Adapting our built environment to a changing climate

Authors: David King, John Ginger, Stewart Williams, Alison Cottrell, Yetta Gurtner, Cam Leitch, David Henderson, Nandana Jayasinghe, Peter Kim, Kate Booth, Carl Ewin, Kenneth Innes, Keith Jacobs, Marianne Jago-Bassingthwaighte and Luke Jackson
Year: 2013

Global warming is projected to increase the impacts of climate-related natural hazards, especially floods and bushfires, and, with less certainty, tropical cyclones and storm surges. This factsheet summarises the key findings from a project that examined three main potential adaptation options to address the likely impacts on the built environment of increased intensities in floods, tropical cyclones and bushfires. The first adaptation option – land use planning for storm surges and floods was investigated through obtaining stakeholder responses in 3 case studies: 1) Mission Beach, QLD; 2) Adapting to riverine flooding in Brisbane; 3) Planning review of QLD Flood Inquiry. The second adaptation option – the capacity of building codes to limit damage to buildings from cyclones – was assessed by evaluating the effects of changes to Australian building codes with respect to wind loading following Cyclone Althea and Cyclone Tracy in the 1970s. It was clear that from the results that houses built to the standards since 1980 in areas prone to cyclones were generally more able to withstand cyclone impacts. The third adaptation option the potential for insurance to increase household resilience to bushfires was examined in the context of bushfires in Tasmania. Information on limitations and barriers to these three potential adaptation options can be found within this factsheet.

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