Prague plans for climate change

Study looks at threats from extreme weather

Prague has published a draft strategy on adapting to climate change. The study, made in cooperation with the Institute for Planning and Development (IPR), looks at water management, greening of streets and creation of environmentally friendly buildings.

The strategy will be assessed for environmental impact before being given to the City Hall for approval in mid-2017.

Climate change has been linked to a rise in extreme weather. Torrential rains can cause flash floods in urban areas, while droughts and heat waves threaten people's health and deplete water resource. The strategy presents ways of dealing with these situations, according to IPR director Ondřej Boháč. Preference will be given to ecosystem-based and soft measures.

One way to get around the urban heat island effect and mitigate heatwaves is planting more trees in the city center to create natural air conditioning. Boháč said he envisions the restoration and revitalization of parks, planting of urban orchards and similar measures.

Better water management is proposed for dealing with flash floods and droughts. Prague's streams will be revitalized and the city's reservoirs will be renovated under the plan to ensure a steady water supply for the city. Land for water management will be consolidated in the suburban area of the city and in adjacent areas.

Other topics in the strategy include developing sustainable transportation solutions, promotion and adaptation of energy efficient buildings, and improvements in emergency and crisis management. The strategy also calls for improving conditions in environmental education, and supporting research into and monitoring of the impacts of climate change in Prague.

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