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Nairobi, 11 Sept 13

Flooding in Kalerwe, Kampala © UN-Habitat/Nicholas Kajoba

A focus on “ordinary cities”, including every day practices and local knowledge, is needed to address climate change issues and explore the responses that are emerging.

This is one of the key messages of a special issue of the international publication Local Environment which explores urban vulnerability, adaptation and resilience in response to climate change.

The special edition is a collaboration between The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Urban Transitions project at Durham University, University College London), UN-Habitat, and a number of municipalities involved in the Cities and Climate Change Initiative.

With contributions from some of UN-Habitat’s lead experts in the field, the publication brings together the research and policy communities to examine the insights which are emerging from the work of the Cities and Climate Change Initiative.

Another article stresses the importance of understanding climate change impact and action within the wider urbanization and socio-economic development contexts.  In particular, the authors argue, the relationship between environmental processes and human actions, how these dynamics intersect with urban inequalities and the implications of such a perspective, need to be investigated.

The publication, which covers Africa, Asia and Latin America, further suggests that a collaborative research and policy agenda, focused on growing international momentum around issues of vulnerability, resilience and adaptation be established.  New forms of multi-level governance are important in addressing the needs of the most vulnerable in the context of actual urban conditions.

Extracts from the special edition of Local Environment can be read here

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