 27% of the city area), respectively. These areas shall be eligible to receive public investment. 

Projected Outcomes

The main goal of the project is to identify the areas that are highly vulnerable to the climate change impacts, under current and future climate scenarios. By identifying the risk areas and directing decision-makers to invest in them, an increase in the resilience of the city is expected while contributing to the performance of the public spending efficiency. The project aims at appropriate effective adaptation strategies to support the acceleration of urban growth. 
By adopting adaptation measures, the project paves the way for the implementation of environmental measures, such as investments in public transport, an increase of tree coverage, ecological corridors and green infrastructure.