Eighty percent of people in England reside in suburban areas, and they will experience hotter, drier summers and wetter winters. Yet, these people, who spend most of their time at home, are not even into coping with climate change according to the researchers of ‘Suburban neighborhood adaptation for a changing climate (SNACC)’ Project.
A collaboration between the University of the West England, Oxford Brookes University, Heriot Watt University, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, Bristol City Council, Oxford City Council, and White
Design in Bristol, the SNACC Project aims to address to the public practical and effective ways they can apply to cope with extreme weathers, minimizing the impacts on them, depending on the housing type .
The research leader, Professor Katie Williams, says, “Our report shows how best to adapt homes, gardens, streets and public spaces. The research has shown, for example, the many benefits of shading on homes and in streets, and the effects of planting more greenery. It has highlighted the best ways of protecting against flooding and storms.
“However, the project also found that currently very few suburbs are being adapted, and that householders are very unlikely to make changes to their homes and gardens in response to climate change. We looked at ways to enable suburban adaptation, and suggest simple things like ensuring householders get the right information when they do DIY and build extensions, and far more complex solutions about changes to planning policies and partnership working.
“This research is significant because many suburbs are not even coping with today’s climate, let alone the changes that are now inevitable in the next 50 years and beyond. We have highlighted problems with overheating in homes, flood damage, deterioration of green spaces and so on. The Government is undertaking a lot of work on climate adaptation right now, and we are working with several government departments, including the Department for Communities and Local Government, to ensure that our findings feed into national programmes to help householders and local organisations cope with climate change.”
The academic and government sectors are putting much effort seeking for ways how people can protect themselves from the impacts of climate change. It is now up to the people when to finally act and take advantage of the recommendations concluded in the study.