By Katherine Cunningham
 

Climate Change in Cities: How people and organizations are collaborating to build resilience

On May 26, 2016, Climatelinks along with co-sponsors ICMA and 100 Resilient Cities, hosted a Twitter chat in which participants shared knowledge on urban climate change resilience efforts around the world.

 
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    Read on to explore the chat topic, questions, and highlights from the discussion.
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    More than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas and this number continues to grow, with 1.2 million people migrating to cities every week. Three-quarters of the world’s largest cities are located on coastlines, and critical infrastructure – including water and sanitation, transportation, energy and information technology – is vulnerable to climate impacts, such as rising sea levels, floods, heat waves and higher winds. Inadequate infrastructure, housing and basic public services may exacerbate the effects of climate change and threaten people’s health and livelihoods.

    In cities around the world, innovative and creative solutions are being applied to reduce climate risks and build resilience to climate change. Through the sharing of knowledge and best practices, this Twitter chat highlighted how cities around the world, particularly in developing countries, are applying adaptation and mitigation actions to become more resilient to climate change and other threats. Participants offered information about cities and urban initiatives we can look to as examples and replicate, the biggest challenges to building resilience and how they have been addressed, and how cities will honor commitments made at COP 21.
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    Welcome to the "#ClimateChange in #Cities" chat w/ @ICMA & @100ResCities. Thanks to all joining, pls introduce yourselves! #ResilientCities
     
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    Thanks @climatelinks for organizing this! We were pioneered by @RockefellerFdn to help cities across the globe build resilience.
     
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    @ICMACityLinks #Evanston Sustainability Office is pleased to join the #ResilientCities discussion today
     
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    Excited to join! +SocialGood is a global community sharing world-changing ideas & sparking action in our social media era. #ResilientCities
     
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    Excited to join @climatelinks @ICMA #ResilientCities chat to explore connection between #climatechange, conflict & how #peacetech can help!
     
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    Question 1: Why are cities hubs for tackling climate change challenges?

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    A1: Urban areas house ½ global pop contribute 70% of GHG emissions. Cities r @ frontlines of cc impacts like xtreme weather #resilientcities
     
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    @climatelinks A1: Concentration of people, services, infrastructure makes interventions more cost-effective, timely #ResilientCities .
     
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    A1: The world's becoming more urban. The most vulnerable populations from #climatechange are poorer + more urban #ResilientCities
     
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    A1: #cities can be more autonomous than national actors and capitalize on community level stakeholder engagement #ResilientCities
     
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    A1: #cities present opportunities to realize co-benefits of adaptation and mitigation as well as existing development goals #ResilientCities
     
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    A1: Check out this webinar to see how Chicago was a hub for an innovative food to energy program.  http://bit.ly/1VjKUDp  #ResilientCities
     
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    A1: Cities are research & innovation hubs that provide opps. for integrated climate action benefiting large populations. #ResilientCities
     
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    @climatelinks I definitely agree--cities are where smart people, smart technology and smart solutions all meet!
     
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    Cities are much more nimble than national/global governments. They can take action faster. #ResilientCities  https://twitter.com/climatelinks/status/735880207073202176 
     
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    Cities can pilot, text & scale solutions to address #climatechange. Small cities can often do it quickly & show leadership. #ResilientCities
     
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    A1: Cities are centers for causes & solutions of climate change. If we invest in them they can be hotbeds for innovation! #ResilientCities
     
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    Question 2: What are local governments, organizations, and communities doing to help cities mitigate and adapt to climate change?

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    A2: #Durban’s decentralized water & sanitation system is cost effective & accessible for all  http://j.mp/1UfYtBm  #ResilientCities
     
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    A2:@ICMA and @solarfound are highlighting communities that are promoting resiliency.  http://bit.ly/1W33Rvu  #ResilientCities @GoSolSmart
     
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    A2: @USAIDMozambique helps w/ vulnerability maps, climate smart homes, & early warning systems  http://ow.ly/WFM7300CtHf  #ResilientCities
     
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    The above tweet links to the Cities100 report, developed in collaboration with Sustainia, C40 Cities and Realdania, which highlights successful climate solutions cities are implementing around the world.
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    A2: .@USAID ADAPT Asia-Pacific w/ @icleiseas prepare #climatechange adaptation projects for financing in Indian cities #ResilientCities
     
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    A2: @USAID urban AD & project design course helps Asia & Pacific planners access climate financing  http://ow.ly/cRsh300CtkF  #ResilientCities
     
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    A2: Take NOLA. Their #climatechange risks are linked to poverty, crime, & econ opportunity - not just the rising sea level #ResilientCities
     
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    The above tweet links to the ICMA CityLinks Primer on Subnational Approaches for Low Emission, Climate Resilient Development. The primer, developed in collaboration with the Institute for Sustainable Cities and funded by USAID, aims to encourage collaboration between international development stakeholders and city officials.
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    A2: In Hat Yai, the Mayor coordinated with the community launched a flood warning website.  http://ow.ly/S0IQ300Cu1S  #ResilientCities
     
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    Question 3: Why apply a resilience lens to climate change mitigation/adaptation? Does resilience address other urban challenges?

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    The above tweet links to the USAID Climate Change Resilient Development (CCRD) Project Compendium. CCRD was a four-year project (2011-2015) under USAID's Global Climate Change Office.
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    A3: #Resilience thinking also means recognizing the broader impact of #climatechange mitigation and adaptation #ResilientCities
     
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    A3: #climatechange solutions can drive econ. activity, be used to reconnect neighborhoods, build neighborhood cohesion #ResilientCities
     
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    A3: #Resilience thinking means more than stronger infrastructure & hazard mitigation. It's integrated & community-oriented #ResilientCities
     
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    @100ResCities Agreed! #climatechange affects everything.Important to embed social sciences in climate change policy making #ResilientCities
     
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    A3: @FTLCityNews is using GIS tech to manage costal erosion. Check out this @Esri case study:  http://bit.ly/1U9d9zw  #ResilientCities
     
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    @climatelinks A3: #climatechange resilience underpins overall livelihood resilience for vulnerable populations #ResilientCities
     
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    A3: Resilience = cities recover & bounce back from negative impacts of #climatechange in an integrated, comprehensive way. #ResilientCities
     
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    A3: Building resilience includes securing resources & safety. This addresses urban problems like food insecurity as well. #ResilientCities
     
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    A3: A resilience lens safeguards investments to enable #cities to achieve critical development objectives #ResilientCities
     
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    .@climatelinks Cities must seek multi-benefit solutions + do more w/ limited resources. A flood barrier can be a bike path #ResilientCities
     
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    Question 4: What are barriers to building resilience to climate change in cities?

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    A4 Finance . For us to have truly #resilientcities , there must be clear and defined source of financing .  https://twitter.com/climatelinks/status/735883238065995777 
     
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    A4: #Climatefinance. Cities need mechanisms to fund hard and soft infrastructure improvements to combat #climatechange #resilientcities
     
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    A4. Inclusion challenges. How to create resilience that is inclusive of most vulnerable in informal settlements and slums? #resilientcities
     
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    A4: Cities = complexity. City CROs work across depts, bring stakeholders together, and seek multi-benefit solutions #ResilientCities
     
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    A4: Resources are a big challenge. We need to increase buy-in among local constituents so cities are willing to invest. #ResilientCities
     
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    The above tweet links to the C40 Cities "Unlocking Climate Action in Megacities" report published ahead of the Climate Action Summit in May 2016.
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    A4: so much coordination needed: between municipal departments, between cities, countries, etc #ResilientCities  https://twitter.com/climatelinks/status/735883238065995777 
     
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    @climatelinks A4: Concentrated poverty can create exceptional vulnerability. Informal economy can confound finance for #ResilientCities
     
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    A4: #ResilientCities barriers like not being able to clearly quantify ecological resources @ICMACityLinks
     
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    A4: Cities are aware of #climatechange shocks–storms, floods, landslides–but preparing for chronic stresses is critical #ResilientCities
     
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    Question 5: What tools, technology & scientific data are helping city officials, planners, and practitioners with decision making and planning?

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    A5: In DR, @USAID delivers climate info to municipal planners to inform new zoning & spatial plans #ResilientCities  https://twitter.com/climatelinks/status/735884767741280256 
     
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    A5: @USAID helped 65 Vietnamese cities reduce flooding & SLR risks by adopting a city-planning tool #ResilientCities  https://twitter.com/climatelinks/status/735884767741280256 
     
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    A5: @NorfolkVA partnered w/ @SandiaLabs to conduct an in-depth analysis of the city’s vulnerability to storm surge #ResilientCities
     
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    The above tweet links to the "Development of an Urban Resilience Analysis Framework with Application to Norfolk, VA" report developed by Sandia National Laboratories.
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    A5: Cities need tools and data to make decisions and plan but also to *fully understand their challenge* #ResilientCities
     
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    A5:@STARCommunities rating system helps integrate sustainability into local planning efforts. http://bit.ly/1NPFb6M  #ResilientCities
     
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    A5: #Vietnam urban CC planning tool = response strategy, spatial & climate projection/impacts data  http://ow.ly/XRTH300CvUY  #ResilientCities
     
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    A5. #OpenStreetMap platform to better understand city for #climate adaptation planning & disaster response #ResilientCities @openstreetmap
     
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    @climatelinks A5: Clif Reflect helps assess capacity & supports finance readiness for #climatechange adaptation. #ResilientCities
     
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    A5: #ResilientCities are using GIS tools n scientific ecosystem based solutions to support decision making n planning
     
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    A5: The City Resilience Index is a new tool that helps #cities measure their resilience.  http://ow.ly/ijhA300Cuq7  #ResilientCities
     
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    Question 6: How can cities make public infrastructure and services like water, sanitation and transportation climate-resilient?

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    A6: @USAID_Manila integrates CC into water & wastewater treatment services to improve resilience  http://ow.ly/xUEK300CwVl  #ResilientCities
     
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    A6: Storm resistant infra, rainwater harvesting, flood early warnings, & back-up power create resilient urban water systems #ResilientCities
     
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    The above tweet links to the "Making Water Systems Climate Resilient: Lessons from Typhoon Yolanda" fact sheet which outlines the storm's key impacts on water systems and provides recommendations on how they can be made more resilient to disasters and climate change.
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    A6: Think outside the box! This elevated bus breaks the mold & addresses many urban challenges:  http://bit.ly/1TCIxXD  #ResilientCities
     
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    A6: (1/2) The @USAID urban policy supports local self-reliance through supporting improved local revenue collection  https://twitter.com/climatelinks/status/735886268052209664 
     
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    The above tweet links to USAID's Sustainable Urban Services Policy which offers guidelines to help countries and communities improve the delivery of essential services in urban areas.
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    A6: Localize solutions! Work with local landscape, populations & resources to build infrastructure that utilizes strengths. #ResilientCities
     
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    The above tweet links to the United Nations Development Programme Environmental Procurement guide.
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    A6: #climatechange resilience is not only about physical, built environment but also the social infrastructure of a city #ResilientCities
     
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    Question 7: How are cities around the world collaborating to support climate resilience?

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    A7: Groups like @CompactofMayors & @100ResCities are bringing cities together to share knowledge & pledge action to create #ResilientCities.
     
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    CitytoCity sharing on #ResilientCities solutions is key to leverage knowledge, drive change. @theUSDN @[email protected] are critical.
     
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    A7: Engineers from Durban, SA partnering with DeS, TZ to create green alternatives to @seawalls #ResilientCities Great SouthSouth collab
     
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    A7: Networks like @ACCCRN design "learning forums" to share resilience knowledge.  http://ow.ly/j4iA300Cxyy  #ResilientCities
     
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    The above tweet links to the "Urban Climate Change Resilience in Action: Lessons from Projects in 10 ACCCRN Cities" report which presents insights from the Rockefeller Foundation's Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network program.
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    A7: Every city's different but challenges are similar. We unite cities w/ common challenges, e.g. NOLA, Rotterdam, Norfolk #ResilientCities
     
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    A7: The @ICMACityLinks blog is a great place to discover how international #localgov are becoming #ResilientCities.  http://bit.ly/1NPGFxO 
     
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    A7: Somerville, Mass. & La Ceiba, #Honduras discuss how to adapt to storms, floods & sea level rise  http://ow.ly/9Ogw300CxtX  #ResilientCities
     
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    @climatelinks A7: city leaders from around the globe came together with a clear voice at COP21  http://ow.ly/mpq5300CxGc  #ResilientCities
     
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    Question 8: What private sector, civil society, local government and donor partnerships are providing solutions to climate resilience?

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    @100ResCities @climatelinks A8 Agree--the challenges go beyond muni. or natl. borders- regional coop. is key #ResilientCities
     
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    The above tweet links to the "How to build science-action partnerships for local land-use planning and management: lessons from Durban, South Africa" report published by Jessica Cockburn, et al.
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    A8: Jakarta uses CSR funds 4 its Socially Inclusive Climate Adaptation Urban Revitalization Project #ResilientCities  https://twitter.com/climatelinks/status/735889441563234305 
     
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    A8: The @UN has included building #ResilientCities as part of their global "to-do" list for the next 15 years:  http://trib.al/yMuxVuH 
     
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    A8: @USAID, @DFID_UK, @ADB_HQ, & @RockefellerFdn build resilience of poor via grants, tech assistance, and sharing info. #ResilientCities
     
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    .@unisdr is leading a "Making Cities Resilient" campaign for local governments:  http://trib.al/qP8tuYO  #ResilientCities
     
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    #ResilientCities must start w/ planing infrastructure & services to address #resiliency. Need cross-function, cross-sector collaboration.
     
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    Question 9: What steps are cities taking to honor commitments made at COP21?

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    A9: This guide outlines 10 key principles for low-carbon urbanization in China.  http://bit.ly/1TGWFBz  #ResilientCities #COP21
     
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    The above tweet links to the "Ten Key Principles of Low Carbon Urbanization: Supporting China’s New Type of Urbanization" report developed by ICMA in collaboration with 18 other non-profit organizations.
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    A9: @USAID is helping cities in developing countries take #climateaction. For ex, the @USAID_Colombia LCRD program... #ResilientCities (1/2)
     
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    A9 which supports Colombian cities w/ CE implementation, tree planting, sustainable transport  http://ow.ly/hHrE300CzwN  #ResilientCities (2/2)
     
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    A9: Resilience strategies are meaningful first step. Cities such as @OneNYCProgress @resilientNOLA are already implementing #ResilientCities
     
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    A9: We are excited for our new endeavors, so we had to answer with a video #ResilientCities @climatelinks pic.twitter.com/icmEnrrmwR
     
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Sectors
Adaptation, Energy, Urban
Strategic Objective
Adaptation, Mitigation
Topics
Adaptation, Climate Policy, Coastal, Clean Energy, Infrastructure, Transportation, Mitigation, Resilience, Urban, Water and Sanitation
Region
Global

Katherine Cunningham

Katherine serves as the social media manager, content entry, and work flow coordinator for Climatelinks. She also assists with research and writing. Katherine has a Bachelor's degree in International Relations with a focus on environmental resources. She previously worked at Americans for Peace Now, a non-profit dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Katherine is committed to helping solve the climate crisis and is excited to apply her skills on the Climatelinks team.

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