American Univesity of Beirut

 

2- Climate Change Vulnerability and Resilience Building in Urban Settings  

Lebanon and the Arab World are experiencing very rapid urbanization with more than 55% of the population of the Arab world currently living in cities, with that percentage projected to reach 66% by 2020. In some countries in the Arab World, nearly 90% of the population are urban dwellers. Cities play a very important role in current economies; they produce, on average, 80% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) while only using up to 3.5% of the earth’s total surface. Their downside is their ecological footprint, key example of which is the high CO2 emissions (constituting 75% of total global emissions) mostly from transportation and energy use (60% to 80% energy consumption). At the same time, cities are very vulnerable to floods, water scarcity, and other climate change related risks. Therefore, the need to think of cities in a more sustainable context is important not only for the cities’ continuity but also to reduce their impacts on the environment. ​

Areas of focus within this theme are : 

  • Vulnerability of cities to climate change:  

The understanding of the vulnerabilities to climate change of urban settings in the WANA countries is limited. Increased vulnerability of populations in urban settings to climate change increases risk of conflict and of migration. Thus, a better and in-depth knowledge of vulnerability to climate change is vital for enabling cities and city actors to adapt to climate change, reduce associated risks and build up their resilience. 

 

  • Resilience to climate change in cities:  

In an urban setting, resilient systems encompass socio-economic aspects, governance, physical infrastructure, and natural systems. Accordingly, resilience is reached through adaptive planning that helps in reducing risks. It is important to ask WHO is adapting and to WHAT. ​



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