The Economics of Climate-Resilient Development

The Economics of Climate-Resilient Development

Edited by Sam Fankhauser and Thomas K.J. McDermott

Some climate change is now inevitable and strategies to adapt to these changes are quickly developing. The question is particularly paramount for low-income countries, which are likely to be most affected. This timely and unique book takes an integrated look at the twin challenges of climate change and development. The book treats adaptation to climate change as an issue of climate-resilient development, rather than as a bespoke set of activities (flood defences, drought plans, and so on), combining climate and development challenges into a single strategy. It asks how the standard approaches to development need to change, and what socio-economic trends and urbanisation mean for the vulnerability of developing countries to climate risks. Combining conceptual thinking with practical policy prescriptions and experience the contributors argue that, to address these questions, climate risk has to be embedded fully into wider development strategies

Chapter 8: Climate-resilient cities

Hélia Costa, Graham Floater and Jared Finnegan

Subjects: economics and finance, development economics, environmental economics, environment, climate change, environmental economics


Hélia Costa, Graham Floater and Jared Finnegan 8.1 INTRODUCTION Cities, and the people living in them, face substantial risks from climate change. Cities are concentrations of people, assets, infrastructure networks and major sectors of national economies. In larger cities, this means that a single climate- elated disaster such as a major storm can affect millions of r people and damage buildings and infrastructure worth billions of dollars. At the same time, three- uarters of all large cities in the world are located q on the coast, with the associated risk of sea flooding (UNEP- N Habitat, U 2005). Furthermore, city infrastructure itself can increase the risk of damages. Extensive use of concrete and asphalt raises the temperature in cities and the sealed surfaces of the urban landscape lead to more intense flooding. Even without the amplifying effects of climate change, many cities are already highly vulnerable to existing weather- elated risks, particularly in r the developing world. As a result, developing more climate- esilient cities is r becoming a greater priority for governments and businesses. In addition, if governments are to create effective strategies for improving urban climate resilience, adaptation policies will need to be placed in the context of rapid urban growth. Over half the global population now lives in urban areas. The urban population is expected to grow by 1 billion people in less developed countries and by 70 million people in developed countries by 2030 (UN DESA Population Division 2012, as cited in IPCC, 2014). Urban...

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