Tag Archives: mark pelling

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.

Click here to download the chapter

IHDP Summary for Decision-Makers: Coastal Zones and Urbanization



The last IHDP publication has finally been published! The Summary for Decision-Makers: Coastal Zones and Urbanization, was written as a collaboration between UGEC and LOICZ (now Future Earth – Coasts). Authors include UGEC Executive Officer Corrie Griffith, UGEC SSC Member Darryn McEvoy, and UGEC Project Associates Andrea Lampis, Mark Pelling, and Debra Roberts. Click the cover image to download the PDF.