Environmental and Urban Security Risks: The Looming Symbiotic Crises of the Mediterranean Rim Cities

Publication date:
James A. Russell, Department of National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.

This chapter argues that systemic environmental changes in the Mediterranean and the Middle East have the potential to combine with persistent political instability to create challenges for urban environments bordering the Mediterranean over the rest of the 21st century. These combined pressures could manifest themselves as unrest against city and state governance around the rim of the Mediterranean as these cities cope with the strains of population movements that will only gather momentum as the environmental pressures of higher temperatures, sea level rise and fresh water scarcity collide with inadequate urban infrastructures. Another central point of this chapter is that these challenges will fall mainly on city governments and their administrations. Mediterranean cities should neither expect nor count on relief from the states in which they exist.