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The notion of resilience is gaining increasing prominence across a diverse set of literatures on cities and climate change. Although there is some disagreement among these different literatures about how to define and measure resilience, there is broad consensus that: (1) cities must become resilient to a wider range of shocks and stresses in order to be prepared for climate change; and (2) efforts to foster climate change resilience must be bundled with efforts to promote urban development and sustainability. Emerging issues for future study highlight some of the challenges associated with practical application of resilience approaches. These include responding to equity concerns associated with uneven patterns of resilience both within and across cities, assessing the costs of implementing resilience strategies, and identifying options for harnessing the innovation potential in cities as a means to foster resilience and sustainability.
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Climate change and urban resilience
Robin Leichenko
The notion of resilience is gaining increasing prominence
across a diverse set of literatures on cities and climate change.
Although there is some disagreement among these different
literatures about how to define and measure resilience, there is
broad consensus that: (1) cities must become resilient to a
wider range of shocks and stresses in order to be prepared for
climate change; and (2) efforts to foster climate change
resilience must be bundled with efforts to promote urban
development and sustainability. Emerging issues for future
study highlight some of the challenges associated with
practical application of resilience approaches. These include
responding to equity concerns associated with uneven
patterns of resilience both within and across cities, assessing
the costs of implementing resilience strategies, and identifying
options for harnessing the innovation potential in cities as a
means to foster resilience and sustainability.
Department of Geography, Rutgers University, 54 Joyce Kilmer Ave.,
Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
Corresponding author: Leichenko, Robin (
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 2011, 3:164–168
This review comes from a themed issue on Human Settlements and
Industrial Systems
Edited by Patricia Romero Lankao and David Dodman
Received 24 October 2010; Accepted 26 December 2010
Available online 17th January 2011
1877-3435/$ – see front matter
#2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
DOI 10.1016/j.cosust.2010.12.014
The notion of resilience is gaining increasing promi-
nence within the literature on cities and climate change.
Frequently used terms such as ‘climate resilient,’ ‘cli-
mate-proofing,’ and the ‘resilient city’ emphasize the
idea that cities, urban systems, and urban constituencies
need to be able to quickly bounce back from climate-
related shocks and stresses [1,2
,3,4]. Enhancement of
resilience is widely cited as a key goal for both adaptation
and mitigation efforts in cities and urban regions [58].
There is also a growing set of studies that rigorously
explore how resilience is connected to other key concepts
cluding vulnerability, sustainability, adaptation, and
transition [2
,916]. In examining recent literature on
urban resilience, this review recognizes the growing
ubiquity of the term ‘resilience’ within the literature
on climate change and cities, but limits the assessment
to studies that place the concept of resilience at the
center of their analytical focus.
Urban resilience generally refers to the ability of a city or
urban system to withstand a wide array of shocks and
stresses. As such, climate change is understood as but one
of the many stresses that cities face. Urban resilience
studies are grounded in a diverse array of literatures,
which can be broadly sorted into four categories: (1) urban
ecological resilience; (2) urban hazards and disaster risk
reduction; (3) resilience of urban and regional economies;
and (4) promotion of resilience through urban governance
and institutions. While there is much overlap and cross-
fertilization among these different sets of literature, each
emphasizes different facets of urban resilience and each
focuses on different components of cities and urban
systems. After briefly describing how urban resilience
is understood and studied across these different sets of
literature, the review identifies a set of crosscutting
themes and emerging questions for future study of urban
resilience to climate change.
Approaches to urban resilience
Across the broad array of urban resilience literatures,
resilience is typically understood as the ability of a system
to withstand a major shock and maintain or quickly return
to normal function. Yet there is disagreement on both the
characteristics that define resilience and the appropriate
analytical unit for the measurement of resilience. Hetero-
geneity in the usage of the concept of resilience is partly
rooted in the differing intellectual origins and lineages of
the different research traditions [17
], but diversity of
interpretation is also noteworthy within each of the sub-
groups described below.
The urban ecological resilience literature, which draws and
extends upon traditional notions of ecosystems resilience
[9,18,19] defines urban resilience as the ability of a city or
urban system to absorb disturbance while retaining iden-
tity, structure and key processes [20]. Emphasizing uncer-
tainties, nonlinearities, and the self-organizing abilities of
ecological and coupled humanenvironment systems,
urban ecological resilience studies have expanded from
an early focus on urban-based ecosystems [21], to the
analysis of urban coupled humanenvironment systems
[22], to examination of cities and urban networks as
complex adaptive systems [20]. Within this literature,
extreme climate events and gradual climatic changes
are regarded as shocks or stressors (fast or slow moving
variables) that affect cities and urban networks [23
Recognizing the critical role that cities play as centers of
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 2011, 3:164168
Author's personal copy
innovation, Ernstson et al.[23
] suggest that cities need
to harness this innovation potential in ways that will build
capacity to withstand shocks and to sustain ecosystem
services in the face of uncertainty.
Within the urban hazards and disaster risk reduction litera-
ture arguably the largest branch of urban resilience
literature emphasis is placed on enhancing the capacity
of cities, infrastructure systems, and urban populations
and communities to quickly and effectively recover from
both natural and human-made hazards. Climate change is
regarded as one of many threats, including terrorism, for
which urban areas must build resilience [25,26]. Recent
work in this area includes efforts to: quantify economic
resilience to hazards [27]; evaluate resilience of infra-
structure systems and urban built environments [28,29];
and, investigate how cities recover following disaster
events, with particular emphasis on community resilience
in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina [3032].
Other hazard resilience studies develop models of com-
munity resilience based on a wide range of quantitative
indicators [33
] or measure variations in resilience of
towns within specific regions based on characteristics of
households [17
]. Recent studies also identify mechan-
isms and strategies to increase hazard resilience of poor
urban communities in developing world cities [34,35].
Paralleling the growing interest in economic measure-
ments of resilience [27] there is also an emerging body of
literature on the resilience of urban and regional economies.
This literature, rooted in economic geography and urban
and regional planning, applies ideas and terminology from
ecological resilience theory such as complexity, diversity,
and self-organizing systems, to study the evolution of
urban and regional economic and industrial systems
]. As with the ecological and hazard literatures,
the economic resilience literature emphasizes that cli-
mate change is one of many types of shocks and stresses
that urban and regional economies face [38
]. Recent
studies in this vein examine the linkages between diver-
sity, volatility and growth of urban and regional econom-
ies [39], identify factors that explain why resilience is
uneven across places and locations [38], and examine
linkages between resilience and long-term growth and/
or decline of cities and regions [40]. The emphasis on the
relationship between resilience and geographical uneven-
ness raises important questions about the role of power
and politics in influencing development paths and trajec-
tories of different places [38
Studies emphasizing governance and institutions represent
another branch of work on urban resilience. This litera-
ture focuses on questions of how different types of
institutional arrangements affect the resilience of local
environments [41] and how resilience thinking can
influence the development of improved governance
mechanisms for promoting adaptation to climate
change, such as new types of social contracts [42
and community-based adaptation efforts [43]. Govern-
ance studies have also considered how resilience prin-
ciples such as adaptive management can be used to
promote sustainability in highly developed coastal zones
], and which characteristics of urban governance
can enhance climate resilience while at same time
reducing vulnerability of urban citizens who are most
at risk to climate-related shocks and stress [46
]. Some
of the many characteristics of urban governance that are
identified as promoting resilience include: polycentri-
city, transparency and accountability, flexibility, and
inclusiveness [46
]. But rather than prescribing a single,
‘best practice’ arrangement, the governance literature
advocates a diversity of approaches, suggesting that
effective institutional arrangements take many different
forms [41].
Crosscutting themes and emerging
On the basis of the above review, several crosscutting
themes emerge with respect to the issue of urban resili-
ence to climate change:
Climate change is one of many types of shocks and
stresses that cities face, and climate change-related
shocks typically occur in combination with other
environmental, economic, and political stresses
,47,48]. Promotion of urban resili-
ence to climate change will thus require that cities
become resilient to a wider range of overlapping and
interacting shocks and stresses.
Although resilience can be measured in many different
ways [27,33
,49], some key characteristics of
resilient cities, populations, neighborhoods, and sys-
tems include: diversity, flexibility, adaptive govern-
ance, and capacity for learning and innovation
,50]. These characteristics are also hallmarks
of cities and urban industries that are at the forefront of
technological innovation and efforts to develop
sustainable urban infrastructure [23
In order to contribute to long-term urban sustainability,
efforts to promote urban resilience to climate change,
including both adaptation and mitigation strategies,
need to be bundled with broader development policies
and plans [2
,3,4,44,51]. In many cases, existing
policies that are aimed at addressing other urban
environmental problems, such as housing in risk-prone
areas, can be adapted to promote climate change
resilience at little or no cost [50].
Notwithstanding general agreement that promotion of
urban resilience is essential for enabling both adaptation
and mitigation efforts, a number of interrelated questions
and concerns are also emerging. These questions, all of
which highlight the challenges associated with practical
application of resilience approaches within cities, provide
Climate change and urban resilience Leichenko 165 Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 2011, 3:164168
Author's personal copy
important topics of inquiry for the next generation of
urban resilience research:
(1) How can issues of equity be incorporated into strategies to
promote resilience? The idea that resilience is a positive trait
that contributes to sustainability is widely accepted. Yet
some recent studies identify situations where promotion of
resilience for some locations may come at the expense of
others [38
], or enhancement of resilience at one scale,such
as the level of the community may reduce resilience at
another scale, such as the household or individual [52,53].
Other studies raise questions about the relationship be-
tween resilience and poverty and recommend more atten-
tion to issues of power and inequality that arise with
application of resilience approaches [2
]. Additional
work is needed in order to identify ways that efforts to
promote urban resilience to climate change can take into
account the unintended consequences of these actions,
both across space and at different analytical scales, in order
to ensure that these efforts do not reinforce existing
inequalities or create new ones.
(2) How can cities pay for resilience? And who benefits or loses
from efforts to promote resilience? There is growing interest
in understanding the costs of climate change for cities
and regions, as well as the costs associated with making
cities climate resilient [4]. The ability to pay for resili-
ence varies widely across cities, as does implementation
capacity. This variation is not simply a function of income
but also of urban governance structures and institutions.
Ayers [54] draws attention to the need for international
sources of funds to build and promote resilience in low
and middle income countries. Yet institutional and gov-
ernance literatures suggest caution about putting pro-
grams into place from top down [42
]. In order to ensure
that external financial incentives that are intended to
promote resilience do not undermine self-sufficiency of
local communities. There is also a need for further
attention to the distributional consequences of actions
intended to promote urban resilience, including identi-
fication of social groups, industries, and urban neighbor-
hoods that will benefit from or bear the cost of resilience
(3) How can the innovation potential of cities be harnessed to
promote resilience? Cities are sites of social, political,
economic and technical innovation. This innovation
potential can be drawn upon to develop and implement
strategies that promote resilience of urban ecosystems
and coupled humanenvironment systems, but new
forms of governance are needed to foster these efforts
,40]. New approaches to urban governance are also
regarded as critical for efforts to bundle resilience with
broader development efforts [51]. How to promote these
approaches, particularly in light of entrenched political
power in many cities [38
], is an important question for
further work.
Diversity is a key tenet of resilience theory, and the
diversity of approaches to urban resilience identified
above is a testament to the flexibility and adaptability
of this burgeoning research area. Yet because the con-
cept of resilience concept is quite plastic — similar to
the plasticity of climate change identified by Hulme
[55] — resilience is sometimes loosely equated with
reducing vulnerability or enhancing adaptive capacity.
In order to ensure that the term ‘resilience’ retains its
utility, there is a need for continued questioning of how
the concept is used and applied to urban areas. As
resilience becomes mainstreamed into efforts to clima-
tize development [2
,4] there will also be a need for
vigilance on the part of researchers, policymakers, and
private actors to ensure that enhancement of resilience
to climate change continues to foster positive social
change [56] while also contributing to long-term sustain-
This research was supported by the Rutgers University Initiative on
Climate and Social Policy. The author thanks Adelle Thomas for research
assistance, and the reviewers and editor for their helpful comments and
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... Since then, the concept has spread over many fields of science, ranging from engineering to physics, ecology, management science, operations research, economy, disaster studies, urban studies, local & regional planning, geography, sustainability science, health science, law, anthropology, psychology, and sociology (Alexander, 2013;Matyas & Pelling, 2014;Quinlan et al., 2016;Folke, 2016;Nunes et al., 2019;Ribeiro & Gonçalves, 2019). Each of these disciplines and topics brings its own norms, methods, assumptions, and other tailoring to the application of resilience (Leichenko, 2011;Alexander, 2013;Quinlan et al., 2016;Ribeiro & Gonçalves, 2019). This has resulted in conceptual and practical divergence. ...
... The application of these paradigms in various scientific disciplines and to various topics and applicatiosn, led to a wide variety of more specific definitions (e.g. Leichenko, 2011;Davidson et al., 2016;Moser et al., 2019;Nunes et al., 2019). Similarly, the subjective interpretations that have emerged among policymakers and citizens are also wide-ranging (Hutter & Kuhlicke, 2013;Walsh-Dilley & Wolford, 2015;Restemeyer et al., 2018;Fitzgibbons & Mitchell, 2019;Meerow & Neuner, 2021). ...
... Example definitions  "encompasses the idea that towns and cities should be able to recover quickly from major and minor disasters" (Lamond & Proverbs, 2009).  "the ability of a city or urban system to withstand a wide array of shocks and stresses" (Leichenko, 2011).  "the capacity to withstand climate change stresses, to respond effectively to climate-related hazards, and to recover quickly from residual negative impacts" (Henstra, 2012). ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Communities face climate change and other complex challenges and strive to become more resilient to the shocks and stresses that these bring. The notion of resilience has become highly popular in both research and practice. However, the concept is inherently malleable; it can be framed in different ways, emphasising different problems, causes, moral judgements, and solutions. We identify four typical framings: Shock-Proofing (short-term & system focus), Resilience Planning (long-term & system focus), Community Disaster Resilience (short-term & community focus), and Resilient Community Development (long-term & community focus). These framings lead to different approaches to resilience practice, policy and research, and use different ‘resilience principles’ to describe why and how a community or system might be (or become) resilient. They also offer different synergies with wider sustainability efforts, including the SDGs. Goal/Purpose of the document  Identify different approaches to resilience, as used in various literatures.  Present a framework that can be used to analyze how resilience plays out in the narratives of local communities and different fields of science.
... The theoretical roots of resilience, however, are distinct from sustainability, adaptation, and vulnerability [9]. In present times, local institutions should organize urban resilience to adapt additional uncertainties and pressure to urban areas due to climate change and hazards [10,11]. ...
Full-text available
There could be many empirical contexts which could be applied in urban resilience. The general objective of this research is to assess urban expansion and its implication on urban resilience in regio-metropolitan cities in the Amhara Region (Gondar and Bahir Dar). It used mixed research approaches and cross-sectional design. Data were collected from primary and secondary sources. Primary data were collected from a survey questionnaire, key informant interview and FGDs while secondary data were gathered from both published and unpublished sources. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to determine sample size, and a proportional sampling method was used. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics (mean, percentage, SD), while qualitative data were analyzed using thematic analysis. The results indicate that major factors that influence building urban resilience are lacking proper urban planning, basic infrastructure and good governance in both cities, and both cities are extremely far behind in implementing urban resilience principles. Hence, the study improves the community participation in development policy formulation and implementation for urban resilience.
... Climate change, as one of the risks faced by the urban system, brings natural disasters, like heavy rainfall, urban flood, urban heat island, etc., causing casualties and property damage and threatening sustainable urban development. Research on climate change adaptation and mitigation is of great significance to promote urban resilience and is also a research front (Leichenko, 2011). Countries developed various programs, for example, sustainable cities, disaster-resilience cities, or climate resilience cities to respond to climate change through measures including energy conservation and carbon emission reduction, industrial restructuring, land-use change and the like (Bazbauers, 2021;Hu, 2016). ...
In tackling climate change and promoting sustainable development, carbon emission reduction through means of cleaner production, circular economy and eco-innovation, etc., may lead to increased resilience of an urban system. This study aims to explore the impact of carbon emission reduction on urban resilience and its spatial-temporal characteristics with a sample of 267 prefectural-level cities from 2006 to 2019 in China. Firstly, this research conceptualizes urban resilience as economic prosperity, social wellbeing, cleaner environment and analyzes the impact mechanism of carbon emission reduction on these three dimensions. Then in the empirical analysis, the urban resilience assessment index is built to quantitatively evaluate urban resilience in Chinese cities and its spatial-temporal characteristics. Subsequently, the impact of carbon emission on urban resilience is investigated through geostatistical analysis. The results show that the urban resilience level in China shows significant spatiotemporal heterogeneity. High resilience cities are clustered in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Yangtze River Delta region and Pearl River Delta region, while lower resilience cities are in the northeast, northwest and southwest regions. Moreover, urban resilience in Chinese cities is mainly contributed by the economic subsystem. Over the study period, carbon emission reduction is positively related to urban resilience with high resilience and high carbon emission reduction agglomerated over space. Furthermore, the agglomeration effect increased from 2006 to 2019. These indicate that in the past fifteen years, urban resilience in Chinese cities is highly dependent on regional economic development which is still reliant on emission-intensive industries. The research provides important references for China's carbon emission reduction and resilience-building policies. Spatial heterogeneities need to be acknowledged to focus on key areas of emission reduction and resilience improvement in policymaking and implementation.
... Resilience is understood as an attempt to return to normal with normality being the pre-disaster state (Kelman et al. 2015). Resilience can also be considered as the ability of a system to withstand a major shock and maintain or quickly return to normal function (Leichenko 2011). Building a city's resilience requires a multi-level, cross-sectoral, as well as multi-stakeholders' governance approach (Dodman et al. 2011). ...
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Cities in Southern Africa are experiencing a rapid rate of urbanisation, which exacerbates the impacts of climate change on cities. The recent droughts and water stress in Cape Town, South Africa and Windhoek, Namibia, impacts of Cyclone Idai that destroyed 90% of Beira city, and recurrent heatwaves are evidence of the impacts of climate change on cities in the region. Planners are responsible for the spatial configuration of spaces and places such that cities are safe, resilient, sustainable, and inclusive; hence planning for climate change is imperative. In this study, we argue that the recurrence of climate change-related disasters in Southern Africa reflects the lack of skills, knowledge and capabilities among planners to integrate climate change adaptation into urban planning processes. Like any other profession, planning practice is informed by education and training of the graduates, which influences their worldview and ideology that they take into the professional world. This study examines the contribution of planning education to climate change adaptation in Southern Africa, using the case of Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia. Using content analysis of course syllabi in terms of the pedagogy on climate change adaptation, the study identifies the knowledge, skills, and abilities schools impart to planning students. The study reveals that climate change is recognised as a planning dilemma, but it is yet to be integrated into the planning curriculum and is consequently marginalised.
... Resilience is understood as an attempt to return to normal with normality being the pre-disaster state (Kelman et al. 2015). Resilience can also be considered as the ability of a system to withstand a major shock and maintain or quickly return to normal function (Leichenko 2011). Building a city's resilience requires a multi-level, cross-sectoral, as well as multi-stakeholders' governance approach (Dodman et al. 2011). ...
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African urbanisation is at the crossroad. Despite the ever-growing urban challenges and rapid transformation of cities in Africa, there is a positive trend of knowledge production and dynamic policy reforms aiming at a better management of urbanisation and related development fields. The discourse on current African urban challenges and prospects is calling for a change of perspective in understanding urban Africa from its own sociocultural and historical context. Scholars, for instance, (Connell, Plan Theory 13:210–223, 2014), (Robinson, J. (2006) Ordinary cities: between modernity and development. London; New York: Routledge (Questioning cities); Robinson, Int J Urban Reg Res 35:1–23, 2011)) and (Watson, V. (2009) ‘Seeing from the South: Refocusing Urban Planning on the Globe’s Central Urban Issues’, 46(11), pp. 2259–2275; Watson, Plan Theory Pract 15:62–76, 2014b) argue that the diversity and uniqueness of each urban context developing at the intersection of local, regional and global challenges, threats and production of knowledge. In light of this, the chapter gives an insight into the conceptual framing of this book, including the key thematic areas; and an overview of topics covered by the chapters. The book has three thematic areas: planning theories and Models; the state of planning education and capacity; participatory and multi-governance approach towards current urban challenges. Under these themes, the chapter introduces several cases from various cities across Africa.
... Resilience is understood as an attempt to return to normal with normality being the pre-disaster state (Kelman et al. 2015). Resilience can also be considered as the ability of a system to withstand a major shock and maintain or quickly return to normal function (Leichenko 2011). Building a city's resilience requires a multi-level, cross-sectoral, as well as multi-stakeholders' governance approach (Dodman et al. 2011). ...
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The magnitude and effects of Climate Change (CC) such as floods and storms are projected to increase in the future. There is also a consensus among scholars that rich CC knowledge in urban planning can lead to better Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Mitigation (CCM) outcomes. However, generally the role of planners and plans in responding to Climate Change (CC) challenges has been disappointing and increasingly questioned. This chapter analyses the role of planning education, experience and/or practice among professional planners in addressing climate adaptation and mitigation issues. Field studies involving face to face interviews were conducted in Arusha Municipality in 2019. Questionnaires were completed by practitioners and policymakers. The findings highlight the gaps in CC knowledge and capacity among planners and policymakers. Also, the extent of informality, the major force transforming urban land use and development is overlooked. Most importantly, there is insensitivity, lack of accountability and political commitment by the Local Government Authority (LGA) on CC issues in planning, budgeting, and management. We argue that improving the role of urban planning in CCA and CCM requires: a recognition of the indispensable role of LGAs; substantive engagement of stakeholders; acknowledgement of socio-cultural and economic barriers to CCA/CCM at the local level; guidance on informality; and adaption of multi-level governance and integration of spatial and economic planning at city and community levels.
In Indonesia, PROKLIM is one of the major adaptation and mitigation actions that conducted at the local (community) level. The activities that need to be accelerated and capacity building and mainstreamed in various development activities and existing community activities to support the green house gases (GHG) reduction at national level. The general purpose of this activity is to strengthen the program in increasing understanding about climate change and its various impacts and encourage implementation of real actions in the community. To support this goal, an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions was carried out at the village level, one of which was Poncosari Village located in Bantul Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The GHG emissions inventory is carried out for the domestic, transportation, and livestock sectors. The inventory is carried out by surveying each hamlet in the village. The results of the analysis show high emissions from the livestock sector. The contribution of the domestic sector occupies the second position due to the use of firewood.
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To promote the healthy development of urban agglomerations in the Yellow River Basin, we construct a multi-city network-resilience evolution model based on social network theory, combined with QAP regression analysis and analyze the evolution of multiple-city network resilience in the Yellow River Basin in 2014 and 2021 by screening and drawing on indicators in social networks. The results show that (i) only the financial linkage network and the information exchange network are resilient networks, and the magnitude of the evolution of resilience level in the Yellow River basin is finance > information > innovation > transportation. (ii) Except for the increase in the hierarchy of transportation networks, other networks show the trend of flattening. (iii) The matching of the information exchange network shows a shift between heterogeneity and homogeneity, and the transmission and aggregation of the network fluctuate. Based on the study’s findings, a path to improve the resilience level of the Yellow River Basin urban agglomeration by consolidating the status of core cities, optimizing the structure of multiple city networks, and optimizing the flow of factors is proposed.
We start this first chapter of the participatory foresight toolbox with an introduction to ‘climate resilience’. We, next, argue for the importance of a climate-resilient living environment given frequent and severe climate change impacts. We then explain why citizens play a crucial role in contributing to such a climate-resilient future and we propose ‘foresight’ as a suitable methodological approach for engaging them herein. In the conclusion of this chapter, we sum up why this toolbox is a welcome companion for organizers of participatory foresight activities.KeywordsToolboxCitizen participationFuturesForesight methodsScenariosVisioningPathwaysResilienceClimate adaptationUrbanRuralSustainability
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Main Topics: - Information Platform and widespread information: the concept of Living Lab. - Tools for a smart management of buildings: Big Data and Internet of Things. - The interaction between qualitative data and quantitative data for the quali-ty assessment of the built environment. - From the user feedback feedback to interaction with quantitative data (Post Occupancy Evaluation and Building Performance Evaluation). - Future developments and the need for new professional figures.
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This chapter discusses the environmental degradation in Arab countries and the challenges to Arab human security that result from mis-urbanization and climate change. It considers the impact of climate change on natural resources in the Arab countries, and evaluates the role of renewable energy in solving these problems. These challenges are interrelated. Rapid population growth, changing lifestyles, and rising energy consumption have led to high population concentrations in urban centers. This has accelerated the environmental degradation in the main Arab cities, increased pressure on infrastructure, and raised energy consumption. The rising temperatures and frequent droughts accompanying climate change phenomena have exacerbated water shortages and desertification, and decreased agricultural productivity. All of these factors have increased energy consumption. This chapter discusses the scientific and practical solutions that can alleviate their impact. Finally, it suggests ways to empower people to meet these challenges.
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Resilience and vulnerability represent two related yet different approaches to understanding the response of systems and actors to change; to shocks and surprises, as well as slow creeping changes. Their respective origins in ecological and social theory largely explain the continuing differences in approach to social-ecological dimensions of change. However, there are many areas of strong convergence. This paper explores the emerging linkages and complementarities between the concepts of resilience and vulnerability to identify areas of synergy. We do this with regard to theory, methodology, and application. The paper seeks to go beyond just recognizing the complementarities between the two approaches to demonstrate how researchers are actively engaging with each field to coproduce new knowledge, and to suggest promising areas of complementarity that are likely to further research and action in the field.
When disaster strikes in cities the effects can be catastrophic compared to other environments. But what factors actually determine the vulnerability or resilience of cities? The Vulnerability of Cities fills a vital gap in disaster studies by examining the too-often overlooked impact of disasters on cities, the conditions leading to high losses from urban disasters and why some households and communities withstand disaster more effectively than others. Mark Pelling takes a fresh look at the literature on disasters and urbanization in light of recent catastrophes. He presents three detailed studies of cities in the global South, drawn from countries with contrasting political and developmental contexts: Bridgetown, Barbados - a liberal democracy; Georgetown, Guyana - a post socialist-state; and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic - an authoritarian state in democratic transition. This book demonstrates that strengthening local capacity - through appropriate housing, disaster-preparedness, infrastructure and livelihoods - is crucial to improving civic resilience to disasters. Equally important are strong partnerships between local community-based organizations, external non-governmental and governmental organizations, public and private sectors and between city and national government. The author highlights and discusses these best practices for handling urban disasters. With rapid urbanization across the globe, this book is a must-read for professionals, policy-makers, students and researchers in disaster management, urban development and planning, transport planning, architecture, social studies and earth sciences.
This book explores the connections between two of the most transformative processes of the 21st century, namely global environmental change and globalization. It presents a conceptual framework for analyzing the interactions between these two processes, and illustrates, through case studies, how these interactions create situations of "double exposure." Drawing upon case studies largely related to climate change, the book shows how prominent recent and current environmental events - recurring droughts in India, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and the melting of the Arctic ice sheet - demonstrate different pathways of interaction between globalization and global environmental change. Each of these pathways shows how broader human security concerns, including increasing inequality, growing vulnerability, and unsustainable rates of development, are integrally connected to both processes of global change. The double exposure framework not only sheds light on the dangers associated with these two global processes, but also reveals possibilities for using the interactions to generate opportunities for positive action. The book ultimately challenges the ways that global environmental change and globalization are viewed and addressed. By drawing attention to double exposure, the book shows how integrated responses to global environmental change and globalization can create new types of synergies that promote sustainability and enhance human security.