Enhancing urban climate change resilience: seven entry points for action

Enhancing urban climate change resilience: seven entry points for action

Most of the world’s population now lives in towns and cities that are disproportionately located along coasts and rivers, and therefore faces substantial risks posed by hydrometeorological shocks and stresses. Moreover, with rapid unplanned growth, urban areas in many cases retain high socioeconomic vulnerability, such as urban poverty, informal settlements, lack of municipal services, land tenure issues, etc., which are exacerbated by the exposure to climate-related shocks and stresses. This has given rise to a growing interest in the concept of urban climate change resilience (UCCR), which recognizes the complexity of rapid urbanization and uncertainties associated with climate change.

Many development agencies are working closely with their member countries and partners and have developed UCCR frameworks. These frameworks highlight that while technology and infrastructure are integral to enhancing UCCR, engaging with a wide range of issues (institutional, financial, spatial, and social) is equally essential. Meanwhile, development organizations and researchers are starting to look into practical areas of action to enhance UCCR.

Looking across a vast body of literature on urban resilience and examples of practice reveals seven entry points for action that, in contextually specific combinations, can strengthen UCCR:

  • generating, sharing, and regularly updating data, information, and knowledge
  • forward-looking urban planning tools, such as land use planning and development planning
  • development processes associated with urban infrastructure and services, including water and sanitation, energy, transport and telecommunications, ecosystems, built environment, and health and social services
  • individuals and institutions within city governments often know the city intimately, and building their capacity is critical for bringing UCCR to life
  • community development processes that allow capturing diverse perspectives of communities, especially the perspectives of the most vulnerable, are essential for enhancing UCCR
  • there are huge needs for and potential gains from involving the private sector in enhancing UCCR
  • catalyzing finance is key to the success of UCCR and includes finances available from different scales of governance
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