Natural disasters are increasingly unpredictable due to climate change throughout the world and Latin American cities must think differently from their methods in the past, when threats such as floods and earthquakes were under more control.
A study by the Observatory for Latin America of the American university The New School next to the CAF-Bank of Development of Latin America published this Thursday shows five cities of the subcontinent that already began to prepare strategies that many other localities can take to avoid the loss of lives and goods, and a place that serves as a sad example to avoid.
- MANIZALES (COLOMBIA)
This city, known for being located in the heart of Colombia's coffee belt and being one of the best economic development in the country, has been implementing resilience practices for decades to ensure a sustainable future.
His scientific study of probabilities is supported by 327 previous events and also have a collective insurance for citizens only in the region. In Manizales they know that they need it, since the city that knows well the natural setbacks: landslides, floods, earthquakes, volcanic movements and fires appear in its history.
- LA PAZ, BOLIVIA)
The Bolivian administrative capital is another of the model cities in the field of prevention of natural disasters due to its urban policy to manage the risk after suffering severe landslides and floods since the beginning of the century.
Its plan involves the administration of the city, combining organizational and financial resources with institutions, and neighbors, with programs such as Neighborhoods and Truth Communities and others dedicated to the social aspects of natural disasters.
- ECUADOR BASIN)
The headaches of Cuenca, in the south of Ecuador, have to do with the floods, but from the pre-Columbian settlements they learned to approach this risk with a good ecological preservation and a high degree of collective consciousness and respect for the variability of the rivers that surround it.
An ancestral behavior that, over the centuries, evolved towards the use of rivers for a variety of functions: its drinking water comes from rivers and also makes it part of its energy, thanks to hydroelectric power plants.
- SANTA FE (ARGENTINA)
On the banks of the Paraná River, Santa Fe has managed to reduce its exposure to floods in the last decade at the same time as its indicators of poverty, inequality and unemployment, something that according to the study of the Development Bank of Latin America took place, in part, thanks to its fundamental changes in disaster risk reduction.
In the past, it was an example of the opposite, with an unplanned urban development that fostered its vulnerability, but its urban practices of integral sustainability have received awards and recognitions from the Office of Disaster Risk Reduction of the UN.
- PILAR (ARGENTINA)
The "Water Dialogues" program of this town outside of Buenos Aires is the most innovative urban risk management practice in its area, that of the Luján River, and its result is an evaluation of the practices in which they are studied. legal and economic restrictions, political decisions and challenges for the future.
How do you get to that? Water dialogues consist of dialogue and negotiation between the political representatives and the closed urbanizations that populate the place in order to mitigate the impacts of flooding in the river basin.
This industrial municipality located on the coast of Sao Paulo, in the south of Brazil, Cubatao serves as an example for the rest of the cities but, on this occasion, there is no need to deal with climate change. His sad case, in addition, highlights the importance of having long-lasting strategies in cities.
Cubatao was recognized by the UN in 1992 for its successful control of pollution but 25 years later new harmful economic activities have emerged as a result of the political and social disinterest that ended its programs, so today the city is struggling to abandon indexes again of critical pollution and return to the path of sustainability.