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Cities and Climate Change, Assessing the Role of Urban Green Space as an Adaptation Strategy to Climate Change

Rapid urbanization produces critical environmental problems. Among the many environmental impacts of urbanization such as reduced carbon sinks, increased surface runoff and high temperatures in cities have received significant attention. Projected climate change impacts will reinforce non-climatic challenges posed by urbanization, which will render urban systems more vulnerable. Consequently, there has been increasing focus on sustainable approaches to urban planning. Urban Green Space (UGS) has been gaining importance as a cost-effective strategy for attaining sustainable cities. UGS has the potential not only to reduce urban heat stress but also to provide several benefits in terms of reducing energy consumption, increasing carbon sinks, increasing water infiltration, and promoting food security. Ghana is strongly committed to addressing climate change and promoting urban sustainability, yet UGS is less emphasized in relevant policy planning and implementation. With her project, Yvonne Nti assesses the role of UGS as an adaptation strategy. She focuses on Accra, a city already suffering from high temperatures and floods attributed to urbanization and compounded by climate change impacts. In carrying out her research, Yvonne Nti closely collaborates with the Climate Research Institute of Potsdam University and partners with the Urban Planning Department of Ghana as well as further relevant stakeholders.

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