Typhoons and other disasters force Japan to rethink its city vs rural living plans for the future

Bipartisan support for resiliency grows as natural disasters worsen. Credit: Puerto Rico National Guard, Photo by SPC Hamiel Irizarry Full story: https://www.smartcitiesdive.com/news/bipartisan-support-for-resiliency-grows-as-natural-disasters-worsen/563627/


Worst Natural Disasters in the US in the Last 10 Years

“Incidents of extreme weather are projected to increase as a result of climate change,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And the climate crisis continues to intensify. The last four years have been the four hottest years since NOAA began keeping records 139 years ago. Additionally, sea levels have risen by 8 inches since 1880, and 3.7 inches since 1995. Meanwhile, extreme weather events are becoming more common and more catastrophic.

While it is difficult to attribute a single extreme weather event to climate change, the broad trends more easily demonstrate the effects of a warming planet. For example, in the last decade, there have been 111 climate related natural disasters that have caused at least $1 billion in damage. Over the preceding decade, there were only 59 such disasters…


Typhoons and other disasters force Japan to rethink its city vs rural living plans for the future

Greater Tokyo took a major hit earlier this month from Typhoon Faxai, which stopped regional transport and knocked out power in the eastern prefecture of Chiba.

Ever since the hit, some media coverage has highlighted the difficulties Japan has in coping with the disaster. There were delays in restoring lifeline services (electricity and water) and this week attention shifted to the plight of local authorities trying to deal with the debris.

But this obscures the typhoon’s impact on visions of how Japan can best cope with ageing, population decline and other sobering challenges.

Japan’s choices are often simplistically represented as either denser cities or regional dispersal. The former is portrayed as coldly technocratic spatial planning and the latter as the road to an idyllic, sustainable, community-friendly utopia.

But there is a middle option: cities that are both spatially compact and better networked through people, infrastructure and smart technology…


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