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Resilient cities and adaptation to climate change: Chicago metropolitan area as a case study [ITU J Faculty Arch]
ITU J Faculty Arch. 2013; 10(2): 15-32

Resilient cities and adaptation to climate change: Chicago metropolitan area as a case study

Sinem Gürevin, Y. Çağatay Seçkin
Istanbul Technical University, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Landscape Architecture, Istanbul, TURKEY

Since cities formed, either men or nature has destroyed them through out history. However, they were always rebuilt and rebounded. After about 1800, such resilience became a nearly universal fact of urban settlement around world. Urban disaster takes many forms and can be categorized in many ways, like scale of destruction, human troll, natural disasters and etc. Because of these kinds of disasters, the cities need to be resilient and need to adapt upcoming conditions. Although there are many different forms of disasters, this study is more concerned about the ones that are caused by humans and that can be prevented or at least with the ones which something still can be done about. In other words, this study is about importance of resilient cities and adapting existing cities to the future. This research is about energy efficient buildings, clean and renewable energy resources, improved transportation options, reduced waste and industrial pollution and adapting to new conditions so that cities can be sustainable and their residents can continue their urban life without extreme shocks and stresses.

While studying resilience and adaptation, Chicago Metropolitan Area will be the case study. Chicago’s main struggle begins with the Great Fire in 1871, and continues with Great Depression in 1930. The World War II effects and still continues with problems that are caused by people’s modern lifestyle, like heat islands or greenhouse gas emissions. For more than fifteen years, Chicago has been promoting the transformation into an environmentally friendly city. From green roofs to recycling, Chicago continues to take steps toward resiliency against climate change. Currently, not only the local government but also the business community and residents at large have engaged in a multitude of key partnerships and efforts to support the city’s goal. Scientists, businesses and governments around the world agree: climate change is one of the most serious issues facing the Earth today. In the last 50 years, levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have risen 25 percent; levels of methane, an even more potent greenhouse gas, have more than doubled. Because of these increases in heat-trapping gases, under a high-emissions scenario, recent predictions show that by the end of the century, annual average temperature could increase up to four degrees Celsius, and every single part of the Earth will be affected with climate change. Developed countries started to take action against climate change. They are developing strategies that can be applied by even developing countries, such as Turkey, and surely these strategies can be used as a road map to strength Turkish cities against incoming climate change.

Keywords: Resilient cities, adaptation, climatechange, Chicago


Sinem Gürevin, Y. Çağatay Seçkin. Resilient cities and adaptation to climate change: Chicago metropolitan area as a case study. ITU J Faculty Arch. 2013; 10(2): 15-32

Corresponding Author: Sinem Gürevin, Türkiye


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