Skip to main content

Climate Resilient Urban Development

Home > Learning Resources > Climate Resilient Urban Development
Maraya Bien

Most of anthropogenic causes of climate change are linked with cities and cities are facing significant impacts from extreme weather events that come with this. Cities are responsible for a high share of greenhouse gas emissions released in the atmosphere and furthermore, they are facing multiple climate induced impacts that threat urban populations and assets.

The Climate Resilient Urban Development module lays the foundation for understanding how cities can manage the impacts of climate change and in the face of growing uncertainty. It does so by introducing the basic concepts on and sound examples of urban resilience and adaptation and using case studies in different cities, this module broadens the discussion on building urban resilience by engaging target learners to apply their knowledge and skills in a simulated exercise on local action planning.

At the end of this module, we aim at integrating climate resilience objectives along with other sustainable development goals in cities planning. In line with a climate resilient urban development – or development that minimizes the harm caused by climate impacts, while maximizing the many human development opportunities presented by a more resilient future, we ask: which policies and measures should be introduced to address all dimensions of climate resilient urban development?

Choosing the right mixture of measures and policies for the short and long term is challenging both in technical and political terms. Which approaches and techniques will work best in order to investigate and assess measures and actions at the city and neighborhood level? This leads to the evaluation and assessment of urban climate change policies/actions as important elements of an effective urban climate change planning approach. Developing, adjusting and applying the appropriate decision support tools to assess and evaluate climate change policies and measures is deemed necessary in order to help urban planners to design a climate resilient and sustainable urban development path.

Module Objectives

The module aims to enable participants to:

  1. Recognize climate change impacts in developing and developed cities and the linkages of climate change with development goals and resilience
  2. Acquire skills to characterize the different ways on how cities are mitigating their exposure to climate change or adapting to its impacts, and
  3. Practice the main components of planning for climate change through targeted exercises on their respective city contexts.

Expected Outcomes

The target learners should be able to gain an understanding of the concepts of climate resilience and vulnerability frameworks, the planning cycle and strategies for urban climate resilience, and of the current practice with regards to climate resilient development strategies. Moreover, at the end of this module, the target learners should be able to understand the vulnerable sectors in a given city context; identify, evaluate, and prioritize adaptation actions; and propose a local climate change action plan.


For more information about the module, contact the module developer Stelios Grafakos (, Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies, the Netherlands.

Creative Commons

All SUSTAIN materials are subject to the basic terms and conditions in accordance with the Creative Commons license agreement. Users should give credit to the SUSTAIN Project as well as to the module developer. Furthermore, users are not allowed to use any module material for commercial purposes without permission from the SUSTAIN Project and module developer.