Asia is experiencing unprecedented urbanization with nearly 55% of the continent’s population predicted to live in cities by 2030. As impacts of climate change intensify, extreme weather events such as heatwaves, flooding, droughts and storms are increasingly felt in cities affecting urban infrastructure and services, livelihood and well-being of urban residents especially poor and marginal residents.
To date the predominant mindset is that grey infrastructure is safe, reliable and bankable and therefore regarded as the primary option in planning and building resilient cities. As climatic impacts continue to rise and bring about uncertainties, traditional grey infrastructures are unlikely to succeed in providing sustainable solutions to our urban challenges. Cities, therefore, need solutions that are affordable and effective in delivering services, including protection from extreme events, while at the same time addressing equity and providing synergistic benefits to well-being.
Nature-based solutions (NBS) including blue/green and hybrid infrastructures have been proposed as an approach to restore ecological flows in cities and as new infrastructure solutions that can increase the climate resilience of a city.
The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) intends to reframe NbS as adaptation solutions to address development, climate, and biodiversity issues within the social, political, and economic context of urban areas across the region. GCA, with support from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the Government of the United Kingdom and in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the Government of Bangladesh, is currently developing a catalog of NBS options that can be scaled-up to enhance the resilience of secondary cities in Bangladesh.
At the 8th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum, GCA will host a session bringing together prominent regional experts and practitioners to share their experiences and knowledge on NBS to address urban challenges.
The objective of the session is to discuss how NBS can support building resilient cities, review different types of NBS, share good practice examples of NBS implementation in cities, and identify ways to mainstream NBS in policy and urban planning.