Report: Urbanisation, Poverty, Climate Change Vol 1 & 2

Submitted by Will Bugler | published 17th Nov 2016 | last updated 7th May 2020


The Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) works at the nexus of climate change, vulnerable and poor communities, and urbanization. The ACCCRN programme, through its collective knowledge and evidence, has built an emerging area of practice in urban climate change resilience (UCCR).

This synthesis report*, which is split into two volumes (see below), considers the effort undertaken in India during the last five years and also showcases the evidence from cities involved in developing the City Resilience Strategy, and the practical interventions adopted to create urban resilience. It forms a deliverable of ACCCRN India Phase III.

This report is intended mainly for urban local bodies, policy makers, business, community based organizations, individuals and researchers engaged in the subject of urban development and management, climate change and urban resilience. 

*Download the full synthesis report (both voumes) from the right-hand column - the two volumes have been joined to provide one downloadable document.

Urbanisation - Poverty - Climate Change: Vol. 1

Volume 1 contains five chapters. The first chapter lays out a brief overview of the current urban situation and outline of the report. Continuing with the analysis of Urbanization-Poverty-Climate Change challenges, the second chapter explains the urbanization trends in the country and provides a prognosis. It explores the trends in terms of size and distribution of Indian cities and their expected expansion over coming decades. It also analyses the main challenges of urbanization including resources, governance, infrastructure and services situation and emerging challenges that cities will face in the future. The third chapter discusses the future scenarios of urban growth and challenges. The fourth chapter discusses the vulnerability of Indian cities towards climate change. It gives an overview to the factors which increase the vulnerability of the cities, for example poverty, gender, age composition and illiteracy. In addition, this chapter also discusses other factors like the soft nature of the state and behaviour aspects of the population which impact the vulnerability of the cities.

Urbanisation - Poverty - Climate Change: Vol. 2

Volume 2 of the Synthesis Report is a collection of City Resilience Strategies (CRS) from core ACCCRN Cities (Gorakhpur, Indore, Surat) and one Replication City (Guwahati). The information in Volume 2 is provided by key ACCCRN partners engaged with the local government and city institutions in the development of City Resilience Strategies. The subsequent version of the synthesis report will bring in information from cities of Bashirhat, Bhubaneswar, Jorhat, Leh, Mysore, Panaji, Saharsa, Shillong and Shimla. 

Background: ACCCRN in India

ACCCRN is one of the early initiatives to develop, test and demonstrate practical strategies for responding to the impacts of rapid urbanisation, poverty and climate change. Covering ten Asian Cities across four countries, it aims to develop replicable strategies that can be applied across the cities-especially urban areas across the developing world. The ACCCRN network partners focus on developing city level climate resilience, while sharing and advocating the success stories and lessons to country, regional and global levels. This network aims to expand and deepen the base of urban climate change resilience practice that can be contextualised to other cities in the developing world.

In India, the ACCCRN Phase I (2008) identified and shortlisted three core cities for developing resilience strategies and demonstrate them. Surat, Indore and Gorakhpur were selected based on criteria of rapid urbanization, poverty and vulnerability to climate change impacts and interest to engage with ACCCRN.

During Phase II (2009-2010), the team worked with city-level stakeholders to deepen the understanding of current city level risk and vulnerability, potential climate change impacts and possible impacts over different sectors. The city stakeholders undertook several sector studies and pilot projects, which facilitated learning and capacity building of city stakeholders. This process led to development of city resilience strategies and action plans.

Phase III (2011-2014) focuses on implementation of urban resilience strategies through active participation of local partners in implementing demonstration projects and to disseminate the lessons and success stories with national and international partners. In addition a large number of cities are part of the replication efforts (of Bashirhat, Bhubaneswar, Gorakhpur, Indore, Jorhat, Leh, Mysore, Panaji, Saharsa, Shillong, Shimla, Surat and Guwahati). 

Further resources

  • Authors:

    • G K Bhat, TARU Leading Edge
    • Prof Usha Raghupathi, National Institute of Urban Affairs
    • Dr Umamaheshwaran Rajasekar, TARU Leading Edge
    • Anup Karanth, TARU Leading Edge 

    Suggested Citations:

    Bhat, G. K., Raghupathi, U., Rajasekar, U., and Karanth, A. (2013) Urbanisation - Poverty - Climate Change: A synthesis report - India, Volume I. Synthesis report for the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network: India, Phase III. TARU Leading Edge Pvt. Ltd.: Gurgaon, India

    TARU Leading Edge (2013) Urbanisation - Poverty - Climate Change: A synthesis report - India, Volume II - Case Studies. Synthesis report for the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network: India, Phase III. TARU Leading Edge Pvt. Ltd.: Gurgaon, India