Living the climate resilient city—Hangzhou’s ‘five water co-lead’ strategy

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Climate awareness in urban planning has increased from 2011 due to more frequent occurrences of extreme-weather disturbances in Chinese cities. To deal with climate-related disturbances, the notions of urban resilience and resilient planning have gained increasing attention and interest over recent years in the field of water management and urban planning. A simple definition of resilience is the ability of a city to absorb disturbance while maintaining its functions and structures (Holling, 1987, 2001; White, 2010). With the challenges of climate change, planners and decision-makers in China realize that it is possible that resilient strategies provide more adaptive and flexible approaches in decision-making. In planning practice, however the concept of resilience features in many policy documents, the implications for planning policy officials remain unclear in the case of Hangzhou, China. Drawing on information from a review of policy documents supplemented by interviews with policy officials, this paper aims to understand key issues in transitioning to climate resilience in Chinese cities through a study of Hangzhou. The main body of the paper is structured in three parts. The first section presents a review of the notion of resilience and examines its relevance for urban planning and climate change. The second part provided the assessment of planning strategies related to climate change in the city. Specific attention is paid to how planning processes in the city consider or deal with the climate risks that it presents. The third part explored the challenging areas – spatial data infrastructures, climate planning, green infrastructure planning, limiting urban sprawl –as viable facets for sustaining urban transition strategies.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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