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Assessing the impacts of climate change in cities and their adaptive capacity: Towards transformative approaches to climate change adaptation and poverty reduction in urban areas in a set of developing countries

Leal Filho, Walter and Balogun, Abdul-Lateef and Olayide, Olawale Emmanuel and Azeiteiro, Ulisses M and Ayal, Desalegn Y and Chavez Munoz, Pastor David and Nagy, Gustavo J and Bynoe, Paulette and Oguge, Otienoh and Toamukum, N Yannick and Saroar, Mustafa and Li, Chunluan (2019) Assessing the impacts of climate change in cities and their adaptive capacity: Towards transformative approaches to climate change adaptation and poverty reduction in urban areas in a set of developing countries. Science of the Total Environment, 692. pp. 1175-1190. ISSN 0048-9697

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Abstract

Many cities across the world are facing many problems climate change poses to their populations, communities and infrastructure. These vary from increased exposures to floods, to discomfort due to urban heat, depending on their geographical locations and settings. However, even though some cities have a greater ability to cope with climate change challenges, many struggle to do so, particularly in cities in developing countries. In addition, there is a shortage of international studies which examine the links between climate change adaptation and cities, and which at the same time draw some successful examples of good practice, which may assist future efforts. This paper is an attempt to address this information need. The aim of this paper is to analyse the extent to which cities in a sample of developing countries are attempting to pursue climate change adaptation and the problems which hinder this process. Its goal is to showcase examples of initiatives and good practice in transformative adaptation, which may be replicable elsewhere. To this purpose, the paper describes some trends related to climate change in a set of cities in developing countries across different continents, including one of the smallest capital cities (Georgetown, Guyana) and Shanghai, one the world's most populous cities. In particular, it analyses their degree of vulnerability, how they manage to cope with climate change impacts, and the policies being implemented to aid adaptation. It also suggests the use of transformative approaches which may be adopted, in order to assist them in their efforts towards investments in low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure, thereby maximizing investments in urban areas and trying to address their related poverty issues. This paper addresses a gap in the international literature on the problems many cities in developing countries face, in trying to adapt to a changing climate.

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