Intervention 6 Adapt the Clyde corridor for the twenty-second century Aim: To better match our investment planning with the changing climate risks, through use of a long-term, iterative strategic pathway which supports wider prosperity and regeneration. This will ensure decisions on new investment and development and infrastructure are placed within a longer term strategic adaptive management framework, helping maintain the success of riverside industries and improving the livelihoods of those who live within it as well as the wider success of the overall City Region from the source of the River Clyde in South Lanarkshire to its mouth in Inverclyde. Background: The River Clyde and its corridor is Scotland’s most important economic asset (Clydeplan, 2020), as well as being the backbone of the region’s cultural heritage. It is also an internationally important area for biodiversity. 480,000 people live within a mile of the river, whilst half the region’s jobs (430,000) are located there. The challenge: The corridor is affected by coastal, river and surface flooding, and experiences periodic flood events today which affect large numbers of people and have high annual damage costs. In the absence of further action, future climate change poses major threats to the corridor, 17 , 18 which will lead to both direct and indirect risks. Glasgow City Region is home to 219 publicly listed companies that are at risk of climate change, with this number expected to grow over time. 19 Managing the risks of flooding and other hazards along the corridor is important for long-term regional economic growth and investor confidence, as well as the long-term resilience of SMEs. Where are we now? Clydeplan’s Indicative Regional Spatial Strategy 20 identifies both the Clyde corridor and climate adaptation as key priorities. The forthcoming second cycle of Local Flood Risk Plans will continue to reduce flood risk, but they do not provide a long-term (100+ year) iterative framework, which considers the deep uncertainty of climate change effects on rainfall patterns, river flows, costal erosion, and sea level rise, as well as the effect of future adaptation options and relevant thresholds or tipping points. Early work on an Adaptation Pathway for the Clyde 21 has shown the potential to develop a flexible adaptation pathway for the river that would incorporate whole-system thinking and provide a long-term framework for action, using a mix of options with a preference towards nature-based solutions such as natural flood risk management and designated land for flooding.
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