Cities in Asia are at risk from climate change, amplifying current hazards and introducing sea-level rise. Various efforts mitigating these challenges are framed in the context of building resilience. A challenge is that effort is directed at technical solutions, failing to recognize governance gaps that slow or prevent ‘mainstreaming’ resilience into government functions. Experience from Indonesia’s malleable governance frameworks demonstrates that resilience-building measures need to be addressed as a long-term process based on alignment with government priorities and planning cycles. Resilience projects are milestones on the road toward effective resilience building. These issues are not restricted to Asia and learning on how to address such problems are applicable for urban climate change resilience practitioners in Africa and beyond.