The City of Vancouver reviewed impacts and the 2012 risk assessment based on new climate projections and observed events and impacts. Based on the new climate projections, a summary of climate impacts/risks is provided and divided amongst human, natural, and the built environment systems. The main climate impacts affecting the City include hotter, drier summers (including higher frequency and intensity of heat waves); warmer, wetter winters (including higher frequency and intensity of rain and storms), sea level rise and an overall increase in extreme climate-related hazard events. Together, these impacts have implications across human, natural and the built environment systems. For example, hotter, drier summers are expected to increase health and safety risks associated with extreme heat and air quality events, create water supply shortages in late summer, and decrease the thermal comfort in buildings in the summer due to lack of air conditioning (human systems); increase tree loss due to drought, cause a change in species composition and ecosystem structure, and cause impacts to water quality which is affected by rising temperatures (natural systems); and, new and existing buildings may be maladapted as the climate changes in terms of thermal comfort, water ingress, wind durability, rain on snow loads, etc., and cause increasing stress on green infrastructure in the summer time (built environment). Additional impacts are included for each climate risk/driver.
This is the second iteration of the nationally leading Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (CCAS) that aims to prepare Vancouver, Canada’s third largest city, for the shocks and stresses associated with new climate normal. Proactively planning for change allows for a greater variety of implementation options, harnessing windows of opportunity and lower costs. The Strategy relies on a diversity of existing City and community strategies and efforts that aim to improve the overall resilience of the city to shocks and stresses. The 2018 Strategy includes a new set of priorities, supporting actions and several new focus areas. In this iteration, actions are split into Core Actions and Enabling Actions. The Strategy is composed of five Core Action areas and seventeen Enabling Actions that address adaptation efforts until the next update: Climate Robust Infrastructure, Climate Resilient Buildings, Healthy and Vigorous Natural Areas and Green Space, Connected and Prepared Communities, Coastal Preparedness.