BBL sponsored by The Urban Poverty and Slum Upgrading Thematic Group
and the Urban Environment Thematic Group
Building Resilience to Climate Change for the Urban Poor
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
1:00 - 2:30 pm, Room U 3-415
The World Bank
International Institute for Environment and Development
Based on work conducted by a network of researchers in 15 cities in Africa and Asia, this presentation examined vulnerability and resilience to climate change in urban areas in the Least Developed Countries. A variety of case studies were presented that indicate the main factors contributing to urban vulnerability and the most appropriate responses to build resilience, and show how these are related to the physical, economic and institutional context of each city. New methodologies for defining and measuring vulnerability in urban areas in the Least Developed Countries were discussed, in order to identify both locally specific and transferable strategies for building urban resilience.
These case studies show that flooding, water availability and changing patterns of disease are among the most widespread and serious implications of climate change for urban areas in the Least Developed Countries. However, institutional factors are at least as important as physical factors in determining vulnerability and facilitating resilience. Building resilience relies strongly on the quality of local knowledge and of local capacity and willingness to act. Urban resilience can also be facilitated through the adoption of pro-poor strategies that enable individuals and households to develop sustainable and resilient livelihoods. In addition, many strategies for building urban resilience to climate change will have more general beneficial outcomes for improving the quality of life for low-income urban residents.