Green areas are important in reducing climate-related risk – mostly owned by private individuals and not by the municipality – NRK Nordland

Green areas are important in reducing climate-related risk – mostly owned by private individuals and not by the municipality – NRK Nordland

Bark beetles, ticks, forest fires, frequent extreme weather and a sharp increase in rainfall.

Exceeding the UN target of 1.5 degrees could be the future of northern Norway, according to a recent report.

According to the brains behind it we are likely to do just that.

Green areas like your garden can be part of the solution.

Green areas, small gardens and large areas, become important for receiving water that comes with increased extreme weather.

Photo: Anne Ognedal

A climate that welcomes insects

The UN determined in September that the world is no closer to meeting international climate goals. The organization said the world is heading for 2.5 degrees and that a reduction to 1.5 is a long way off.

Now it’s throbbing A new report Without significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions this century, such excesses are likely to increase further.

The northern region is already experiencing warmer and shorter winters.

The report states that warmer climates will lead to:

  • A very favorable climate for pests like bark beetles and ticks
  • A strong increase in precipitation and frequent extreme weather
  • Shorter snow and ski season, and more unpredictable winters
  • There is a growing need for air conditioning to ensure good indoor temperatures in hospitals and nursing homes

Dove Breivik's garden

Plants and trees are thirsty and can take up a lot of water.

Photo: Håkon Eliassen

Green areas resist wilting

– The conclusion is that rising temperatures will cause serious problems for people in the north, especially in the form of more extreme weather and increased rainfall, says Helena González Lindberg.

He is a senior researcher at Nordlandsforskning and developed the report together with a team of leading climatologists, urban planners and climate adaptation experts from different countries.

– The biggest impact in the north is extreme weather in the form of more rainfall than before. Then there will be a need to deal with excess water, says González Lindberg.

Two things are particularly important:

  • To retain existing vegetation
  • Don’t create cities by removing nature

Helena Gonzalez Lindbergh

Researcher Helena González Lindberg said a warmer climate could have long-term effects on ecosystems and human activity.

Photo: Kåre Riibe Ramskjell / NRK

– All trees and plants absorb water from the ground. Additionally, unlike asphalt, water is drained through the soil, says González Lindberg.

For northern Norway, adaptation to the predicted temperature increase locally will be challenging, the researcher explains. This is because the Arctic regions are warming three times faster than the rest of the world.

The area is mostly privately owned

In Bodø, green areas are highly fragmented and usually privately owned, leading to conflicts in future questions about construction projects, for example.

– As of today, there are few urban planners who regularly assess the consequences of a temperature increase of more than 1.5 degrees, says González Lindberg.

To the left of the image, green grass and large trees line up as one, a canal in the background, a footpath to the left and a line of cars to the right.

Green areas, small gardens and large areas, become important for receiving water that comes with increased extreme weather.

Photo: Anne Ognedal

In the PROVIDE project, researchers are collaborating with Bodø municipality to see how to adapt the changes.

But can municipalities regulate what private individuals do on their own land?

Makes more demands on individuals

Christine Stavnes Jordbru, Head of Urban Development at Bodo Municipality, explains that they are making more demands now than before.

According to Stavnes Jordbru, the municipality is already preparing for the coming floods.

– We have adopted our first thematic project for surface water, which explores how Bodo municipality and society will respond to this.

Bodo Municipality Head of Urban Development, Christine Stavnes Jordbru

This applies mainly to the practical requirements for large development activities, exceeding the size of a detached house plot, explains Christine Stavnes Jordbru.

Photo: Per-Inge Johnson / Per-Inge Johnson

In the thematic plan, a requirement has been introduced that the so-called blue-green factor should be taken into account in all development-ready zoning plans.

How many green and blue factors does one add or remove in a project, i.e. the number of plants and water in construction matters. This factor is calculated according to the Norwegian standard.

– An example is introducing green elements by taking over part of the plot for park purposes or installing a lawn, adding trees and, for example, not covering a stream running through your property.

– Are we talking about incentives or regulations?

– These are the requirements adopted in the area of ​​municipal planning, legal decisions that developers must follow when preparing zoning plans for development.

Stavnes Jordbru points out that this is also a journey for case processing. This means it’s mostly not about referrals.

– We have come a long way in making demands on the private sector as well.

It is relatively new to the municipality. It is not legally binding until June 2022.

MDG: – Stop the reduction of green space

Arild Hermstad, party leader at the Green Party, says they are working to create green areas in all municipalities where they can govern and influence. Especially since the loss of nature is in the midst of a climate change-amplifying nature crisis, he believes.

City Councilor Arne Hermstad (MDG) Oslo

Arne Hermstad at MDG.

Photo: NRK / Screenshot

– Green areas are important for the environment and people because they create a good living environment, reduce stress, increase quality of life and actually provide better health.

– Is it true that large areas of green areas are privately owned?

– The most important thing is that green areas are well managed regardless of whether they are public or private. It is important for authorities to say no to harmful development projects on public or private plots where natural and important biological values ​​are lost.

How should cities best meet the challenge of multiple surface waters?

– We need clear needs and expertise in the development of Norwegian cities that take into account the increasing climate-related challenges of the future. Demands for more green areas in residential areas, clear guidelines to ensure that destruction of nature in urban areas is stopped.

See also  Road and Transport, I Nat
Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

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