University of São Paulo: Unpreparedness of cities exacerbates situations of intense rains

The rains in Brazil left a greater number of people homeless than had been the case in the last five years, according to the National Confederation of Municipalities. To try to avoid this type of situation caused by extreme weather events, Brazilian cities need to prepare, reinforce and improve urban infrastructure.

Professor Marcos Buckeridge, director of the Biosciences Institute (IB) and coordinator of the USP Global Cities Program of the Institute for Advanced Studies (IEA) at USP, in an interview with Jornal da USP in the 1st Edition , said that “this has to do with the climate crisis, but it adds to the unpreparedness of cities for this emergency situation”.

The professor points out that some cities even have planning, but do not execute. “You have to have not only contingency plans, but preparedness plans.” He also explains that this is because there is no state plan, that is, that regardless of who is governing it is put into practice.

For each city a plan

For Buckeridge, as each city has its peculiarities, intense weather events must be dealt with locally. “For example, in a city in Minas Gerais, which is in the middle of the mountains, there is a much greater risk of landslides.” In this sense, nature-based solutions, as the professor emphasizes, facilitate planning.

Another point highlighted by him is that, if mitigation measures are not taken, they will result in even more expensive damage. “Adaptation costs orders of magnitude, many times the value of mitigation. So, it is better to spend the biggest money now, with good planning, than to spend 100 times more and, in addition, harm people,” he says.

The professor also emphasizes the importance of scientific knowledge for prophylactic measures and its inclusion in municipal master plans. “These studies have to be done, as I said, locally. Because, in each place, there will be different situations, with different cultures.” So, one should “include this in the master plans and start working with those plans”.

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