Chapter 9 From Action Planning to Community-Based Adaptation

Climate and Disaster Resilience in Cities

ISBN: 978-0-85724-319-5, eISBN: 978-0-85724-320-1

ISSN: 2040-7262

Publication date: 30 March 2011


Urbanization is increasing the vulnerability in mega cities, where poor community often squat on low-lying areas, hilly areas, and hazards prone areas (IDNDR, 1999). The built infrastructures and systems are subjected to natural hazards: floods, earthquakes, landslides, cyclones etc. Thus, cities are vulnerable to disasters (IDNDR, 1999). Moreover, cities are also facing environmental risks due to increasing urbanization (Bhatt, Gupta, & Sharma, 1999). The vulnerability can be reduced by incorporating risk management into urban planning (Bhatt et al., 1999). The risk management includes risk analysis, prevention, and preparedness. Traditionally, risk management was seen as separate discipline to mainstream urban planning (Bhatt et al., 1999). The traditional urban planning is often good at making plans (city beautiful plans, land use plans, strategic plans, development plans) and regulatory controls (Hamdi & Goethert, 1997). However, they fail to deliver benefit at the ground. Only few benefits reach the poor, who are often considered as the most vulnerable in the cities. The urban planning can be improved with an alternative: action planning, which is “problem driven, community based, participatory, small in scale, fast, and incremental, with result that is tangible, immediate, and sustainable” (Hamdi & Goethert, 1997). The action planning is often considered relevant in scaling up its outcome from local level to sectoral and national level. This chapter focuses on linking action planning and community-based adaptation. The community can be defined as “a group of people that are directly linked to each other through a common identity, activity or interest” (Jones & Rehman, 2007). The adaptation here is used in context of climate change, which is already happening, and impacts are growing (IPCC, 2001). The community-based adaptation is process oriented and “based on communities’ priorities, needs, knowledge, and capacities, which should empower people to plan for and cope with the impact of climate change” (Reid et al., 2009). This chapter first briefly discusses the action planning process and its challenges. Further, the chapter discusses the action planning in detail. Later the chapter focuses on framework and tools for community-based adaptation. It also discusses few case studies and challenges and issues. Finally, the chapter tries to build a link between action planning and community-based adaptation.


Parashar, S., Sharma, A. and Shaw, R. (2011), "Chapter 9 From Action Planning to Community-Based Adaptation", Shaw, R. and Sharma, A. (Ed.) Climate and Disaster Resilience in Cities (Community, Environment and Disaster Risk Management, Vol. 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 163-182.

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