Cities Versus Mother Nature?

Cities take preemptive measures in case of a natural disaster

9 September 2013

After natural disasters sweep through cities, it can take months or years to recover. Since 2000, weather- and climate-related disasters have cost the global economy US $2.5 trillion, including losses to infrastructure, according to a report from the U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.

With damage from last year’s Hurricane Sandy in mind, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg [above] recently unveiled a $20 billion, 400-page plan for safeguarding the city that includes building floodwalls and upgrading telecommunications. And when a flood in Copenhagen in 2011 left it with $1 billion in damage, the Danish capital began implementing a plan that features building larger sewers and developing systems to warn of torrential downpours.

Are cities doing enough to protect themselves against natural disasters? If not, what should they be doing?

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