The Challenge

Cities of the future…

          50% of the global population currently live in cities and this is expected to increase to 70% (or 6.4 billion people) by 2050. Asian cities are expected to see more than 60% of this increase and 46% of all urban population growth will occur in cities with fewer than 500,000 inhabitants. UN-Habitat estimate that over 1 billion (or one in three) urban inhabitants currently do not have adequate access to water and sanitation, live in overcrowded conditions, live in poor quality, temporary shelters or lack security of tenure. It is predicted that the number of “slum dwellers” could double, to 2 billion, by 2050.

…face unprecedented challenges…

          The IPCC predict decades of global warming as our past emissions continue to heat up the earth’s atmosphere. Potential climate change impacts include: rising sea levels, more frequent, stronger storms, coastal erosion, diminishing biodiversity, continuing loss of glaciers and arctic ice, salinity in freshwater aquifers and an increase in heat-related diseases like malaria and dengue fever.

…particularly for the most vulnerable.

          Climate change will have the greatest impact on communities who have done the least to cause it. Poor and vulnerable populations have the least capacity to prepare and plan for the impacts of climate change and the least capacity to respond.
The Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network aims to catalyze attention, funding, and action on building climate change resilience for poor and vulnerable people by creating robust models and methodologies for assessing and addressing risk through active engagement and analysis of various cities.


          Through the actions of the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network, it is anticipated that by 2012, a network of cities in Asia will have developed robust plans to prepare for, withstand and recover from the predicted impacts of climate change.
To accomplish this, ACCCRN must meet the following objectives:
  • Test and demonstrate a range of actions to build climate change resilience in cities
  • Build a replicable base of lessons learned, successes and failures
  • Assist cities in the development and implementation of a climate change resilience building process
  • Help cities continue activities that build climate change resilience

Anticipated Outcomes

          The Rockefeller Foundation’s initiative will develop a network of Asian city partners who will experiment with a range of activities that will collectively improve the ability of the cities to withstand, prepare for, and recover from the projected impacts of climate change. It is expected that interventions will span health, infrastructure, water, disaster, urban planning/development issues, and will include leveraging policy incentives and investment funds to improve infrastructure, services, disaster management and preparedness strategies.
          The approaches taken will be determined by local needs and priorities, but will be replicable in different urban contexts and will bring particular focus to improving the resilience of poor and vulnerable populations to climate change impacts. Activities will involve the development of secondary partnerships and activities with a spectrum of actors, including local, state, and national governments, the private sector, community based organizations, and universities and research institutions. Anticipated results of the ACCCRN program include:
  • Capacity building
    Selected cities in South and South East Asia have adequate capacity to plan, finance, coordinate, and implement climate change resilience strategies.
  • Network for learning and engagement
    A broad range of representatives of cities, civil society, donors, private sector, technical partners engage with ACCCRN to mutually identify and solve key climate change resilience problems.
  • Expansion, deepening of experience, scaling up
    New and more diverse partners provide resources and funding for replication in current and new cities to support the implementation of resilience plans and strategies.


          ACCCRN is being implemented in four inter-connected phases. It is expected that the work of ACCCRN will continue to expand and scale up beyond 2012.
Phase 1 (April 2008 to September 2009): City Scoping and Selection (Completed)
          A broad review of a number of Asian cities in India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam to identify a select number of partner cities in which ACCCRN will pursue deeper engagement.
Ten cities were identified to pursue deeper engagement based on:
  • Vulnerability to climate change impacts and rate of urbanization
  • Understanding of local actors on potential climate change impacts, and
  • Readiness to engage with ACCCRN and ability to participate in the ACCCRN process
This phases involved assessment of climate change impact profile and mapping of physical, social, political and economic contexts of cities in India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand
The selected cities in 4 countries are
Selected cities in India:
           Surat (Gujarat)
           Indore (Madhya Pradesh)
           Gorakphur (Uttar Pradesh)
Selected cities in Viet Nam:
           Da Nang
           Quy Nhon
           Can Tho
Selected Cities in Thailand:
           Chiang Rai
           Hat Yai
Selected Cities in Indonesia:
           Bandar Lampung
Phase 2 (January 2009 – mid 2010): City-level engagement and capacity development 
          Shared learning dialogues (SLDs) with key stakeholders (city-level government, civil society organizations, research institutes and private sectors are key to the city engagement process. They promote participatory iterative planning and serve to
  • Enhance capacities to use climate information,
  • Increase understanding of city-level vulnerabilities to climate change impacts,
  • Develop appropriate urban climate change resilience strategies, action plans, and interventions that address climate change vulnerability
          This phase also includes: detailed Sector Studies, expanding on issues arising in vulnerability assessments, and a number of small-scale pilot projects to strengthening city stakeholder engagement at an early stage
Phase 3 (2010 – 2012): Implementation of effective urban resilience building projects
          Urban Resilience Interventions are selected on the basis of their ability to demonstrably improve the resilience of ACCCRN cities to current and future climate risks. Their development and implementation is informed by the understanding of urban system, climate risks, and vulnerability developed in phase 1 and 2
ACCCRN cities will work with local and international partners to implement replicable interventions identified in the climate change resilience action plan. In part these will be funded by the Rockefeller Foundation in the cities belonging to the ACCCRN network.
Phase 4 (Mid 2008 onwards): Replication
          The ACCCRN program will scale up through networking between cities, countries and sectors to broaden stakeholder base, as well as leveraging a much larger volume of financing for credible and evidence-based resilience building initiatives. This will be addressed through;
  • Continuous monitoring and evaluation to assess emerging results and capture lesson learned,
  • Promoting the development of capacity for replication
  • Disseminating learning and urban resilience frameworks and,
  • Leveraging additional funding sources for resilience building initiatives through the region