Climate change and its effects on urban spaces in Chile: A summary of research carried out in the period 2000-2012

We have systematized the effects associated with climate change on urban spaces in Chile reported between 2000 and 2012. The method was based on a review of scientific articles in three databases (Scopus, Web of Knowledge and Scielo) using 32 keywords. Only 14 research papers were found related to climate change in urban spaces, most of which were case studies focused on the capital, Santiago. The main effects on urban spaces were found in four areas: (1) increase in temperature (heat islands, heat waves), (2) health problems in vulnerable populations (cardiac complications, heat stroke, and respiratory diseases), (3) increased demand for water, and (4) damage to the urban infrastructure with resulting risk to the population. In these circumstances the following measures are needed: (1) effective incorporation of the potential impacts of climate change into territorial planning instruments, (2) increased green areas to mitigate the impact of heat waves, (3) limiting of housing or public services in areas at risk, (4) encouraging the design of adaptation plans by involving the vulnerable population, and (5) implementing water conservation measures. We conclude that climate change is causing effects in urban areas that should be considered in the design and expansion of cities.

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