Climate change affects poor and marginalized communities first and hardest. These effects are happening now — not in a far-fetched future.
Particularly in cities, a lack of access to basic services, a long history of unsustainable urban development, and political exclusion combine to render the urban poor one of the most vulnerable groups to extreme climate events such as flooding, landslides and drought. Yet strategies focused on reducing these people’s vulnerability to climate change often overlook crucial differences in their needs and situations.
As urban growth skyrockets and climate change effects multiply, municipal officials and governments must take steps to prepare cities for detrimental impacts. Identifying communities’ diverse needs through participatory processes can help officials target resources, mobilize action quickly and lead to more effective urban climate resilience.