Climate change is happening now. Climate-induced disasters are occurring in the Asia Pacific region, where a distinctly increasing trend has been observed in recent…
Climate change is happening now. Climate-induced disasters are occurring in the Asia Pacific region, where a distinctly increasing trend has been observed in recent decades. This shows that the region is the most disaster prone, compared with other parts of the world. Studies on the causes of disaster in many affected regions suggest that in a typical disaster, cities with high population density see increases in mortality and number of people affected. Increased economic losses within the region are also inevitable. In most Asian countries, 65–90% of economic activities are concentrated in urban areas. Estimates indicate that two out of three people on the earth will live in urban areas by the year 2030. Unless appropriate measures are taken in these urban communities, disaster incidents will continue to increase. Urban communities are a main player to confront this increasing trend of climate-induced disasters.
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…
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.
Cities and urban areas are increasingly becoming the settlement of choice for a majority of humans.
Many of the global environmental problems that we are now facing have their precedence and causes in the cities and urban areas we live in.
Lessons in understanding urban risk are now emerging – urban hazards and risk are predominantly human-induced, and exacerbate natural events. Various economic, social, and economic aspects compound the risks that urban residents face.
Urban lifestyles and resource consumptions can be directly or indirectly attributed to the many environmental consequences that we are seeing – both within the city, as well as the entire hinterland or urban watershed that it is located in.
Rajib Shaw is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies of Kyoto University, Japan. He worked closely with the local communities, NGOs, governments and international organization, including United Nations, especially in the Asian countries. He is currently the Chair of the United Nations Asia Regional Task Force for Urban Risk Reduction. His research interests are: community-based disaster risk management, climate change adaptation, urban risk management, and disaster and environmental education.
Urban risk is increasing and will increase for next several years. For the first time in the history, the urban population is more than the rural population in the world. The speed of urbanization is highest in Asia, and consequently unplanned development, migration from rural areas and increasing vulnerabilities are the characteristic features of urbanization in Asia. Urbanization is increasingly located in the developing countries: in 1970s, 50% of urban residents lived in developing countries, whereas it is increased to 66% in 1990s, and is projected to be 80% by 2020. The key issue of Asian urbanization is its variation. Each country has its characteristic context and the nature and issues of urbanization is different from the others.
The pace of urbanization in the developing world is led by Asia. Over the next 25 years, Asia's urban population will grow by around 70% to more than 2.6 billion people…
The pace of urbanization in the developing world is led by Asia. Over the next 25 years, Asia's urban population will grow by around 70% to more than 2.6 billion people. An additional billion people will have urban habitats (ADB, 2006).
The “Hyogo Framework for Action 2005–2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and communities to disasters” (HFA) was adopted at the UN World Conference on Disaster Reduction (January 2005, Kobe, Japan). The HFA specifies that disaster risk is compounded by increasing vulnerabilities related to various elements including unplanned urbanization. Across the HFA, important elements on urban risk reduction are mentioned as one of crucial areas of work to implement the HFA. In particular incorporating disaster risk reduction into urban planning is specified to reduce the underlying risk factors (Priority 4).
Shimla is a teeming city, with a population of 140,000, in the north Indian Himalayas. It sits in an area of high seismicity that was rocked by a devastating earthquake…
Shimla is a teeming city, with a population of 140,000, in the north Indian Himalayas. It sits in an area of high seismicity that was rocked by a devastating earthquake about a hundred years ago, yet is oblivious of the ticking time bomb below its foundations. Initiating risk reduction in this fast growing urban economic hub is an enormous challenge. SEEDS, a national NGO, started working in the city just before the earthquake centenary in 2005, with an aim to identify ways of reducing earthquake risk through actions that could be carried out by the citizens and the local government, with school children playing a catalytic role.