Shiraz Wajih & Nivedita Mani, Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group, Gorakhpur, India
Presentation Title: Influencing policies for community-driven urban climate change resilience: The case of Gorakhpur City, India.
Gorakhpur, a secondary city, is among the fastest growing cities in the mid-Gangetic plains of India. Its proximity to the Himalayas makes it vulnerable to floods, which cause huge losses to lives, assets and re-sources. This is exacerbated by climate uncertainties, adversely impacting the livelihoods of poor and marginalized communities. The city's urban planning and development mechanisms generally neglect the needs and priorities of communities living in informal fragile settlements, which are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts. In order to address this, processes of vulnerability analysis and resilience strategy development at neighborhood, ward and city levels involved marginalized communities, concerned citizens, elected representatives, government officials and media. This helped to identify priority sectors impacted by climate change for initiating actions. Key policies and regulatory provisions were identified for the selected sectors, such as solid waste, drainage, drinking water, urban planning, housing, energy, ecosystems and public health.