Unprecedented urbanization is transforming the planet and the way we live: for the first time in history, more people live in cities than in rural areas. 90 percent of this urban expansion takes place in developing countries, and much of it occurs near natural hazards, rivers and coastlines, and through informal and unplanned settlements. As urban areas expand and disaster risk rises, cities are increasingly interested in integrating resilience into their development plans. Cities and local governments are seeing prioritisation and expansion of their efforts to advance urban resilience as a critical element of sustainable development. By helping cities avoid losses, and citizens avoid sliding into poverty, improved urban resilience can safeguard development gains for future generations.
Lack of adequate infrastructure, land use planning and building codes exacerbate the risks to which urban dwellers are exposed. The greater concentration of people and assets means that the impact of natural disasters and a changing climate can be devastating, both in terms of human lives lost and economic livelihoods destroyed. The poorer segments of the population are particularly vulnerable since they tend to live in more hazardous settlements and lack the necessary safety nets to recover from economic or environmental shocks. Preparing cities for disaster and climate risks and strengthening urban resilience are thus critical to all development and poverty reduction efforts.
Current and future challenges of mainstreaming climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction into national and local development planning demand new approaches, mechanisms, sets of skills and competencies that need to be identified and strengthened in order to form the basis of increasing public demand and political commitment to local actions and budget allocations. Lack of appropriate knowledge on the subject, lack of government commitment and the absence of mainstreaming in current organizational and government strategy and plans are key existing challenges. This training workshop is designed with an aim to assist city governments in building greater resilience to climate and disaster risks by integrating climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction into wider city development plans and strategies.
In this regard, building resilience and adapting to climate change is crucial for cities. Efforts to build resilience in cities can benefit from integrating disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation with existing efforts in disaster risk reduction and other similar planning processes.
This capacity building workshop, while promoting the importance of effective climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, will provide:
an opportunity for cities and local governments to enhance the capacities of different stakeholders for developing and implementing city resilience action plans;
a platform for in-depth learning, knowledge sharing and exchange of good practices among participants;
a space for city-to-city and multi-stakeholder cooperation for building resilience in cities by integrating climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction principles into cities' wider development strategies, policies, plans and programmes.