Nature’s contribution to urban resilience

Cities are in the front line of climate change. At the end of May, the city of Bonn welcomed the participants of the Resilient Cities Conference 2014, for the 5th Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation organized by ICLEI. This annual get-together of scientists, governments, cities, business and NGOs, is the place for a lively exchange on the latest scientific findings and action areas relevant to addressing climate change at the local level. I attended the conference on behalf of IUCN, and of the URBES – Urban Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services project that IUCN is a partner of. The URBES Read more

Arup’s new report reveals health ‘triple risk hot spots’

25 July 2014 A new report by Arup examines how hot weather affects cities, including the impact on people’s health. It follows a presentation in the session B2 “New methods and action plans for climate-related heat and health risks” at Resilient Cities 2014, where initial results had been presented. The ‘Reducing urban heat risk’ report is the result of a collaborative research project between Arup, the Greater London Authority (GLA), the London Climate Change Partnership (LCCP), University College London (UCL) and the London Borough of Islington. The project identifies ‘triple risk hot spots’ which are the areas and buildings where Read more

As floods threaten, Tanzania aims to build a megacity that works

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation – Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:15 GMT   A motorcyclist negotiates his way through a flooded road along Bibi titi Mohamed street in Dar es Salaam, following a heavy downpour in March 2014. THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION/Zuberi Musa   DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Tanzania’s largest commercial city – one of the fastest-growing in Africa – has redrawn its master plan to try to become a megacity prepared for climate change, and not a city of worsening urban sprawl and flooding. The plan, which looks ahead to 2036, aims to transform the city of over Read more

Reporting back from Resilient Cites Congress

  Photo © ICLEI e.V./2014 At the end of May I spent a couple of days at the ICLEI resilience cities congress finding out about the latest global urban adaptation work and sharing experiences from the work that we are involved with in Scotland. There is no better place to be immersed in all things urban climate resilience related than at the resilient cities congress. It’s a three day round the clock networking and information sharing bonanza. Whilst there I presented on our work in Glasgow and the wider city region and gained many fascinating insights into work going on elsewhere. Read more

Exploring urban planning in the context of climate change

At Resilient Cities 2014 Congress held in Bonn in May 2014, an Urban-LEDS project workshop was organized by ICLEI on integrated climate action from a spatial planning perspective. The large turnout revealed a great deal of interest in thinking holistically about local climate change mitigation and adaptation, and learning how urban planning can help achieve this.   As climate change mitigation and adaptation are becoming increasingly important in the urban context, tensions between these two areas of action are increasingly occuring. Urban spatial planning could be (is) an important means for local communities to capture synergies between emissions reduction  and Read more

OPINION: Climate action – just do it

Mairi Dupar, CDKN’s Global Public Affairs Coordinator, reports from a lively discussion at Resilient Cities 2014 on how to win allies for climate compatible development at the local level. “Just do it.” “The power of demonstration.” “Show everybody and get them talking about it.” “Seeing is believing.” These were some of the top messages from a workshop hosted this week by CDKN and ICLEI—Local Governments for Sustainability in answer to the question: “How do you get diverse stakeholders involved in local action on climate change? What is your selling point?” CDKN and ICLEI convened partners from cities around the world Read more

Newsletter Resilient Cities: Day 3

                                                                                                                 Highlights of Resilient Cities Day 3, 31 May 2014 Local leaders champion resilience building Making cities resilient to disaster and the impacts of climate change has undoubtedly become a responsibility of all local leaders. This became evident during deliberations by over 400 experts, and practitioners who Read more

Newsletter Resilient Cities: Day 2

                                                                                                                 Highlights of Resilient Cities Day 2, 29 May 2014 A new way of promoting stakeholder dialogues The risk and resilience scorecard: Benchmark disaster resilience in cities The purpose of this workshop was to discuss a multilevel city resilience scorecard that is being developed jointly by the Read more

Newsletter Resilient Cities: Day 1

                                                                                                                 Highlights of Resilient Cities Day 1, May 2014 Message from HRH the Prince of Wales at Resilient Cities 2014 Now in its 5th year, the Resilient Cities Congress 2014 opened with a message from His Royal Highness Prince Charles. Read more » Climate Change: Implications for Read more

Navigating the language of Resilience

LANGUAGE is something that has been a slight preoccupation of mine at this conference and is also a theme that has been raised during a number of the sessions as well. On a personal level, I have tried to dust off my rusty capacity to function in German, linked to my part-German heritage. The various accents and languages mingling in the corridors over the past days are also music to my ears and a reminder of how much I enjoy such international gatherings. On a professional level, we had both Spanish- and French-speaking partners presenting during the congress, and were Read more