Drawings of young children express the most precious aspects of their lives: a safe home, a happy family, a loyal pet and lovely trees, which all require cities that keep them safe and comfortable. It doesn’t matter where in the world these children live or to which social class they belong. A safe home, provides families with a refuge from the climate. But what happens when the climate changes?
A safe home is also of concern for cities. When climate change is considered in the design or redesign of cities, the livelihoods of families are likely to remain stable for longer. Hence, climate change could be a key opportunity to improve the condition of people’s daily life by creating alternative pathways for solving deeply rooted social and environmental problems that most affect vulnerable populations. The need of climate adaptive housing could help in rethinking the regular system offering a new understanding of exchanges between society and ecosystems. A socio-ecological approach to adapt to climate change can give cities the opportunity to reshuffle technologies and policies that are not helping vulnerable communities achieve resilience.
Metropolis Baixada Santista and the city of Santos, Brazil
The metropolitan area Baixada Santista is situated along the coast, 70 km from the city of São Paulo, about an hour’s drive through a mountainous landscape of Atlantic rainforest and through mangrove forests close to the coastline. It’s one of the most populated areas in the state of São Paulo and as a result of its port complex, has an important industrial role and is also a strong tourist attraction. The city of Santos, founded in 1546 by the Portuguese nobleman Brás Cubas, is partially located on the island of São Vicente – which harbours both the city of Santos and the city of São Vicente – and partially on the mainland.