chapter  5
43 Pages

Reducing risk from natural hazard, pollution and climate change in megacities and associated networks


Coastal megacities face many challenges, as described in the preceding chapters. These challenges are related to the concentration of the urban environment, rate of landuse change and land-cover loss, the sheer scale of the population and its associated infrastructure needs that cause critical infrastructure networks and resource demands to spread well beyond the urban core. These are generic concerns for large cities but made more critical for cities on the coast where coastal location brings exposure to specific hazards (with associated implications for living with climate change) and intensifies vulnerability through the presence of international transport and trade centres and the populations they attract. However, cities are also well described as the engine room of a local economy, and can be the site of a large proportion of national and international product (gross world product) (Kamal-Chaoui and Robert, 2009; Bicknell et al., 2009). Megacities on the coast therefore present huge exposures, challenges and the scope for focused efforts to reduce risk. In many ways as this book argues they are the fulcrum of global sustainability in the twenty-first century.