City Resilience Strategy (CRS) 2010 Document

A significant changing on the climate system that we presently experience is not only an argument. Some evidence from observation and studies mainly conducted by the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) has shown that increasing air and ocean temperatures, melting snow and ice, and an increase in sea level is real. UNEP (2009) has published a document that summarizes the important studies and the latest information from the IPCC on global climate change. It is no doubt that climate change is happening right now as a result of human activity. However the most significant human activity is the activity within the last 50 years all over the world. In that period, natural causes such as solar radiation does contribute in increasing the temperature of the earth’s atmosphere. Unfortunately, scientific evidence shows that human activity is the major contributors in comparison with natural causes and they should be responsible for global warming (IPCC within UNEP, 2009). This warming is not only related to temperature but also causes extreme changes in other aspects that have effects on humans. As it has been shown in the Vulnerability Assessment, global warming is a real phenomenon in Semarang City. Based on two scenarios, the city’s temperature showed an increasing trend so did the seawater elevation. Changes in temperature also create opportunities for change in the intensity of precipitation, especially during the rainy season, which is predicted to increase. This extreme climate change can contribute to the occurrence of floods in Semarang City. Meanwhile, sea level rise will exacerbate flooding problems and seawater inundation that already exist. Besides flood and inundation as one of the most obvious form of climate change in Semarang City, it has also been confirmed that climate change also increases the risk of landslides, drought, and abrasion in a number of areas in the city.

These catastrophic events, in a large scale, lead to a concern that it might affect the sustainability of city development. In a smaller scale, the impact of climate change can happen on the community groups in particular areas of the city, especially the poor and marginalized groups. Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) in Semarang City has exceeded a number of milestone achievements. These achievements begin with the completion of vulnerability assessment (VA), implementation of pilot projects for climate change adaptation and sector studies. Prior to the implementation of climate change adaptation in the city scale, all these achievements are very important to be studied more in depth and followed up through the preparation of City Resilience Strategy (CRS). Therefore, the CRS document within the ACCCRN framework is a basic foundation for the future intervention projects and activities to increase Semarang City’s resilience to climate change. Rockefeller and ISET (2010) define resilience as the ability of a system to withstand from any pressures and shocks and a system’s ability to maintain its function. The city is a system that must be made resistant (resilience). Resilience and adaptation are very important because of the vulnerability of urban systems. As a system, the city consists of several regions (sub- systems) that each of them has different functions and elements. As a system, each sub-system was connected to each other and together creates a functioning city. An extreme damage to one of the sub-urban system or one part of urban areas will be able to affect other sub-systems, even the overall system. Basically, A resilient system is expected to maintain the resilience of the city’s main functions of the various forms of pressure and shock resulting from the impacts of climate change. The resilient system also allows the city to make a quick recovery from such impact. From practical perspective, CRS document can also be viewed as a roadmap to prepare the city in dealing with the worst scenario which may arise from climate change. Without the resilience strategy document, the functions of urban systems and vulnerable group will be threatened.

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