Dhaval D. Desai, Ed., Confronting the Climate Crisis: Pathways to Urban Resilience, December 2023, Observer Research Foundation.
As the world rapidly urbanises, the imperative to forge resilient cities capable of withstanding the formidable challenges posed by climate change has never been more urgent. Climate-resilient cities are not merely a conceptual framework; they embody our collective commitment to creating sustainable, adaptable, and equitable urban spaces that can endure the unpredictable and extreme impacts of a changing climate.
We are publishing this compendium, Confronting the Climate Crisis: Pathways to Urban Resilience, at a pivotal moment in human history—an inflection point where life on earth confronts an unprecedented climate challenge. The escalating threats of extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and a myriad of climatic uncertainties call for a paradigm shift in our approach to city planning and development. The task at hand is multifaceted and complex. It requires a holistic approach that considers the intricacies and interconnectedness of urban ecosystems and the environment, the vulnerabilities of marginalised populations, and the dynamic nature of climate change itself.
The contributors to this volume are catalysts for change, offering a mosaic of insights, strategies, and case studies that illuminate the path toward resilient urban futures. The following pages delve into the intricate tapestry of challenges and opportunities that define the quest for urban climate resilience. From innovative implementation strategies of climate action plans and sustainable infrastructure to social sustainability and smart tech for future cities to green energy and the urgent need to prioritise public and non-motorised transport to civil society-driven initiatives fostering multi-stakeholder approaches for social cohesion and nature-based solutions—each chapter triumphs the power of innovative thinking and collective action. The authors draw from their diverse disciplines, bridging the realms of scholarship, policymaking, and grassroots mobilisations to present a holistic perspective on the delicate balance between cities and climate.
Climate-resilient cities are not a distant utopia; they are a tangible manifestation of our capacity to adapt, innovate, and collaborate. By integrating sustainability, inclusivity, and foresight, we can cultivate urban environments that thrive in the face of adversity. This anthology is the first of a series of reports that will tackle the different urban challenges of inclusive and equitable cities for all, the much-needed reforms to municipal governance architectures, the need to relook at city finances and how cities must safeguard the future of their past by preserving their built and natural heritage amid the onslaught of urban infrastructure development and increasing populations.
More than a collection of essays, this volume would like to be a call to action that will encourage policymakers, urban planners, researchers, and citizens alike to join the conversation, explore the multifaceted dimensions of climate resilience, and embrace the shared responsibility of safeguarding our cities for future generations. A future where we reimagine our urban landscapes, where our cities stand not only as symbols of human perseverance and achievement but as harmonious ecosystems offering resilient and sustainable quality of living to all.
The destiny of cities is interwoven with the fate of our planet. The journey toward climate-resilient cities should be a collective endeavour requiring the collaboration of governments, communities, businesses, and individuals. As we navigate the uncharted territories of the Anthropocene Epoch, this collection is an attempt to create a compass, guiding us toward resilient cities that stand as a silver lining amid the dark clouds of ever-changing forces of nature.
Read the volume here.
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Dhaval is Senior Fellow and Vice President at Observer Research Foundation, Mumbai. His spectrum of work covers diverse topics ranging from urban renewal to international ...Read More +