Inclusive governance and urban resilience: Challenges at the nexus of urbanization and climate change

The developing world is urbanizing rapidly. However, this urban growth is leading to increased inequity and vulnerability, particularly for the marginalized poor. Climate change further compounds these problems.

Asia showcases these challenges and highlights warnings to be heeded elsewhere.

Urbanization is causing unprecedented and rapid change of ecological landscapes, social values and economic relations. Cities, in particular smaller cities with populations under 500,000, are...

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Climate change resilience under stress

An advisory released this August by the US National Weather Service warned this year’s El Niño could be among the strongest ever recorded, lasting well into the first few months of 2016.

Facing an El Niño of this scale, urbanised regions risk exposure to pollution from lit forests and plantations, droughts and overexploitation of freshwaterresources, environmental degradation and heat waves. All of these will undoubtedly have costs that disproportionately fall upon the poor and most...

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Cities Must Plan for Climate Disasters: 5 Considerations for Sendai

On an ordinary morning in January 1995, the city of Kobe, Japan shook for less than a minute. By the time the tremors subsided, one of the most powerful earthquakes in recent history had already destroyed bridges, expressways and buildings, and within several hours, claimed over 6,400 lives. The quake’s magnitude and the fact that it occurred in close proximity to a highly populous urban center were a deadly combination.

Twenty years later, the international community is meeting in...

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Resilience projects as experiments: implementing climate change resilience in Asian cities

The capacity of actors and institutions to learn and reorganize is central to the resilience of complex systems, particularly in the context of rapidly urbanizing cities. A process of qualitative, reflective research among practitioners within the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) showed that development projects and programmes can contribute meaningfully to this capacity when they introduce projects as “experiments”. While projects did provide desired tangible...

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Govt, businesses should join hands to combat Jakarta flood woes

Jakarta’s latest flood struck in January 2013. Across the capital, 15,000 people were displaced. Transportation, power and other essential services were disrupted. Damage to infrastructure and property was substantial.

Normally it is the poor that is hit the hardest, but this time the rich felt it too. This flood brought this fully into focus, as it was the first to inundate and close the...

Read this Jakarta Post op-ed written with Ratri Sutarto and Intan Asmara here.

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Post‐disaster community tourism recovery: the tsunami and Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

Tourism is highly vulnerable to external, non‐controllable events. A natural disaster can affect the local tourism industry in numerous ways, and such events are particularly devastating for small communities whose local economy is heavily dependent on the sector. Loss of infrastructure plus negative media stories can have long‐term ramifications for the destination. In spite of the economic importance of tourism, post‐disaster recovery efforts in this sector are often overlooked by...

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