Building urban resilience through inclusive and participatory city climate action planning

ICLEI Secretary General and ICLEI South Asia Executive Director Emani Kumar discussed the urban development context of India at the City Climate Action Planning session.

By: Subuhi Parvez

This session focused on City Climate Action Planning; themes that were discussed include public transportation specifically bike-sharing systems in cities, the use of E-rickshaw, and others.

Major challenges in this sector are vehicular growth to combat the GHG emissions in the city, knowledge sharing and capacity building of the local authorities, and lack of localized measure to combat the impact of climate change.

Baskar Srinivasan, Smart City Project, Coimbatore, India raised points like how the city has initiated formulating a climate change action plan to identify possible interventions to build resilience in the city for various urban systems. These planned interventions are setting the tariff for wastewater, mapping, and geotagging areas, and developing aquifer maps. Projects to elevate Coimbatore as a smart city are the development of waste processing plants, establishing solar power ambient environment monitoring systems, rejuvenation of water bodies, and promotion of bike sharing.

Mayor of Udaipur, India Chandra Singh Kothari shared strategies that his city is currently taking to promote urban resilience.

Bringing in talks to the issue of collaboration, the Mercy Corps Indonesia, and organized another session on Regional Networking for Collaborative Action to Build Inclusive Urban Resilience. This session delved into understanding the need for collaborative actions for social inclusion. Cooperation and integration are factors to make urban climate change to be successful.

Mr. Phong Tran, Technical Lead, ISET Vietnam spoke about city resilience challenge which includes lack of coordination. According to him, coordination is important to agree on an agenda to be put out. “We support cities to develop climate resilience and coordinate urban-related issues. We need rapid urbanization in Vietnam,” he said.

“Trans boundary river basin planning has been tried before in Vietnam, but the associated institutional and political changes have not been sustainable. The success of the project relies on key stakeholders having strong internal or external incentives to resolve river basin conflicts through negotiation,” he added.

Mr. Nyoman Prayoga, Flood Resilience Manager, Mercy Corps, Indonesia presented Garang watershed as a case study where he discussed the challenges at length. Some of the problems faced are – water quantity (floods, drought), water quality (river pollution and high level of sedimentation), and land soil stability (land erosion and landslides) among others.

“We want to make sure we are able to support the government. We aim to achieve the cross-boundary coordination, enabling them to make more dialogues,” he said.

The last session is about Adaptation in the Mekong Delta –Shaping the Road from Paris to Implementation in Vietnam. The focus was on adaptation and resilience in the Mekong Delta with focus on urban planning and integration.

The gaps identified are lack of data and access to it, bringing strategies into implementation from the technical perspective, financing, and institutional frameworks.

Mr. Nguyen Thi Dieu Trinh, Department of Science, Education, Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Government of Vietnam said, “we expect to create an urban network. The Mekong area is subject to a lot of risks especially the urban coastal areas are very susceptible.”

Mr. Pierre Fritzsche, German Meteorological Service said, “Climate change is changing cities and one has to prepare for that. Climate solutions are one approach. The provider of data needs to give guidance on climate predictions and projections and to evaluate the data and integrate into planning. There is the need to prepare the data but also cities have to be ready for the challenges”.

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