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Climate resilience

Date created: 5/04/2021

The City of London is preparing for a changing climate.

We are enacting a variety measures to mitigate for the impact of this on the Square Mile. This is to ensure that the City of London will be resilient to the effects of climate change, whether this be increased temperatures and rainfall, rising sea levels or changing biodiversity.

We also taking steps to reduce our impact on the drivers of climate change, you can find out more on our Zero carbon City page.

It is anticipated that the City will experience a change in both the frequency, intensity and season variability of rainfall in the future. This will put pressure on our drainage system. As the Lead Local Flood Authority for the Square Mile we're requiring new developments to include sustainable drainage system which will slow down the flow of water. 

Our stretch of Thames is tidal and will be effected by raising sea levels. The City is currently protected by its river defences and the Thames Barrier downstream. We are beginning to review how we can maintain and improve this going forward.

You can find our more about flooding and the work of the Lead Local Flood Authority on our Flooding page. 

Increasing average temperatures will have an even greater impact on the City of London due to the urban heat island effect. This is because buildings and roads absorb and hold heat during the day, reducing the ability to cool at night. When these features are close together as in the City it results in a higher temperature compared to surrounding greener areas.

The counter act the impact of the urban heat island effect we're encouraging more greening in the Square Mile. New developments are required to provide planted areas and solar shading.This has the added benefit that it will reduce the amount of energy needed to provide cooling as well. 

A changing climate will also effect the plants and biodiversity in the Square Mile. Pests and diseases that don't currently occur here could do in future. The City's Biodiversity Action plan is seeking to not just improve the current situation, but to ensure that it will be fit for the future as well. This will be especially important as we look to nature to provide solutions for flooding, air quality, shading and others.