Landscape architecture role in mitigating negative ... - UNU-WIDER

Landscape architecture role in mitigating negative ... - UNU-WIDER

Climate Change

& 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

work-in-progress. If you wish to cite this, please request permission directly from the author(s).

UNUWIDER 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

1. Introduction

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

change problems.

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

Architecture elements.

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

Settlements 2011).

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

change including:

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

air quality

Increased vulnerability to /respiratory;

diseases young؛ and elderly particularly at


ii. Precipitation Increased risk of flooding;

increased risk of landslides;

distress migration

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

i. Extreme

rainfall /

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

iv. Abrupt



Rapid and extreme sea‐level rise

/ mortality extreme temperature


Significant effects on morbidity and

mortality (especially in most

vulnerable groups)

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

i. Population


Movements from stressed

rural habitats

Increased ؛population increased stress on

infrastructure and resources

ii. Biological


Extended vector habitats Increased risk of diseases such as malaria

and dengue

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

public utilities).

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

treatment wetlands

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

management proposals.

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,

viii. desertification

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

landscape architects.

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

walls. 10

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

Figure 10.

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.

Figure 11.

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

change relevant.

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

carbon absorption

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

Change (UNFCCC):

• 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

6. Recommendations:

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

committee members.

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

vulnerable groups.

• 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..

Expected results:

a. Public participation will be positive factor in implementing such policy and its strategies and

action projects.

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// -


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


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

17 http://www.usgbc‐

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