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Making Cities Resilient to Climate Change: Identifying “Win-Win” Interventions

Hari Bansha Dulal


April 18, 2016
Urbanisation is truly a global phenomenon. Starting at 39% in 1980, the urbanisation level rose to 52% in 2011. Ongoing rapid urbanisation has led to increase in urban greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Urban climate change risks have also increased with increase in climate-induced extreme weather events and more low-income urban dwellers living in climate sensitive locations.

Despite increased emissions, including GHGs and heightened climate change vulnerability, climate mitigation and adaptation actions are rare in the cities of developing countries. Given the multitude of problems faced, there is simply no appetite for stand-alone urban climate change mitigation and adaptation policies and programmes. Urban mitigation and adaptation goals will have to be achieved as co-benefits of interventions targeted at solving pressing urban problems and challenges. 

The paper identifies administratively simple urban interventions that can help cities solve some of their pressing service delivery and urban environmental problems, while simultaneously mitigating rising urban GHG emissions and vulnerability to climate change.