Tag Archives: climate change adaptation

Viewpoints: Nature-based solutions for cities: A new tool for sustainable urban land development?

shutterstock_287030588 (1)Dagmar Haase
Humboldt University, Germany

Nature-based Solutions (NBS) are living solutions inspired and supported by the use of natural processes and structures, and are designed to address various environmental challenges in an efficient and adaptable manner, while simultaneously providing economic, social, and environmental benefits (European Commission, 2015). The core idea of NBS is to use the benefits of ecosystem services to prevent a system from crossing a certain threshold/tipping point, such as critical air temperatures, water shortages. or water levels that could lead to dangerous flooding. Continue reading

Viewpoints: Gender in climate change adaptation as a social justice issue

shutterstock_210127171Melanie Böckmann
University of Bremen, Germany

Climate change affects countries and populations to varying degrees, and the output of research into the social effects of global change that has been produced is extensive. It has been stated that social vulnerability is not a fixed concept, but instead strongly place-based and domain-specific (Cutter et al., 2014). Within the social domain, gender as a category is frequently discussed in relation to climate change impacts on the Global South (Denton, 2002; Dupont, 2012; World Health Organization, 2014a). Research results suggest that due to climate change stressors, women with limited livelihood opportunities may be at greater risk of poverty if extreme events or loss of biodiversity continue to threaten income opportunities or agricultural practices (World Health Organization, 2014a).

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Viewpoints: Navigating urban complexity through stakeholders’ experience and knowledge

shutterstock_196074245Marta Olazabal, Marc Neumann, Aline Chiabai, & Sebastian Foudi, Basque Centre for Climate Change in Bilbao, Spain.

Complexity is a natural characteristic of urban development. As cities evolve, institutions, social- and economic systems and organizational structures become more complex. Increasing complexity also implies that information about the urban sphere becomes more and more disaggregated among people, domains and space. Segregation, not only of populations (Marcotullio, 2015), but also of the information needed to manage multifaceted system, emerges. Challenging urban complexity requires even higher levels of public and private involvement when cities face environmental perturbations such as increasing environmental degradation, natural disasters or climatic impacts.

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Chapter on Urban Climate Change Adaptation in Africa

Chapter 5: Small Cities and Towns in Africa: Insights into Adaptation Challenges and Potentials

By Ben Wisner, Mark Pelling, Adolfo Mascarenhas, Ailsa Holloway, Babacar Ndong, Papa Faye, Jesse Ribot, and David Simon.

From S. Pauleit et al. (eds), Urban Vulnerability and Climate Change in Africa.


This chapter is a counterpoint to those in the rest of this volume that treat Africa’s large cities. As Simon (Int Dev Plann Rev 36(2):v–xi, 2014) has observed, most study of African urban climate change adaptation has focused on the challenges to large cities. So, by way of heuristic exercise, we attempt to approach a set of questions about small African cities and towns facing climate change. What climate-related hazards are faced by small cities in Africa today and will be confronted in the future? What kind of enabling capacities should be strengthened so that staff in small cities can take the initiative to adapt to climate change? What obstacles do the governments and residents of small cities face in adapting to climate change? What potential is there for risk reduction and improved livelihood security even in the face of climate change? Reviewing literature and using case studies from Eastern, Southern and Western Africa, we find that small cities have potential not only to protect their infrastructure and residents from climate related hazards, but also to serve as catalysts of climate-smart development in their hinterlands. However, governance problems and a lack of finance severely limit the ability of small African cities to realise this potential. More research is urgently needed to inform feasible solutions to bridge these governance and funding gaps.

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