Asia is experiencing unprecedented urbanization — more than 750 million people live in urban areas, exceeding the combined population of the U.S. and EU. More than 50 percent of Asia’s population is expected to be urban by 2026.
The growth of secondary and tertiary cities causes rapid change in land use, cost and social structures. Climate change further complicates this transformation, making many of these fast-growing cities more vulnerable to both sudden shocks such as coastal storms, and to slow onset stresses like rising sea level or shifting disease patterns.
At the same time, there is momentum for shifting development toward a mindset of building resilience, and innovating to anticipate these challenges and their force multiplier: climate change. A key question is how to do this and ensure resilience-building measures are inclusive. How do we ensure that people who are economically poor, socially and politically marginalized or otherwise vulnerable, often living on the tracts of land most exposed to flooding or landslides, are taken into account in the planning and budgeting by city governments? To be resilient, these perspectives are fundamentally important.