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Climate Resilient Cities -

A Primer on Reducing Vulnerabilities to Disasters

 Pre-order your copy of Climate Resilient Cities: A Primer on Reducing Vulnerabilities to Disasters
 New - Download updated versions of the Primer City Profiles here!
 Download the latest version of the  full report (7mb pdf)
 Podcast on Climate Resilient Cities
 Feature story
 Press release
 Blog: How to climate-proof our cities

Executive Summary (67kb pdf)


Primer Brochure (493kb pdf)

 Figures from the report
 Self-assessment tool: discovering a hotspot
 Launch and Workshop
 Selected References
 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



July 2008 - Climate change is no longer a distant possibility but a current reality. Loss from flooding and hurricanes is an all too frequent occurrence in many countries in the Region, particularly in cities where people and assets are concentrated. Urban centers must be prepared with specialized tools to deal with climate change impacts and early warning systems.

Moreover, given the potential devastation associated with future climate change-related disasters, it is vital to change the way we build and manage our cities, which account for 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions today.

Now is the time for policymakers to take an integrated look at reducing vulnerabilities to
climate change and other natural disasters in a comprehensive disaster management system.

This Primer is a tool for city governments in the East Asia Region to better understand how to plan for climate change impacts and impending natural disasters through sound urban planning to reduce vulnerabilities.

It gives local governments information to actively engage in training, capacity building, and capital investment programs that are identified as priorities for building sustainable, resilient communities.

For more information, please email theClimate Resilient Cities Team at


This tool engages city officials in an assessment exercise to identify the city’s human and built environment characteristics, potential impacts of climate change, and natural or other hazards. Beyond that, the assessment will also identify local government prerogatives and authorities that would allow it to take action in dealing with potential climate change impacts and natural hazards.

The ultimate determination from the assessment is to identify main vulnerable and at-risk areas. This knowledge is then critical for defining priority actions that move (or “cool down”) the city from becoming a “Hot Spot.”

The exercise requires completing a City Typology and Risk Characterization Matrix. The assessment is not a quantitative tool for ranking cities nor is it intended to be a scientifically rigorous assessment.

Download the self-assessment matrix:
PDF (303kb) | Word(254kb)
Download descriptions and instructions on how to fill out the matrix (359kb pdf)

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Click on the weblinks below to read City Profiles of Sound Practice. The cities were selected for their efforts at addressing climate change impacts, consequences, and disaster risk management issues. The City Profiles on the CD-ROM (available when the Primer is purchased online) offer a detailed presentation of the cities' initiatives, projects, and programs.

Albuquerque, USA(2.5mb pdf)

Dongtan, China (2.0mb pdf)

Hanoi, Vietnam (2.4mb pdf)
Jakarta, Indonesia (2.5mb pdf)
London, UK (4.4mb pdf)
Makati, Philippines (3.0mb pdf)
Milan, Italy (2.0mb pdf)
New York City, USA (3.7mb pdf)
Rockville, USA (3.4mb pdf)
Seattle, USA (2.4mb pdf)
Singapore (2.4mb pdf)
Tokyo, Japan (2.6mb pdf)
Venice, Italy (3.2mb pdf)
World Bank Documents:
East Asia Environment Monitor: Adapting to Climate Change
Natural Disaster Hotspots: A Global Risk Analysis
Natural Disaster Hotspots: Case Studies
Rapid Onset Natural Disasters: The Role of Financing in Effective Risk Management
The Impact of Sea Level Rise on Developing Countries: A Comparative Analysis
UN Documents:
Assessing predicting, and managing current and future variability and extreme events and implications for sustainable development(492kb pdf)
Climate Change: Impacts, Vulnerabilities and Adaptation in Developing Countries (3.1mb pdf)
Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report – Summary for Policymakers(1.92mb pdf)
Climate Change and Urbanization: Effects and Implications for Urban Governance(3.68mb pdf)
Handbook on Methods for Climate Change Impact Assessment and Adaptation Strategies (3.68mb pdf)
Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the resilience of nations and communities to disasers (HFA)  (405kb pdf)
Indicators of Progress: Guidance on Measuring the Reduction of Disaster Risks and the Implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (522kb pdf)
Indicators of Progress: Guidance on Measuring the Reduction of Disaster Risks and the Implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action - Annexes  (954kb pdf)
Reducing Disaster Risk: A Challenge for Development  (3.98mb pdf)
Report on the World Conference on Disaster Reduction  (312kb pdf)
Words Into Action: A Guide for Implementing the Hyogo Framework(3.48mb pdf)

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Full report (7mb pdf)


Executive Summary (67kb pdf)


About the Primer, Abbreviations (364kb pdf)


Section 1(443kb pdf)

Understanding the Impacts of Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management


Section 2(1.36mb pdf)

Explaining Climate Change Impacts and Disaster Risks Management


Section 3(304kb pdf)

Assessment Exercise: Discovery of a “Hot Spot”


Section 4(393kb pdf)

Information Exercise: Creating a City Information Base


Section 5(491kb pdf)

Sound Practice Examples of Adaptation and Mitigation


Section 6(266kb pdf)


Launch Events
 Strategies to Climate Proof East Asian Cities 
Washington DC, USA, October 11, 2008
 Global Launch: Green Cities Workshop
Pattaya, Thailand, July 14, 2008
Stakeholder Consultation Workshop
 Reducing Vulnerability to Climate Change Impacts and Related Natural Disasters in East Asia 
Makati, Philippines, May 12-13, 2008

Date Updated: 28 October 2008

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