Thursday, April 07, 2011

Urban poverty and vulnerability to climate change in Latin America

This paper considers who within the urban population of Latin America is most at risk from the likely impacts of climate change over the next few decades. It also considers how this risk is linked to poverty and to the inadequacies in city and municipal governments. It discusses those who live or work in locations most at risk (including those lacking the needed infrastructure); those who lack knowledge and capacity to adapt; those whose homes and neighbourhoods face the greatest risks when impacts occur; and those who are least able to cope with the impacts (for instance, from injury, death and loss of property and income). Adaptation to climate change cannot eliminate many of the extreme weather risks, so it needs to limit their impacts through good disaster preparedness and post-disaster response. This paper also discusses the measures currently underway that address the vulnerability of urban populations to extreme weather, and how these measures can contribute to building resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Jorgelina Hardoy
IIED-América Latina, Av. General Paz 1180, (1429) Buenos Aires, Argentina, gpandiella@iied-al.org.ar
Gustavo Pandiella
IIED-América Latina, Av. General Paz 1180, (1429) Buenos Aires, Argentina, jhardoy@iied-al.org.ar

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