The concept of “vulnerability to climate change” helps us better understand the cause/effect relationships behind climate change and its impact on people, economic sectors and socio-ecological systems (GIZ, 2017). Within the framework of the CityAdapt project, evaluations were carried out for the 3 project cities, whose maps are accessible below.
Vulnerability and adaptation to climate change are directly related to the temporal and spatial context of cities. Risks and their impacts as well as responses and actions occur at specific times and places.
How the maps are displayed:
The maps are organized according to the following input categories:
For each of these categories, there are input maps, for example:
Risk: Landslide risk, Landslide risk, Flood risk, Drought risk, Water erosion risk, Added risks.
The maps as a result of the analysis are the output information, in a single resulting category: 5 Vulnerability & Socio-environmental vulnerability. For more details please see the PDF documents for each city in vulnerability-studies.
What is the definition of the categories:
- Exposure: People, livelihoods, ecosystems, environmental services, infrastructure, or economic and social assets in locations that could be adversely affected.
- Risk: Potential for consequences due to a hazard. Risk is represented as the probability of occurrence of dangerous events or trends multiplied by the consequences should such events occur.
- Sensitivity: degree to which a system is modified or affected by disturbances.
Adaptive capacity: the ability of systems, institutions, humans, and other organisms to adjust to potential harm, take advantage of opportunities, or respond to consequences.
- Vulnerability: Potential for loss (human, physical, economic, natural, or social) due to hazardous events. Vulnerability includes the conditions determined by physical, social, economic and environmental factors or processes, which increase the susceptibility of a community to the impacts of a hazard.
The study area includes the municipalities of Xalapa and Tlalnelhuayocan, the former being the capital of the state of Veracruz characterized by being eminently urban, while the latter is a predominantly rural municipality with a mountainous topography.
The study municipalities are located within the basins of the Río la Antigua and Actopan.
The city of Xalapa has suffered rapid urbanization and unplanned expansion, growing without planning, which has generated a decline and deterioration of key ecosystems in the region (wetlands, green areas, and forests).
This expansive process put pressure on the occupation of the surrounding rural areas, causing populations with fewer resources to settle in peripheral areas with a lack of services and basic infrastructure. Another of the impacts are deficiencies in urban mobility, public safety, water supply, significantly reducing the quality of life of its inhabitants.
For building climate resilience in urban systems:
- Technical studies were carried out to identify the areas of greatest danger from weather-related events: landslides, landslides, erosion and flooding, both in urban and rural areas of Xalapa and San Andrés Tlalnelhuayocan, and the most exposed areas were identified.
- An indicator of socioeconomic sensitivity was built by geostatistical area.