There is a growing, although still far from comprehensive, literature within China on the impacts of climate change in urban areas; also an evolving policy framework at national level to address these concerns and an increased interest in climate change adaptation from many local governments. This paper summarizes the urban risks and vulnerabilities highlighted by the literature, and reviews central and local government responses.

This paper considers how resilience thinking and, in particular, its emphasis on learning has been applied in 10 cities in Vietnam, India, Thailand and Indonesia. Applying a “shared learning” approach in the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) has helped to create or strengthen networks, build appreciation for complexity and uncertainty among stakeholders, provide a space for deliberating concepts such as vulnerability and resilience, and build knowledge and capacities for stakeholders to engage and represent their own interests.

The impacts of climate change in any city are obviously influenced by the quality of its housing and other buildings, its infrastructure and services. These were not built with climate change risks in mind, although they were influenced by environmental health risks that were present when they were constructed (including those from extreme weather) and often by responses to past disasters. Well-governed cities that have greatly reduced these risks have accumulated resilience to the climate change impacts that exacerbate (or will exacerbate) these risks.

The urgent need to reconfigure and transform urban areas to consume fewer resources, emit less pollution, minimize greenhouse gas production, protect natural ecosystems and increase the adaptive capacity to deal with climate risks is widely recognized.

As climate change impacts are felt within growing numbers of cities in low- and middle-income countries, there is growing interest in the adaptation plans and programmes put forward by city authorities. Yet cities face considerable constraints on this front. This paper aims to provide a better understanding of these constraints by analyzing the case of Rosario, in Argentina. The city has a strong coherent governance system, with a commitment to decentralization, transparency, accountability and participation.

The city of Dar es Salaam, with a population of more than four million, has no climate change adaptation plan. It also has a very large development deficit and lacks adequate provision for infrastructure and services such as piped water, sewers, drains and solid waste collection. Addressing this deficit (and building the institutional and financial capacity to do so) is also important for building resilience to climate change impacts.

This paper reflects on the progress made in climate change adaptation in the city of Durban since the launch of the Municipal Climate Protection Programme in 2004. This includes the initial difficulties in getting the attention of key sectors within municipal government, and how this was addressed and also served by the more detailed understanding of the range of adaptation options and their cost-benefits.

This paper describes how a settlement profile, mapping and enumeration of Magada, an informal settlement in the town of Epworth just outside Harare, provided the basis for an upgrading programme. This was both in terms of the needed information and in terms of agreement between the residents and their community organizations and local and national government.

This paper examines what motivates the participation of African slum(1) dwellers in urban social movement activities. This issue is analyzed through a case study of grassroots mobilization around evictions in Kurasini ward, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The paper uses an analytic narrative approach to account for patterns in participatory behaviour, drawing on both quantitative and qualitative data gathered through interviews with 81 slum dwellers.

This paper examines the changes in the ways in which villagers have gained access to resources and services over time in what are now “villages in the city” within the city of Guangzhou. It compares and contrasts three periods: the clan-based traditional villages, the commune period and the period since the 1980s (which includes great economic success in many villages).