Session 16: Building resilience in Asian cities


Session Abstract

Strategies for adapting to climate change from different sectors have a spatial dimension due largely to the geographic variation of land-use activity and urbanization. This, in turn, has meant that these strategies have had to be implemented at local levels. Immediately after the adoption of the Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change in Taiwan by the Executive Yuan of Taiwan in 2012, the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) initiated pilot studies of local adaptation plans for two municipalities and published the Planning Guidelines for Local Adaptation Plans to direct other municipalities' adaptation plans. The Guidelines incorporated a strategic planning process to reflect a broad-based consensus among stakeholders and  targeted cross-sectorial co-benefits. Currently, twelve municipalities in Taiwan have already finished their climate change adaptation plans.

This discussion reflected on and took stock of the on-going initiatives across Asian cities. The session gave specific attention to adaptation strategies in Taiwan to build climate resilience, the ways these have been informed by scientific research, and their potential for sustained and transformative outcomes. Emphasis was placed on the role that can be played by research in informing neighborhood- and city-level actions and shaping policy. The session focused on the lessons learned from the involvement of local adaptation plans while also addressing concerns of the effectiveness of multi-level governance in different municipalities. Through partnerships among stakeholders, multi-level agencies and planning teams to empower capacity building for local adaptation strategies. The panelists provided examples of how locally acceptable responses can be developed. The discussion thereafter enabled reflection and knowledge exchange on the implications for building future urban resilience in the Asian context including the role of research in this endeavor.

Keywords: local adaptation plan, multi-level governance, strategic planning process, Taiwan, Asia, urban resilience, research, policy


Key Discussion Points

  • Involvement of multiple stakeholders including the private sector, local residents and community groups is essential for the success of climate change adaptation planning.  However, it must be done with great care and with attention to detail, including local variations in culture and preferences for development.  Building these relationships takes effort, but is well worth the time, as it increases the chances of success.
  • In order to be successful, climate change adaptation plans need mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation. 
  • Disaster risk management and climate change adaptation share many characteristics and should be reconciled, in order to increase the effectiveness of their implementation.



Diane Archer - International Institute for Environment and Development, London, UK

Shu-Li Huang - National Taipei University, Taipei, Taiwan



Fie-Yu Kuo, National Development Council, Taipei Taiwan

Presentation Title: National climate change adaptation policy and initiatives of the local adaptation plan for Taiwan

Chia-Tsung Yeh, National Taipei University, New Taipei City, Taiwan

Presentation Title: Framework and procedure of the local climate change adaptation planning in Taiwan

Hung-Ping Huang, Taoyuan County, Taiwan

Presentation Title: Experience of planning local climate change adaptation plan: Lessons and expectations

Bach Tan Sinh, National Institute for Science and Technology, Hanoi, Vietnam

Presentation Title: Multi-level governance in building urban climate change resilience in Vietnam: Experience from the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network of Vietnam

Shiraz Wajih, Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group, Gorakhpur, India

Presentation Title: Influencing policies for community-driven urban climate change resilience: The case of Gorakhpur City, India

Rukuh Setiadi, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia

Presentation Title: Addressing Global Environmental Change in two Indonesian cities: Policy change and path dependency


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