A resilient, efficient and well-maintained system of interconnected infrastructure networks is key to the functioning of Glasgow City Region. Infrastructure that is resilient to current and future climate risks, and takes full advantage of climate opportunities, will ensure that the city region will continue to meet the needs of residents, businesses, and visitors.
Key climate related risks and opportunities
Climate change will affect the city region’s infrastructure in a number of ways by:
Disrupting the complex systems of infrastructure networks meaning climate change impacts such as extreme weather events and high temperatures, can impact other infrastructure providers even when their own assets have not been directly affected.
Increasing risk of disruption to infrastructure due to flooding and storminess, particularly to the many assets and services located along the coast and river banks. Sea level rise and increased frequency and severity of storms, high waves and severe weather will increase the risk of damage from coastal flooding, as well as backing up or overwhelming existing sewer systems leading to sewer flooding. There are particular risks to bridges which often carrying multiple services (gas, water, electricity, telecoms etc.) as well as traffic. Increased river flows can affect bridges due to localised riverbank erosion, undermining structures, scour and exposure of buried cabling and pipework.
Increasing the risk of landslides and disruption to transport infrastructure – with the severity and frequency of rainfall events, extreme temperatures, high winds and changes in vegetation growth rates, and changes in freeze thaw ratios affecting slope stability and embankment conditions.
Disrupting water-based transport and trade in and out of the city region as sea levels rise and flooding and storms become more common. These changes could pose a range of risks to ports and waterways, with implications for both passengers and cargo.
Increasing the number and size of wildfires due to projected drier summers and higher soil moisture deficits.
Reducing impacts from extreme cold events as they become less frequent and severe and cause less disruption to infrastructure during the winter months.
Use our interactive index to navigate to relevant information based on particular climate hazards, risks, sectors, and actions.
Next steps to creating climate resilient infrastructure
Continue to invest in reducing flooding from all sources, and begin early discussions to manage the potential impacts of coastal erosion on railway infrastructure on the North Bank of the Clyde.
Take further action in relation to the impacts of storms and high waves. In particular, more risk assessment and adaptation planning are needed for the Erskine Bridge.
Undertake further work to ensure the city region’s infrastructure is prepared for future temperature rises and heatwaves. The impacts of rising summer temperatures are already being felt, and key infrastructure providers such as SGN, Scottish Power Energy Networks and Glasgow Airport need to improve the clarity of their plans to manage these risks for the city region.
Build understanding and capacity in relation to infrastructure interdependencies, building on insight from the Infrastructure Operators Adaptation Forum, with a particular focus on building resilience of mobile and fixed telecommunications infrastructure that keeps the Glasgow City Region connected to the world and open for business.
Build capacity, understanding and networks to better understand the potential risks to passenger ferries, cargo and ports.
Review how future climate projections are addressed in local and applicable national infrastructure strategies and plans.