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Climate Disaster Resilience: focus on coastal urban cities in Asia

Publication date:
R. Shaw
Type of publication:

Coastal urban cities in Asia are experiencing ever-increasing vulnerability due to climate change impacts and fast-growing urban development. This study measures the existing level of climate disaster resilience of the targeted areas using a Climate Disaster Resilience Index (CDRI) which is based on natural, physical, social, economic and institutional dimensions. Higher values of resilience are equivalent to higher preparedness to cope with climate and disasters and inversely. The study focuses on the resilience or the capacity of the cities to:

absorb stress or destructive forces through adaptation
maintain basic functions and structures during disastrous events
recover after a disaster.

Overall the authors find that climate disaster resilience mapping show:

higher values for small size cities of Hue and San Fernando reflecting their higher preparedness to cope with climate and disasters
individual city analysis of a range of cities including: Yokohama and Bangkok that reveal their higher resilience in the physical dimension; Colombo and Banda Aceh in natural dimension; Iloilo in the social dimension; Danang and Yokohama in economic dimension; and Iloilo in institutional dimension
results that present strength and weaknesses in one dimension or another
that the level of resilience was not found specifically different for various city sizes
same sized cities experience different levels of resilience for overall CDRI and individual resilience dimensions.

The paper presents policy recommendations for each city based on these inputs to encourage city governments, and other policy, decision makers to strengthen their engagements and orient their efforts in a way that current and future potential risks are considered and coped with in order to enhance the resilience of the urban systems and communities. The study concludes that since the cities have different levels of vulnerability, recommendations also differ but the overall recommendation is to urge for the enhancement of community resilience in the face of climate related disasters.