vendredi 12 juin 2009

First book focusing on adaptation to climate change in cities

A team from the International Institute for Environment and Development has edited the first book to address in detail the ways in which cities can adapt to climate change.
Adapting Cities to Climate Change contains contributions by 37 specialists from a variety of disciplines, several of whom served on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
It has chapters on key climate-related health issues in Asian cities, the particular impacts for children, the increases in flooding in African cities and the links between urban poverty and vulnerability to climate change in Latin America.
It includes case studies of the risks faced by Dhaka, Mombasa, Cotonou, Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro and Shanghai and describes one of the world’s first city-based adaptation plans – from Durban in South Africa.
"Climate change threatens the lives and homes of hundreds of millions of urban dwellers because of the heat waves, sea-level rise and water constraints it is bringing and from the floods and storms that it will exacerbate," says David Dodman, who co-edited the book with Jane Bicknell and David Satterthwaite.
"Most of the most vulnerable people live in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and have contributed very little to the greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change. There is an urgent need to begin adapting urban centres now so these risks can be reduced."
The book describes how the first priority for adapting cities to climate change is to remedy deficits in infrastructure and services. For most urban centres in these regions at least half of the population lacks piped water, sewers, drains, health care or emergency services.
The second priority is for city governments to work with their citizens and community organisations in identifying and reducing risk. Doing this in such partnerships cuts costs and greatly increases effectiveness.
"There are very large overlaps between good adaptation, poverty reduction and good city governance," says Satterthwaite. "But for this to happen, city governments have to work with those living in ‘slums’ and informal settlements, not against them. And national governments and international agencies have to support this but, at present, very few do so."
The book includes chapters discussing where adaptation can overlap with reducing greenhouse gas emissions (for Indian cities) and a critique of the very limited international funding available to support adaptation.
"With every new assessment of climate change being more alarming and urgent than the last, this is an incredibly timely book," says Ken Livingstone (Mayor of London 2000-2008). "It looks at what cities can do both to be part of the solution as well as being a practical guide for city governments on how to protect their populations from increasingly violent weather."
Adapting Cities to Climate Change was published by Earthscan. See -
For interviews or more information, please contact
David Dodman
International Institute for Environment and Development
3 Endsleigh Street
London WC1H 0DD
Tel: 44 (0) 207 388 2117
Fax: 44 (0) 207 388 2826
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