Building the Climate Resilience of the Urban Poor

Despite all efforts, at the dawn of the third decade of the 21st century, the urban world is still largely defined by slums: nearly one in seven of the world’s population lives in slums and informal settlements. In 200 cities surveyed, informal settlements as a portion of total residential area increased, on average, from 18% (pre-1990) to 30% (average 1990-2015). Moreover, 14.4% of the urban population in developing countries live in low elevation coastal zones, i.e. ten meters above sea-level or less in elevation. These populations face increased risk of flooding from storm surge – a climate hazard.

The UN Secretary General has announced a Climate Summit, aimed at “ramping up ambition and action” in implementing the Paris Agreement. One of this Summit’s main thrusts will be to accelerate action on “strengthening adaptation and climate resilience to address the risks that climate change poses”. Under this action area, this initiative proposes to scale up, coordinate, and focus a range of ongoing efforts to work with and support some of the most vulnerable populations on the planet in building climate resilience: the urban poor who live in slums and informal settlements in developing countries that are most impacted by climate change. In focusing the collective energies of disparate partners and urban actors on this challenge, new ways of working together will be devised and institutionalized.


United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)

Technical advisement on development protocols and tools

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