This paper is a review of geophysical and climatic trends associated with extreme weather events and natural hazards, their implications for urban areas and the effects of continued environmental modification due to urban expansion. It discusses how urban design, technological development and societal behaviour can either ameliorate or worsen climate-induced hazards in urban areas. Pressures - ranging from excessive rainfall causing urban flooding to urban temperature extremes driving air pollution - require more attention to understand, model and predict changes in hazards in urban areas. It concludes that involving different techniques for data analysis and system modelling is more appropriate for practical decision-making than a purely reductionist approach. Successfully determining the future environment of megacities will, however, require joint action with societally informed decision makers, grounded in sound scientific achievements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-326
Number of pages13
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Engineering Sustainability
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 30 2017


  • Environment
  • Mathematical modelling
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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