Edited by Judy L. Baker
Poor people living in slums are at particularly high risk from the
impacts of climate change and natural hazards. They live on the most
vulnerable lands within cities, typically areas that are deemed
undesirable by others and are thus affordable. Residents are exposed to
the impacts of landslides, sea-level rise, flooding, and other hazards.
Exposure to risk is exacerbated by overcrowded living conditions, lack
of adequate infrastructure and services, unsafe housing, inadequate
nutrition, and poor health. These conditions can turn a natural hazard
or change in climate into a disaster, and result in the loss of basic
services, damage or destruction to homes, loss of livelihoods,
malnutrition, disease, disability, and loss of life.
This study analyzes the key challenges facing the urban poor given
the risks associated with climate change and disasters, particularly
with regard to the delivery of basic services, and identifies
strategies and financing opportunities for addressing these risks.
Several key findings emerge from the study and provide guidance for
- The urban poor are on the front line. The poor are particularly
vulnerable to climate change and natural hazards due to where they live
within cities, and the lack of reliable basic services.
- City governments are the drivers for addressing risks. Local
governments play a vital role in providing basic services which are
critical to improving the resilience of the urban poor.
- City officials build resilience by mainstreaming risk reduction
into urban management. Climate change adaptation and disaster risk
reduction can be best addressed and sustained over time through
integration with existing urban planning and management practices.
- Significant financial support is needed. Local governments need to
leverage existing and new resources to meet the shortfalls in service
delivery and basic infrastructure adaptation.
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