WRI Paper Analyzes Linkages Between Urban Adaptation, SDGs
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The paper highlights three action areas to help advance transformative urban adaptation, and their links to each of the SDGs.

The paper highlights the gap in understanding the ways in which incremental urban adaptation solutions can lead to more transformative change over the long term.

9 October 2019: Cities must employ “transformative” climate change adaptation solutions in transitioning to more equitable and sustainable growth, according to a paper published by the World Resources Institute (WRI).

The paper titled, ‘Unlocking the Potential for Transformative Climate Adaptation in Cities,’ explains that while cities are increasingly integrating climate adaptation priorities into development policies and plans, a gap remains in understanding the ways in which incremental urban adaptation solutions can lead to more transformative change over the long term. Such change, the paper argues, can improve lives, enhance urban vibrancy, and ensure resilient, inclusive and sustainable cities.

The paper explains that transformative adaptation enables cities to achieve synergies across multiple goals, including provision of services and infrastructure, climate change mitigation, ecosystem protection, economic growth and sustainable development objectives at the local level.

The paper highlights three action areas to help advance transformative urban adaptation, and their direct and indirect links to each of the SDGs. The action areas are:

  • mainstreaming information on climate risks into planning and delivery of urban infrastructure and services, while strengthening local capacity to act on that information;
  • building climate resilience by upgrading living conditions in vulnerable communities and informal settlements, drawing on local experience and community knowledge; and
  • prioritizing nature-based solutions to holistically manage water and heat risks.

To help cities prioritize climate adaptation solutions, according to the paper, the strategies must be integrated with each other, and require common enabling conditions for transformative adaptation in cities, including: strong leadership; inclusion and equity; finance and local capacity; synergies across national, regional and global scales; knowledge, data and partnerships; evaluation and learning; and accountable institutions and governance. The paper also provides detailed recommendations to ensure progress and timescales for each recommendation.

The publication was launched at the C40 World Mayors Summit, which convened from 9-12 October in Copenhagen, Denmark. It is part of a series of background papers commissioned by the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) to inform its 2019 flagship report, ‘Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience.’ [Publication: Unlocking the Potential for Transformative Climate Adaptation in Cities] [WRI Paper Landing Page] [WRI News Story


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