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Building Urban Resilience to Climate Change: What Works, Where and Why

Authors: Karen MacClune; Sarah Orleans Reed

Over the past four years, ISET-International has worked with stakeholders in 15 cities (located in Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Thailand, and the United States) to identify the challenges climate change will pose for these cities and to begin the process of systematically building city resilience to climate change. In the process, we have developed and continue to refine a resilience-building curriculum that includes laying the groundwork for addressing climate change and climate resilience, conducting a climate change vulnerability and risk assessment, and using this assessment and other materials to prepare an initial resilience strategy. In this presentation, we: a) Introduce the current curriculum and the aspects of the curriculum that have proven key to its utility; b) Highlight the commonalities we have found in building resilience across this varied spectrum of cultures and capacities; and c) Discuss the types of country, culture, and capacity-specific modifications that we have found necessary to apply in order to maintain stakeholder engagement, comprehension, and implementation. We close with a discussion of the implications of this work for US climate change adaptation efforts, and for building resilience and increasing the capacity of vulnerable groups and peoples in general.


Citation: MacClune, K., & Reed, S. O. (2012). Building urban resilience to climate change. Boulder, CO: Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International. 

Funded By:  U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); American Red Cross; The Rockefeller Foundation