Cities and the Environment Journal Release

The Cities and the Environment Journal (CATE), which is managed by CURes staff, recently released the second issue of its tenth volume. This special issue focuses on climate change adaptation in Mediterranean Cities and features two research articles alongside two practitioner notes. While the issue mainly highlights work performed in Los Angeles, it is hoped that this issue can serve as a springboard for discussion of adaptation strategies in other Mediterranean climate regions, and that scholars and practitioners from those areas will contribute their work in future issues. To combat the fast pace of climate change, nations, regions, and cities need to learn from each other’s adaptation strategies.

Mediterranean climates, while only 3% of the world’s land area, are invaluable in terms of resources, infrastructure, and biodiversity. With climate change, these

Map displaying global Mediterranean climate zones

regions are expected to see increased fire events, higher temperatures, the spread of disease and invasive species, and an increase of severe weather events, such as drought. These impacts will directly affect economic output of the Mediterranean regions, such as lumber production and crop yields. Given the highly developed nature of Mediterranean regions and their influence on global trade, it is of international importance to address climate change in these areas.

Dr. Michele Romolini, Director of Research at CURes, and Dr. Eric Strauss, Executive Director of CURes, were co-authors on one of the issue’s articles, “Tree Canopy Change in Coastal Los Angeles, 2009-2014.” Green infrastructure, including urban forestry, is a strategy to increase urban resilience in the face of climate change. This study used high-resolution aerial imagery and LiDAR to analyze the extent and location of urban tree canopy along LA’s coast. Using geodemographic data, it was determined that higher-income groups tend to have more tree canopy and less tree loss over time when compared to lower-income groups. CURes scientists and collaborating researchers intend to continue this tree canopy mapping work in the future, expanding the analysis throughout LA County.