Urbanization and Climate Change

Published on 07 Oct 2013
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Summary

As the Asia-Pacific region continues to rapidly urbanize, many of the region’s development challenges – job creation and poverty reduction, governance and access to services, and environmental sustainability – will be increasingly focused in its cities. The region’s urban centres hold the key to a sustainable and inclusive future, with the dual challenge of supporting the urban poor and responding to climate change. While climate change presents numerous shortcomings in the urban context, impacts are expected to hit those living in poverty the hardest.

 

The briefs bring forward some of the critical issues from ten municipal government representatives from the region discussed at a joint workshop on ‘Climate Change and Pro-Poor Urban Governance’ in October 2012. Building on the discussion at the workshop, the issue brief series aims to (i) highlight the key linkages between the issues of climate change and inclusive and sustainable urbanization; (ii) provide references for policy makers, practitioners and other relevant stakeholders with the view to facilitate ongoing discussion on how to develop climate change response strategies that are pro-poor and inclusive; and (iii) encourage the exchange of knowledge and experiences within the Asia-Pacific region.

Key messages:

  • The numbers of the poor who live in urban areas has increased in developing countries of the Asia-Pacific region; urbanization processes in these countries is leading to increased poverty and deprivation in cities.
  • Urban poverty challenges are multidimensional, the most visible and enduring faces of which are the growing slum and squatter settlements linked to insecurity of tenure and inability to access basic services.
  • The adverse impacts of climate change have intensified the vulnerability of the urban poor, worsened by their informal legal status, limited access to housing, basic services and social protection.
  • As Asia-Pacific continues to urbanize, many of the region’s development challenges – job creation and poverty reduction, governance and access to services, climate change and environmental sustainability– will be focused in its’ cities.
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  • Addressing Urban Poverty, Inequality, and Vulnerability in a Warming World English