& Development Policy
28–29 September 2012 Helsinki, Finland
UN Photo/Tim McKulka
This is a paper submitted for presentation at UNU-WIDER conference on ‘Climate Change and Development
Policy’, held in Helsinki on 28–29 September 2012. This is not a formal publication of UNU-WIDER and may reflect
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UNU‐WIDER Conference on
Climate Change and Development Policy
Helsinki, Finland, 28‐29 September 2012
White paper Title
Landscape Architecture Role in Mitigating Negative Climate Change
Impacts Upon Urban Environment
Islam Hamdi El‐Ghonaemy, PhD
Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Urban Design
Department of Architecture, College of Fine Arts.
Alexandria University, Egypt
Landscape Architecture Role in Mitigating Negative Climate Change
Impacts Upon Urban Environment
In a world of climate change, challenge in dealing with the resulted problems is facing developing
countries, especially its impacts upon urban environment. Consequently, climate change is
dramatically effects on urban, natural resources and people's livelihoods. During the past
century, the Earth has warmed by approximately 0.7°C. unless we take measures to address
climate change, temperatures could rise even more rapidly, by between 1.4°C and 5.8°C, during
the next 100 years. Poor people in developing countries are particularly exposed to the effects of
climate change, not least because they often live and work in the very areas where natural
disasters most often occur, such as flood plains, mountainsides and deltas. Also, it causes
multiple threats to poor rural people, who often live in areas where climate change is increasing
the risk and disasters. Therefore, many approaches were studied by expertise to find out the
prober tools that could be used to utilize residents' life quality and comfort in poor countries in
general and MENA cities in particular.
Climate change is being one of the most global important dilemmas. It is one of the initiative has
been globally ratified at the highest political levels in the United Nations Millennium Declaration
on the basis that it is one of the foreseeable challenges with specific goals and actions to improve
the lives of economically, environmentally and socially marginalized populations in urban areas
etc. A great awareness in the developed countries with the problems may result is presented.
Many practical steps had been taken to join efforts between nations and cooperate to face the
resulted phenomena due to Climate Change such as global, warming, sea level rise,
desertification, … etc. For instance it was settled that there is strong positive relation between
urban density and greenhouse gas emissions. 1 While "David Dodman 2009, stated that "The
relationship between urban density and vulnerability: an adaptation agenda".
Respecting the vision that we live in small world, whenever a region has an environmental
problem such as climatic changes and its resulted problems; it never affects that region alone but
extend to affect the neighbor regions as well. Regrettably, In Middle East and North Africa
countries (MENA cities) the climate changes impacts is dramatically increasing due to the
absence of the integration between each other to manage and control such problems. In spite of
the importance of Landscape Architecture roles in national developing plans to face the impact
of the climatic changes problems, many countries have yet primitively to mainstream climate
1.1. Diagnosis of the problem:
While the changing in political systems and the spreading of the vision of "spring of liberty",
many disorganized and unplanned orders and progress in such countries that ignoring
environmental consideration in general and climatic change in particular occurred.
Therefore haphazard and scattered actions with no scientific base had been done just to satisfy
the community opinion and protesters that not serving the developing process. Consequently, it
is expecting to be many environmental problems due to these unplanned actions.
In addition to, the miss integration between MENA cities national developments plans and the
conflict of Urban Planning Policy and its Strategies in MENA Cities Urban Developing and the
resulted miss design of Landscape Architecture work produces adverse impacts, in general, to
the environment and in particular to the cities urban areas applying the followings:
i. City Urban condition ii. standard of living iii. quality of life
1.2. Significance of the study:
The Significance of the studying Landscape Architecture Role in Mitigating Negative Climate
Change is to explore a unique vision to control the adverse impacts of the climate changes upon
human life and urban quality.
1.3. Motivation of selecting Landscape architecture effects in facing Climatic changes impacts:
So, aims to show how Landscape Architecture science in urban environment can help address
problems facing humanity due to Climate change, we have to understand the focus and field of
Landscape architecture work. It would be achieved through creating knowledge and
understanding on a complex area of interrelationships between human actions and environment
under the umbrella of Landscape Architecture and defining specific solutions that can address
the problem if applied on an urban large scale
1.4. Study Idea
A global vision to deal with Landscape Architecture role whenever we deal with Climatic changes
impacts. Comprehensive policy should deal with these impacts. MENA cities have limited
technical resources and vision, especially with the dramatic political changes. Comprehensive
policy that consider MENA cities resources and problems have to be sit, which need technical
studies and expertise team work as well. This policy has to consider three main targets to be
1.5. Aim of the study
The aim of the study is to present guide lines the role of Landscape Architecture in reducing the
adverse impacts of climatic changes upon city urban life. This aim could be achieved by
implementing regional policy that unique the efforts of MENA cities using Landscape
Creating regional policy with emphasis of strategies following by action plans in pilot projects
will explore the Landscape Architecture significant in controlling the impact of climatic changes
impacts. Formatting Landscape Architecture Chapter in MENA cities can take the responsibility in
managing MENA cities efforts and prepare homogeneous policy between them targeting city
that can manage the efforts of in Mitigating Negative Climate Change Impacts Upon Urban
2. Climate change is a sustainable development issue:
2.1. A sustainable city, and eco-city
A sustainable city, or eco-city is a city designed with consideration of environmental impact,
inhabited by people dedicated to minimization of required inputs of energy, water and food, and
waste output of heat, air pollution - CO2, methane, and water pollution .Richard Register first
coined the term "eco-city "in his 1987 book, Eco-city Berkeley :building cities for a healthy
future.2 Another leading figure who envisioned the sustainable city is architect Paul F .Downton,
who later founded the company Ecopolis Pty Ltd .The field of industrial ecology is sometimes
used in planning these cities.
A sustainable city can feed itself with minimal reliance on the surrounding countryside, and
power itself with renewable sources of energy .The crux of this is to create the smallest possible
ecological footprint, and to produce the lowest quantity of pollution possible, to efficiently use
land; compost used materials, recycle it or convert waste-to-energy, and thus the city's overall
contribution to climate change will be minimal, if such practices are adhered to.
It is estimated that around 50 %of the world’s population now lives in cities and urban areas .
These large communities provide both challenges and opportunities for environmentally
conscious developers .In order to make them more sustainable, building design and practice, as
well as perception and lifestyle must adopt sustainability thinking . 3
2.2. Climate change and dangerous threats
In general, Climate change is one of the most dangerous threats ever faced by humankind.
Fuelled by two powerful human‐induced forces that have been unleashed by development and
manipulation of the environment in the industrial age, the effects of urbanization and climate
change are converging in ways which threaten to have unprecedented negative impacts on
urban quality of life, and economic and social stability (unhabitat, Global Report on Human
In particular, most of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) cities are located in vulnerable
countries specially with the local and narrow vision of decision makers and policy designers.
Therefore, indicators of the relation between Climate changes and Landscape Architecture role
upon sustainable development can be informative for climate change and in other hand clarify
the image in prober way.
Consequently, many warning signs from the academic side and many alarms raised in many
specific conferences and symposiums but never less shortage of practical steps to face such
resulted problems from the climatic change. On the other hand, in Middle East and North Africa
countries (MENA), authorities' actions that had been taken to deal with the phenomena of
climatic change and to can manage and to control the resulted problems are still fragile and not
efficient. Even the shay proceedings to develop practical policy are not enough to realize on in
dealing with the resulted urban and rural problems.
2.3. Climate change subject is a sustainable development
Furthermore, It should be considered that Climate change subject is a sustainable
development issue, not just an environmental concern, that:
i. Climate change threatens to erase progress made in achieving sustainable development
goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.
ii. Greenhouse gas emissions depend on economic and technological pathways.
Current emissions impact on the living conditions of future generations.
Poor and vulnerable countries are expected to face the greatest burden of climate
change, while having contributed the least to the problem.
Actions toward dealing with climatic changes impacts within city urban areas or rural
region as well should have unique vision in MENA cities. For instance, In Egypt, authority
creates action levels to manage City problems, which were varying between the general
master plan till and the governmental on the following levels:
i. Regional level, Through the regional plan of the region.
ii. Governmental level, Through general report for governorate planning.
Urban development plan for the Governorate.
In addition to the local governmental legislation.
The development report.
iii. local level Through the general master plan for cities such. 4
3. Climate change and MENA cities
Unfortunately, Climate Change shade Middle East and North Africa (MENA) cities with serious
direct and indirect environmental problem. These problems are not limited to urban areas but
extended to the rural areas as well. Urban and rural problems outcomes marginalized
populations in urban areas in the form of desertification, sea level rise, forming slum areas,
deterioration of quality of live and living standard, low quality of lives economically,
environmentally and socially. It should be noted that deal with climate change is a thorny issue,
involving direct impacts or synergistic effects upon physical, social, economic, organizational
(administrative) and environmental conditions to be made by local residents, population groups,
businessmen and local authorities, in order to enhance integration of important roles of the
public sector into the contributions of global world; all through constructive and fruitful
3.1. Climate change impacts upon MENA cities
Generally, climate changes have enormous impacts upon urban areas in (MENA) cities as
developing countries. The known and growing effects of climate change (increased
temperatures, rising seas, and increased incidence of severe storms) will be especially significant
for cities due to the location of many along the coast (Peter Feiden, August 2011).
Population in the MENA cities in particular with the capital assets is at risk in national economies,
especially the port cities. Consequently within MENA cities zone, urban communities have some
of the potential impacts on prairie cities which included:
i. longer summer recreational season and shorter winter season
ii. increased heat stress and decreased air quality
iii. increased demand for air conditioning but reduced winter heating demand
iv. decreased need for snow removal
v. invasion of new insects and diseases
Given all these potential impacts, almost all cities “departments” will be affected by climate
i. transportation ii. garbage collection iii. human safety
iv. parks and recreation v. snow and ice control vi. energy use
vii. water and sewage iii. pest control x. horticulture
x. construction and building codes xi. hazards (blizzards, wind storms, cold ..etc)
3.2. Climate change impacts upon MENA cities are not sharp limited:
As explored above, climate change impacts upon urban areas are not sharp limited, but to clarify
the idea, for instance, it had potential impacts upon:
i. Infrastructure, “Cities have become increasingly dependent on their lifelines, including
transportation systems (e.g., air, water, road and rail) that move people and goods; water
and electric power supply systems; and sewers and waste removal systems. All of these
elements have become essential in the modern city, making them points of vulnerability.”
ii. “Due to climate change urban areas' infrastructure is increasingly forced to withstand more
frequent and extreme weather events, more climate variability, and changes in climate
iii. Economic, globally, it is estimated that the overall costs of climate change will be equivalent
to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year. According to these estimates, As the climate
changes the increase in extreme weather events may double the annual costs in the coming
decades and account for 10% to 20% of the total economic impact of climate change. From an
urban perspective many of these economic costs will incur in cities.
3.3. Global climate change and urbanization
‘It is wellnigh universally agreed by men of all parties… that it is deeply to be deplored that
people should continue to stream into the already overcrowded cities’ (Ebeneezer Howard,
1898). But, considering that the tensions between ‘economic growth’ and ‘basic services’
agendas should be studied well. Rather, to complete the image, in most of MINA cities, the
complex relationships between density and emissions; vulnerability. These cities are varying in
size, characteristics and shape. The ‘different sizes and shapes of cities imply different
geographical advantages’ (Batty 2008). It should be noted that density is one key issue. The
relation between Urban Density and Greenhouse Gas Emissions depends on the following
i. The relative contribution of cities
ii. Patterns of mobility
iii. Housing densities and energy consumption. 5
3.4. Climate change and urbanization in MENA cities:
In MINA areas, most of the cities are characterized by high density and crowded. Attention from
MENA cities towards Climate Change and its linkages between urbanization and climate change
are positively developed. Illustrate the significant contribution of Landscape Architecture within
urban areas due to climate change is one of the important item in sharing the public participation
to the problem, while at the same time highlighting the potentially devastating effects of climate
change on urban populations' environment. It reviews policy responses, strategies and practices
that are emerging in urban areas to mitigate and adapt to climate change, as well as their
potential achievements and constraints.
Figure 1. Alexandria, costal city suffer from climatic changes impacts.
In urbanization process, the primary task of municipal leaders is to care for their own citizens, as
entity concern. Climate change is affecting municipal policy because it is public institutions who
decide on “land‐use planning, adopting construction codes, Building design and are responsible
for the investments in general and prevention measures. Therefore, decision makers will need to
become as informed as possible about climate change impacts.
However, successful responses to the challenges of climate change will require change in how
urban areas operate. Such response also requests enhancement of coordination between local
governments, civil society, community and private sector stakeholders, while at the same time
building new connection between central power structures and marginalized segments of urban
Table 1, shows the major Climate Change Impacts in Urban Areas: (Changes in Means)
Change Urban impacts Health impacts
i. Temperature Increased energy demand for
heating / cooling; worsening of
Increased vulnerability to /respiratory;
diseases young؛ and elderly particularly at
ii. Precipitation Increased risk of flooding;
increased risk of landslides;
iii. Sea‐level rise Coastal flooding; Stalinization
of water sources
Increase water‐borne and water‐washed
diseases; food shortages and malnutrition
Loss of land and property; health problems
from salinated water (especially children)
Figure 2. Major Climate Change Impacts in Urban Areas (Changes in Means)
While table 2, shows the major Climate Change Impacts in Urban Areas: (Changes in Extremes)
Change Urban impacts Health impacts
More intense flooding; higher
risk of landslides; disruption to
Higher levels of mortality and morbidity;
loss of income and assets
livelihoods and city economies
ii. Drought Water shortages; higher food
prices; disruption of hydroelectricity
Higher prevalence of water water‐borne
and water washed diseases; food
iii. Heat‐ or coldwaves
Short‐term changes in energy
Mortality from extreme heat or cold
Rapid and extreme sea‐level rise
/ mortality extreme temperature
Significant effects on morbidity and
mortality (especially in most
Figure 3. Major Climate Change Impacts in Urban Areas: (Changes in Extremes)
Further table 3, shows the major Climate Change Impacts in Urban Areas: (Changes in Exposure)
Change Urban impacts Health impacts
Movements from stressed
Increased ؛population increased stress on
infrastructure and resources
Extended vector habitats Increased risk of diseases such as malaria
Figure 4. Major Climate Change Impacts in Urban Areas: (Changes in Exposure)
3.5. Team work for monitoring Climate change effects:
The negative results from climate change must be monitored in order to control the resulting
hazards, the economic and environmental disaster and its impacts on both the urban and rural
areas. Due to this significance, national, international, local authorities and others are involved in
studying the impacts of the climate change phenomena such as:
i. Ministries (such as Agriculture ‐ Ministry of development, new communities, housing and
ii. General organization for housing, building and planning research.
iii. Governorate and the local authorities within cities.
iv. Non governmental societies and the local public congress.
v. General authority of urban planning, structural master plans of cities.
vi. Academic faculties, institutes and University.
4. Landscape architecture role in climate change mitigation
Argues that Landscape Architecture in urban areas have a pivotal role in climate change
mitigation adaptation and identifies strategies and approaches for strengthening this role.
Landscape architecture has significant roles in dealing with climatic changes impacts within city
urban areas or rural areas as well.
4.1. What is the "Landscape architecture":
Landscape architecture is the design of outdoor public areas, landmarks, and structures to
achieve environmental, social‐behavioral, or aesthetic outcomes. It involves the systematic
investigation of existing social, ecological, and geological conditions and processes in the
landscape, and the design of interventions that will produce the desired outcome. The scope of
the profession includes: urban design; site planning; storm water management; town or urban
planning; environmental restoration; parks and recreation planning; visual resource
management; green infrastructure planning and provision; and private estate and residence
landscape master planning and design; all at varying scales of design, planning and management.
A practitioner in the profession of landscape architecture is called a landscape architect. It should
be noted that Landscape architect use their knowledge of landscape processes to advise on the
long‐term care and development of the landscape. They often work in forestry, nature
conservation and agriculture.
4.2. Landscape architect as scientists
Landscape architects as scientists have specialist skills such as soil science, hydrology,
geomorphology or botany that they relate to the practical problems of landscape work. Their
projects can range from site surveys to the ecological assessment of broad areas for planning or
management purposes. They may also report on the impact of development or the importance
of particular species in a given area.
Figure 5. Landscape profession projects ranges
For different level, Landscape planners are concerned with landscape planning for the location,
scenic, ecological and recreational aspects of urban, rural and coastal land use. Their work is
embodied in written statements of policy and strategy, and their remit includes master planning
for new developments, landscape evaluations and assessments, and preparing countryside
management or policy plans. Some may also apply an additional specialism such as landscape
archaeology or law to the process of landscape planning. 6
4.3. Landscape architecture is a multi‐disciplinary field
Landscape architecture is a multi‐disciplinary field, incorporating aspects of:
Geography, & ecology environmental psychology, horticulture,
industrial design, geology & the earth sciences, the fine arts,
The activities of a landscape architect can range from the creation of public parks and parkways
to site planning for campuses and corporate office parks, from the design of residential estates
to the design of civil infrastructure and the management of large wilderness areas or reclamation
of degraded landscapes such as mines or landfills.
Landscape architects work on all types of structures and external space ‐ large or small, urban,
suburban and rural, and with "hard" (built) and "soft" (planted) materials, while integrating
ecological sustainability. The most valuable contribution can be made at the first stage of a
project to generate ideas with technical understanding and creative flair for the design,
organization, and use of spaces. The landscape architect can conceive the overall concept and
prepare the master plan, from which detailed design drawings and technical specifications are
They can also review proposals to authorize and supervise contracts for the construction work.
Other skills include preparing design impact assessments, conducting environmental
assessments and audits, and serving as an expert witness at inquiries on land use issues. They can
also support and prepare applications for capital and revenue funding grants. 7
Figure 6. Landscape architecture is a multi‐disciplinary field
4.4. Major landscape architecture Fields of activity
The variety of the professional tasks that landscape architects collaborate on is very broad, but
some examples of project types include:
a. The planning, form, scale and sitting of new developments
b. Civil design and public infrastructure
c. Sustainable development
d. Storm water management including rain gardens, green roofs, groundwater recharge, and
e. Campus and site design for public institutions and government facilities
f. Parks, botanical gardens, arboretums, greenways, and nature preserves
g. Recreation facilities; i.e.: playgrounds, golf courses, theme parks and sports facilities
h. Housing areas, industrial parks and commercial developments
i. Estate and residence landscape master planning and design
j. Highways, transportation structures, bridges, and transit corridors
k. Urban design, town and city squares, waterfronts, pedestrian schemes, and parking lots
l. Large to small urban renewal planning and design
m. Natural park, tourist destination, and recreating historical landscapes, and historic garden
appraisal and conservation studies
n. Reservoirs, dams, power stations, reclamation of extractive industry applications or major
industrial projects and mitigation
o. Environmental assessment and landscape assessment, planning advice and land
p. Coastal and offshore developments and mitigation
q. Ecological Design any aspect of design that minimizes environmentally destructive impacts by
integrating itself with natural processes and sustainability. 8
Figure 7. Major landscape architecture Fields of activity
4.5. Problem of Designing public space in MINA cities:
Neglecting the role of Landscape Architecture in design public spaces affects climate change
results. Landscape Architecture elements in both Softscape species (shrubs, trees, ground cover,
…) and hardscape materials (type of tiles, smart material, light structure, …), are playing
significant factor in increased city urban and rural problems in many forms such as:
i. Increasing city temperatures ii. rising seas level
iii. increased incidence of severe storms
iv. forming slum areas
v. deterioration of living standard vi. Deterioration of quality of live.
vii. decline quality of lives economically,
environmentally and socially
In some states, provinces, municipalities, and jurisdictions, such as Ontario, Canada and Santa
Barbara, California, all designs for public space must be reviewed and approved by licensed
Unfortunately in MINA cities design public spaces in major projects always come within urban
design projects as complementary stage, so no clear approval is required in such landscape
architecture work in such urban and planning projects. Therefore, negative impacts always
occurred. Consequently, the proposed designs become below standard and always follow no
sound base of environmental issues in its design and neglect botany, horticulture, industrial
design, geology and the earth sciences, environmental psychology, geography, and ecology. 9
4.5.1. Garbage City ….or What
It is question that always came to surface, but No, it is not just trash talk or slang for some city
slum – this place really is known as Garbage City with good reason; its denizens live in a surreal
urban landscape with waste stuffed in every spare corner, stacked on the sidewalks and
surrounding every structure – More amazing than the trash-strewn architecture and garbage -
stuffed city streets is the strange fact that this place is fully occupied and abuzz with activity.
People live, work, eat and sleep within this object graveyard outside the city center. Spaces not
occupied by people are given over to livestock (fed with trash scraps) & guerrilla urban gardens.
For instance, Manshiyat Naser (Cairo, Egypt) , this district has shops and apartments like any
other, but its residents earn their keep by specializing in collecting, sorting and recycling specific
types of trashed materials .A group of children can be found sifting for plastic bottles while an
organized team of women scours the remnants for cans or glass .Other items are burned locally
as fuel. While it might not meet any health standards on Earth, the unique urban phenomenon is
arguably sustainable in a certain sense – even ‘green’ in a some ways .Working in the area does
provide some basic necessities for its inhabitants, though water, sewage and (perhaps ironically)
even official garbage collection services are not available to those living within its trash-cluttered
Figure 8. Manshiyat Naser (Cairo, Egypt) miss use of roofs to be garbage roof
Captured above by photographer Bas Princen (2006).
4.5.2. Urban heat Island:
The urban heat island is the overheating of urban and suburban areas, relative to the surrounding
countryside, due to increased paved, built-over, and hard surface areas .Average summer
temperatures in major cities have been on the rise over the past decade .These artificially high
summer temperatures have a range of direct and indirect negative impacts on our quality of life .
The urban heat island effect increases the use of more electricity for air conditioners and it
increases the rate at which chemical processes generate pollutants such as ground level ozone .It
also exacerbates heat-related illnesses.
At Belem, Para state, Brazil Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya Suburban slum in Cairo
Figure 9. overheating in Urban heat Island in urban and suburban areas
4.5.3. Urban and visual pollution:
Visual pollution is created due to the ignoring maintenance and cleaning urban open spaces, sub
urban and vacant areas, and buildings’ roofs. For instance, in many residential buildings, owners
spend budget towards building process concerning façade design, plans and some interior
motives with paying no attention to roof design, therefore, it might be used as storage for
buildings expired parts. Many unnecessary issues from expired houses furniture or equipment
always left for years leading to visual pollution and ugly top view from high rise buildings
Top View, visual pollution or beatification issues.
4.5.4. Environmental pollution:
Due to the miss use of urban spaces and housing roofs and in other words sort of ignoring
maintenance, insects, mouse, …etc are finding this miss urban areas and housing roofs suitable
place for living and increasing causing many types of health and environmental problems
4.5.5. Urban Hazards
The presence of city urban problems and different pollution types (garbage, noise, toxic heavy
metals, …) and the unneeded and unnecessary issues from expired houses furniture or
equipment's always left.
4.6. Landscape architecture branches:
Landscape architecture branches focus on basic infrastructures, including the following topics:
i. Land markets in urban areas: one of the main causes for the proliferation of slums is lack of
planning and clarity in many countries around the land market, forcing the urban poor to
settle in marginal, unwanted and dangerous areas, or to encroach on the land owned by the
public and private sectors or to become victims of informal land markets after the failure of
formal markets. Generally, there are some proposals to address these complex issues in the
area of urban land:
• Preparation of a national or local strategy to organize land‐use and its landscape
architecture in the existing slums on a fait accompli basis and to devise an equation to
absorb them in the urban fabric with a minimum disruptions and cost.
• Based on the calculated increase in urban population, in addition to the expected
migration from rural areas, a future plan can be developed to meet the needs for land in
the new cities and settlements using landscape architecture principals, providing them
with basic services, to replace the current control policies and mechanisms. This method
of legislation should limit the encroachment on government and private lands.
Roads and movement: the existing road system in the poor planned areas can be
rehabilitated, but in slum areas, where there is no system of roads, an innovative and careful
re‐planning solution can be adopted, to allow, at least, vehicles to access to specific points in
the various slums, and then people can reach their homes on foot.
Water systems: new networks can be provided or the existing ones can be improved inside
re‐planned slum, taking into account water resources, funding, treatment, supply,
maintenance and prices etc...
Sanitation and waste collection: It is not expected to have a system for sanitation in poor
areas, so the idea is to try to apply a socially, economically and environmentally workable
system. This proposal may vary from one city to another and from one country to another.
With regard to waste collection, it is clear that the same system used in the main city can be
v. Prevent and minimize risks: Due to the deterioration of the urban land market as mentioned
above, the poor and vulnerable are often forced to live in or adjacent to marginal,
undesirable land with high‐risks and narrow roads, as well as lack of natural rainwater
vi. Buildings top views (A roof garden): A roof garden is any garden on the roof of a building .
Besides the decorative benefit, roof plantings may provide food, temperature control,
hydrological benefits, architectural enhancement, habitats or corridors for wildlife, and
recreational opportunities. 11
Accordingly, in view of these risky areas caused by nature or man, risks and their associated
potential catastrophes have increased.
Example of roof garden
5. Conclusion: Climatic Changes Linking to Landscape Architecture:
From sustainable developing side of view, linking Landscape Architecture with climatic changes
impacts is major whenever talking about enhancing the environment and trying to minimizing
nature risk within city urban areas and suburban or rural areas as well. 12
The major contribution between Climatic changes and Landscape Architecture can take place
within these three main axes as follows:
i. Human behavior and resources;
ii. Urban and natural resources;
iii. System of government and urban management.
The main tools in designing landscape projects and its interpretation are varying between:
i. Soft scape species vegetation types with its performance
ii. Hard scape materials (type of tiles, smart material, light structure, …). 13
iii. Design aspects and concept.
iv. Social and economic issues.
v. Environmental consideration. 14
vi. Life time Aesthetic
vii. Physical urban spaces and Building conditions.
Linking climate change to landscape architecture is to achieve sustainable development
respecting indicators increases coherence among indicator sets.
i. This avoids risk of sending ‘mixed’ messages.
ii. Coherence can further be increased by incorporating existing issue‐specific sets of
sustainable development indicators, for example
• Energy Indicators of Sustainable Development
• Biodiversity Indicators.
iii. Disaggregating general indicators of sustainable development may make them climate
iv. It also helps to avoid duplication of efforts.
v. It may reduce reporting burden for agencies
Landscape architecture shares the responsibility in sustainable development. Some items sets are
a useful point of departure for the derivation of climate change indicators.
i. Recognizes the important linkages between climate change and other sustainable
development issues, e.g.
• Reducing emissions from combustion of (imported) fossil fuels can increase energy
• Improved disaster risk management helps to address not only climate related events
(droughts, floods,…), but also non‐climate related ones (earthquakes, volcanoes)
ii. Preserving forests to maintain natural capital and to sustain livelihoods also increases
Consequently, landscape architecture play the national sets of sustainable development as basis
for global climate change, therefore other processes should be integrated as follows:
i. International processes under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
• Negotiations related to ‘measurable, reportable and verifiable’ commitments and
actions on mitigation, financing, technology and capacity‐building
• Performance indicators on technology transfer
• Reduced emissions form deforestation and forest degradation
ii. National climate strategies and action plans
iii. Progress on System of Environmental‐Economic Accounting
iv. Climate change‐related work on CSD indicators. 15
It is small words. Climatic changes negative impacts are not limited or affect one country rather
than other. Therefore a global vision to deal with these impacts should be basic whenever we
deal with Climatic changes. Indeed, with the era of communications, Comprehensive policy
should deal with these impacts. MENA cities have limited technical resources and vision,
especially with the dramatic political changes.
Landscape Architecture chapter can play important act in reducing the adverse impacts of
climatic changes upon city urban life, which could be achieved by implementing regional policy
that integrate the efforts of MENA cities using Landscape Architecture elements.
Landscape Architecture chapter main task will emphasis upon creating regional policy with
emphasis of strategies following by action plans in pilot projects. These efforts will explore the
Landscape Architecture significant in controlling the impact of climatic changes.
Formatting the proposed Landscape Architecture Chapter in MENA cities can take the
responsibility in managing MENA cities efforts and prepare homogeneous policy between them
targeting city that can manage the efforts of in Mitigating Negative Climate Change Impacts
upon Urban Environment
Indeed, Landscape Architecture chapter responsibility in proposing comprehensive policy that
consider MENA cities resources and problems have to be sit, which technical studies and
expertise team work are needed as well. This policy has to consider three main targets to be
improved, which are: urban condition, quality of life, and standard of living
As mentioned within research context, landscape architecture branch mainly deal with major
human and city urban aspects. Its emphasis spread along in cities urban parts and extends to
include suburban and rural areas as well. The prober landscape designs that are following
suitable intend aspects and using appropriate Softscape species (minimizing water
consumption), and hardscape materials (friendly environmental material, eco‐materials,
economically vision as well) are playing important factor in enhancing the environment,
especially whenever we deal with Climatic changes impactssubject.
Therefore, Landscape Architecture chapter characteristics will be as follows:
i. Landscape Architecture chapter scope will deal with Climatic Changes subject is
recommended to be formatted and created. Pilot study should be talked first using the
existing facilities of urban observatory. Coming from the pilot study results, that Landscape
Architecture chapter should be developed respecting Climatic Changes issues and indicators.
This chapter is recommended to consist of Landscape multi disciplinary expertise team work.
This chapter focuses upon concerning and understanding Landscape Architecture task and
importance. Consequently, Main mission of this chapter is to provide leadership and to be an
authoritative source of expertise within the vision of dealing Climatic changes and
understanding United Nations system on sustainable development.
The main objectives of this chapter are not limited to deal with Climatic changes only rather
than develop population with access to quality health services. In addition to conduct
normative work, analytical work and technical cooperation. Role of official statistics in
national indicator should be set guided with UN system. 16 That indicators conduct the
current circumstances should be listed, analyzed and studied carefully by the chapter
Consequently, the expecting results are Guide lines that should be given to local authority.
Transfer the information and the advices are essential for local authorities to help them
watching out and considering within its developing plans to face, or avoid and control the
negative impacts of Climatic changes issues.
Landscape Architecture Chapter Members of team Participants:
• Officials in municipalities
• Local decision makers in Middle East and North Africa
• Leaders in Landscape Architecture and urban communities
• Local Landscape Architecture professionals
• Other partners
• International and regional experts specialized in socio economic and environmental
issues – especially in Climatic changes issues.
• International organizations working in the area of climatic changes and environmental
upgrading, such as the World Bank, Cities Alliance, AUDI, organizations etc..
• MENA Cities that are interest in the topics of the Landscape Architecture.
v. Major Landscape Architecture chapter scope and interests are directed to climatic change
problems for example;
• Interested in sustainability, eco‐city, green building.
• Interest in the Green build which is Social Equity to support the social equity objectives. 17
• Landscape architecture subjects such as Green roof (extensive and intensive)
• Benefit of storm water management, evapo‐transpirative cooling, sustainable
architecture, aesthetics, and habitat creation.
Objectives of the Landscape Architecture chapter is not limited, but it will start by:
a. to train municipalities’ officials and local professionals in the nature and size of the
climatic change impacts and upgrading process of Landscape Architecture in enhancing
urban quality and upgrading slum areas, with respect to the following topics:
• Understanding the problems and identifying the appropriate policies
• Implementation ‐ application of strategies and actions.
• Local administration ‐ support community efforts
• Integration into the existing urban infrastructure
• Listing the urban quality and upgrading priorities, depending on the immediate needs
of partners and the availability of funding.
• Stages and potential levels of community participation.
• Role of specialists and professionals in the actual application.
• Identifying partners’ needs, expectations and services, especially those of the most
• Basic guidelines on who to deal with the historical areas.
• Developing a development strategy in conjunction with all sectors, containing
economic, social and physical features.
b. Establish guidelines and detailed steps in different stages that should be followed in the
process of MENA cities upgrading since its inception, policies development to
c. Preparation of comprehensible planning for facing the adverse impacts of climatic
changes and regulations for construction as well, to enhance successful implementation
on the ground .
d. Propose legislation aimed to develop urban and rural areas as well, to enable
municipalities and local administrators to do their daily work and deal with emerging
e. Preparing the costs of various phases of the project's based on the previously approved
list of priorities.
f. Preparing a comprehensive action plan, based on the projects which were approved,
containing clear financial estimates for each work and contribution of each partner, such
as: local government, business community, NGOs, central government, international
lenders etc.. In short, what is the role of each partner, including the contribution and
participation of urban and rural dwellers
The expected impact:
Increasing the public awareness of the climatic change subjects such as: nature, impacts and
importance of climatic change impacts, urban spaces and rural areas upgrading and improvement
projects and their social and economic impact on residents, local population, municipalities, and
local and national businesses in general..
a. Public participation will be positive factor in implementing such policy and its strategies and
b. The preparatory guidelines and steps to be followed prior to climatic change effects and the
implementation of any urban upgrading project.
c. Planning and construction regulations that govern any future urban spaces upgrading
project respecting controlling climatic change issues
d. Administrative legislations that enable municipalities and local administrations to address
climatic change impacts in general, and in particular, resettlement, compensation of the
displaced population issues, controlling the new urban changes, … etc.
e. Experience of various cities in funding and upgrading projects, in the region and extended to
the attached regions respecting the vision of: "climatic change impacts are not limited in one
region … but it affects and affected by the surrounding environment".
f. Improving the management capacity within the local authority and civil society, to carry out
and manage local development.
7. References and readings:
1 David Dodman, (2009), Urban Density and Climate Change, An Agenda for Mitigation and Adaptation,
Expert Group Meeting on Population Dynamics and Climate Change, London, June 25 2009, International
Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
2 Register, Richard, (1987), Eco_city Berkeley :building cities for a healthy future .North Atlantic Books
3 https//:www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world -
4 El‐Ghonaimy, Islam, (2000), Environmental Assessment of Residential Urban Areas, Thesis title :“Monitoring
the changes of Urban Expansion and Land use Pattern and its Impacts upon Residential Areas”, PhD
thesis, submitted to Architectural Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Al-Mansoura
5 David Dodman, (2009), Urban Density….., (IIED)
7 El‐Ghonaimy, Islam (2010), Design Criteria for Open Spaces of Residential Zones in Universities Campuses,
Case study :University of Dammam Campus, K.S.A, Journal of Menofia University, Engineering Sector,
volume 33, number 2April 2010, Egypt
9 El‐Dardiry, Dalia, (2010), impact of environmental conditions on low‐cost housing in new towns in Egypt, the
case study of Burg El‐Arab City, Journal of Menofia University, Engineering Sector, volume 33, number
2April 2010, Egypt
10 El‐Ghonaimy, Islam, (2011), Efficiency and Magnificence of Roof Garden … Achieving High‐Performance
Sustainable and Green Buildings in Arab Regions, 10TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE FOR ENHANCED
BUILDING OPERATIONS (ICEBO 2010), ENERGY EFFICIENCY APPLICATIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT, Building & Energy Technologies Department Environment and Urban Development
Division, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, OCTOBER 26 ‐28, 2010, Main theme :High‐performance
sustainable and green buildings, KUWAIT
11 Behrens-Abouseif, Doris, (1992), Islamic Architecture in Cairo, Brill Publishers, p. 6, ISBN 90 04 09626 4
12 El‐Ghonaimy, Islam, (2011), Paradigm of Landscape Architecture Realizing the Sustainability in Recreational
Urban Areas, Journal of Al‐Azhar University Engineering Sector, under publishing, September 2011, Egypt,
13 El‐Ghonaimy, Islam, (1994),Eenvironmental studies in residential Urban areas, unpublished M.Sc, of
"environmental studies". Section of "Environmental Management and Economic", Department of
Environmental Studies, Institute of Graduate Studies and Research, Alexandria University.
14 El‐Ghonaimy, Islam, (2010), "Landscape architecture approach for sustainability in Arab Countries"
conference organized by League of Arab States, Housing & Building National Research Center – Cairo,
15 Meeting held in New York in October 2008, see:
16 Matthias Bruckner, (2008), Climate Change and Indicators of Sustainable Development, Division for
Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations, Conference on
Climate Change, Development and Official Statistics, Seoul, 11‐12 December 2008