Hot topic: How climate change is impacting the UAE and Gulf
Gulf countries were part of the Paris climate agreement reached in 2015 on global warming
Climate change is a global phenomenon - no nation is immune from it, not even the GCC.
According to an international urban planning expert, the GCC region will see temperatures rising to 60 degrees during summer very soon if the problem of global climate change and urban planning is not properly tackled by the governments in the region and the residents will have to migrate to other parts of the world.
"Climate change is having its impact in the Gulf. There is a significant evidence to suggest that very soon we're going to be dealing with temperature experiences that push this area beyond the habitable zone. In the other words, it will be so hot in this region in summer that the humans will have difficulty to survive," said Steven Velegrinis, director of cities and sites at associate principal at Perkins+Will.
"And the projections are that we will regularly get on to 60-degree centigrade in summer in this region which really calls in to question that it may be possible to even leaving this region. So, either we respond to this or we start figuring out where we move the entire population of the Gulf too."
"I think the whole idea of ecological urbanism is actually about changing that scenario of not simply accepting that the cities are passive but that they are really active agents of change."
Gulf countries were part of the Paris climate agreement reached in 2015 on global warming, binding the developed and developing nations to a clear limit on temperature rises. After the signing of Syria, 197 nations have now ratified the Paris deal reduce carbon emission. However, US President Donald Trump has announced America's withdrawal from the agreement.
Velegrinis highlighted this issue while addressing the Arab Future Cities Summit in Dubai recently. His recent work and research seek to promote the idea of landscape urbanism as the future for sustainable urban development in the Middle East and Asia.
Velegrinis has experience in spectrums of the design process including master-planning, conceptual design to construction documentation and site supervision.
Contrary to the global trend, Velegrinis pointed out that Gulf cities are cooler than their surrounding areas - thanks the plantation of trees. "In any other city in the world, we have a situation where the cities are hotter than the surrounding landscapes. In the Gulf, cities are cooler than their surrounding landscapes," he said.
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