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Download from the Prairie Climate Centre (PCC)

Building a Climate-Resilient City: Transportation infrastructure

This policy brief examines ways of building resilient urban transportation infrastructure to reduce exposure to natural hazards, decrease potential risks by implementing mitigation measures and enhance adaptive capacity in a changing climate. 

Key Messages

  • Urban transportation infrastructure (roads, bridges, railways and runways) is heavily exposed to climate impacts such as rising temperatures and more frequent and intense rainfall.
  • Sustainable transportation systems are physically resilient to climate impacts, provide options in case one mode is disrupted by a climate shock and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Urban densification reduces the amount of transportation infrastructure exposed to climate impacts and allows re-deployment of resources to strengthen existing infrastructure.
  • Complete communities where residents can easily access goods and services by foot or bicycle improve urban climate resilience.

The Building a Climate-Resilient City series was prepared for the City of Edmonton and the City of Calgary by the Prairie Climate Centre, a collaboration between the University of Winnipeg and the International Institute for Sustainable Development. This series looks makes recommendations for steps that cities can take as part of their municipal adaptation planning to build their resilience to climate change. It explores three key principles of resilience building: robustness (strong design), redundancy (building extra capacity into systems to act as fail-safe networks) and resourcefulness (citizen empowerment).