City scene by night.

Flagship research is helping cities and coastal settlements adapt to future climates.

Sustainable cities and coasts

Flagship researchers are developing planning, design, infrastructure and management solutions to help Australia’s cities and coasts adapt to a changing climate.

  • 18 January 2008 | Updated 30 January 2014

Cities and climate change

Climate change threatens the cities and fast urbanising coasts where most of the world's population lives. 

Our cities' sustainability is challenged by weather-related disasters which damage our water, energy, transport, buildings and telecommunications infrastructure.

Bushfires rage at the urban fringe. Heat stress, vector borne and other climate related diseases pose health risks.  

These impacts of a changing climate add to existing challenges such as urban sprawl, population growth, pollution and the loss of biodiversity.

Urban areas, urgent challenges

We need to understand and plan for the likely local impacts of climate change.

  • prepare for coastal inundation due to sea level rise and storm surge
  • prepare for more frequent or severe storms, cyclones, hail events and floods
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions from homes, buildings and transport
  • reduce pressure on water supplies
  • manage heightened risk of bushfires at the urban fringe
  • understand climate-related health risks including heat stress and vector borne diseases.

CSIRO has a strong track record in delivering scientific solutions to urban sustainability challenges.

Flagship researchers are giving Australian governments, communities and industry, the knowledge to effectively adapt to future urban climates.

Through the Climate Adaptation Flagship, we are applying those skills and experience to help Australian cities and coastal communities prepare for the impacts of climate changes, while also reducing our urban greenhouse gas emissions and improving long term sustainability.

Climate adaptation research

Flagship researchers are giving Australian governments, communities and industry, the knowledge to effectively adapt to future urban climates.

Analysis of Climate Change Impacts on the Deterioration of Concrete Infrastructure

This report documents mechanisms of deterioration in concrete structures and approaches to modelling concrete corrosion under climate change conditions.

Risk assessment of climate adaptation strategies for extreme wind events in Queensland

This 85-page report assesses the economic viability of three proposed climate adaptation strategies to improve the ability of residential constructions to withstand damage from a changing climate and higher wind speeds. A two-page leaflet accompanies the report.

Recent Trends in Material Flows and Resource Productivity in Latin America

This project aims to understand material consumption patterns across the Latin American Caribbean region and how these patterns reflect and shape industrial transitions and national and regional economies.

Engaging urban communities and built environment design professionals in projects that recognise their knowledge and value is crucial to this research.

Find out more about the work of Climate Adaptation Flagship.