Promoting Resilient Housing and Secure Tenure in a Changing Climate

Published on 27 Jan 2014

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

  • Effective land planning and management are fundamental to reducing climate risks. Vulnerability assessments and clear long-term strategies help to ensure that negative social and environmental impacts on communities are minimized.
  • Tenure security is an essential element in building community resilience and addressing urban inequalities. If both women and men-headed households enjoy secure land and housing, they are more likely to plan ahead and invest in resilience measures.
  • Adapting existing housing to current and future climate threats is usually simpler and more effective than relocating communities. Participatory upgrading and capacity development strengthens resilience while allowing residents to remain in place without disruption.
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