UN-Habitat launches climate resilience project for marginalized neighborhoods

UN-Habitat launches climate resilience project for marginalized neighborhoods

Launch of project on ‘pro-poor planning for climate resilience in marginalized neighbourhoods’ under the Cities and Climate Change Initiative (CCCI)

UN-Habitat has been supporting cities confronting climate challenge as well as the concentrated effects of urban poverty for long. Findings of the Cities and Climate Change Initiative (CCCI) and the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) clearly indicate that slums and informal settlements are disproportionately affected by climate events due to their physical, geographical and socio-economic disadvantage. Furthermore, the negative effects in slums and informal settlements tend to spill-over to the overall city with negative impacts for all. Based on this extensive work, a new partnership between the Swedish government and UN-Habitat seeks to build climate resilience in marginalized neighbourhoods using pro-poor planning methodologies as an entry point. With a holistic strategy aimed at awareness creation, capacity building and change on the ground, the project will contribute in improving the climate resilience of poor neighbourhoods as well as for cities as a whole.

Partnerships already established through PSUP coordinate this new intervention bringing central and local governments even closer together with communities and other urban stakeholders. The first partner cities and countries and are Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, Bamenda in Cameroon, Lami in Fiji, Montego Bay in Jamaica, and Honiara in Solomon Islands.

Participants equipped with technical capacity

One of the activities that exemplifies this new project was the recent training for relevant stakeholders in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, on the City Resilience Action Planning Tool (City-RAP), developed under DiMSUR (Disaster Risk Management, Sustainability and Urban Resilience) and already successfully used in other African cities. The four-day capacity building programme enabled local trainees to plan actions that progressively reduce disaster risk and build urban resilience in their communities. Thirty-two (32) professionals from Burkina Faso were introduced to the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to conduct the implementation of the City RAP Tool within a municipality or neighbourhood during this training of trainers in Ouagadougou. The training, including representatives from the Municipal Council and sub-cities of Ouagadougou, the National Association of Municipalities, civil protection services, the National Institute for Urban Development, the Ministry of Urban Planning, academic institutions, members of Civil Society Organizations, NGOs, as well as representatives of key partners in the country such as the World Bank, UN-OCHA, UNDP, IOM and the West African Economic and Monetary Union.

Further activities are on-going under this new initiative in the Caribbean with a participatory planning exercise building the basis for climate resilient interventions. In the Pacific, climate vulnerability assessments of five informal settlements in both, Fiji and Solomon Islands using drone mapping, mobile survey technology and GIS have been completed.

Knowledge partnerships for awareness raising

UN-Habitat is currently developing guides and tools for climate resilience building in marginalized neighbourhoods, in an effort to build both knowledge and awareness, in partnership with specialised partners in this field from academia and the private sector.

The first findings from this research, as well as ongoing field projects, will be shared and discussed during the Resilient Cities Congress from the 4th to 6th May 2017 in Bonn, Germany. Thereby UN-Habitat is looking forward to expanding their partnership base, calling on World Urban Campaign members to become partners of the project.  

Photo Credits: UN-Habitat (CC) 
Photo 1: Poor neighborhood in Arrondisement No.8, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso / Photo 2: Participants during the training held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso / Photo 3: Training of local NGO officials on use of mobile survey equipment for data collection in Lami, Fiji /
Photo4: GIS analysis of settlements in Honiara, Solomon Islands, to identify climate vulnerability hotspots
Article by UN-Habitat