C40’s Simon Reddy speaks to CNN on climate adaptation

Tropical storm Washi, which slammed into the Philippines last week, dropped a month’s-worth of rain in one day. The resulting massive flooding claimed lives, left thousands homeless and have many wondering how the world will cope with increasingly severe weather events.

In a CNN article out today, experts weigh in on the impacts that floods, heat and other events will have on the world’s cities. The piece features C40’s executive director Simon Reddy, and in this excerpt, he talks about how C40 cities are tackling adaptation issues:

Simon Reddy believes that urbanities of the future will be defined "not just by how they restrict their own contributions to climate change, but by the infrastructure and policies they employ to defend against the consequences of it."

To this end, Reddy says that many of the cities in the C40 network have already started to implement adaptive measures.

"In Seoul, for instance, they have removed a highway and restored an ancient river running through the city. This creates a wind corridor to it keep cool, and will also help drain water away in times of high rainfall," he said.

Meanwhile, New York and Tokyo have led the way with green rooftops and urban gardens.

"Urban green spaces are going to be more critical than (they have) ever been," he said. "Not only do they absorb heat and rainfall -- helping to keep cities cool and dry, but they provide opportunities for small scale food cultivation -- so city dwellers can become a little less dependent on imports."

It’s an important reminder that mitigating greenhouse gases and adapting infrastructure to climate impacts are integrally linked – and both critical to building more sustainable cities.

Fortunately, cities are up to the challenge. From working on how to finance adaptation measures, to protecting vulnerable populations and sharing best-practices with Mayors from around the world, C40 cities are working on innovative solutions for a changing climate.