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Building Climate Resilience: The Economics of Alternative Development Pathways

Program Locations: Gorakhpur, India; Da Nang, Vietnam
Project Duration: August 2012–March 2015
Project Lead: Kate Hawley, Economics Research Associate
 

Target

To explore the economic returns to what are, in effect, structural changes in key urban systems that alter development and landuse pathways in a manner that reduces vulnerability and increases resilience.

Project Overview

There is a large gap in research around the costs that can be avoided through effective resilience planning at the city level. The Stern Review specifically calls for a greater effort to investigate the specific benefits and costs associated with economy-wide adaptation[1] acknowledging the limited information available related to resilience planning. Efforts have been made to evaluate costs and benefits intervention by intervention, but limited discussion has occurred around investigating the development pathways that enable intervention approaches. Current research into the costs and benefits of flood mitigation techniques further exhibits the limited focus on systems approaches for economic analysis. This proposed research moves beyond the individual intervention approach and global view proposed by the Stern Review and addresses the economics around resilient development pathways. The purpose of this research is To explore the economic returns to what are, in effect, structural changes in key urban systems that alter development and landuse pathways in a manner that reduces vulnerability and increases resilience.

 

[1] Stern, N. (2006). Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change, 712pp. Cambridge University Press: London.

 

Core Program Activities

The approach taken in this study will include two distinct phases.

  • Phase 1: Identify the base-case planning scenario and visions a future resilient planning scenario for each partner city. The visioning workshops will be a multi-stage effort to integrate key stakeholders and ensure development of resilient scenarios.
  • Phase 2: Harvest the scenarios and investigate the economics of a number of specific interventions that build the base-case and future resilient planning scenarios.

The focus will be on systems most affected by climate change (transport, flood management, and shelter systems) along with their implications for landuse and settlement patterns.

  • Shelter systems: By building on current work for CDKN, the costs and benefits of shelter systems are under analysis. These shelter systems include the evaluation of base-case shelter designs and the evaluation of climate-resilient shelter designs.  Shelter design has implications for both household asset protection and also overall flood characteristics (buildings that are raised on pillars as opposed to blocking flows can enable better drainage and themselves contribute to flood flow management).
  • Transport Systems: Many transport systems are designed or developed without climate information integrated. For example, the building of a new transportation system along a major flood plain versus the cost of raising that system along the same pathway thereby reducing future avoided costs.  Transportation system alignment will also, where possible, be considered since that has major impacts on land use and the preservation of areas that buffer floods.
  • Flood Management Systems: This will consider design/structural measures, warning systems and land use.  For certain locations, development is already planned for major flood plains. The use of zoning requirements or policies by city officials might ensure that development does not occur in flood zones.

 

Professional Staff Involved

Kate Hawley, Economics Research Associate

Fawad Khan, Senior Economist

Phong Tran, Technical Lead of ISET-International, Vietnam

Dilip Singh, Senior Research Associate

Marcus Moench, President

This project was made possible with the generous funding of: The Rockefeller Foundation

Our partner(s) include:

Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group (GEAG)

Hue University