Urban Development Series Knowledge Papers

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Produced by the World Bank’s Urban Development and Resilience Unit of the Sustainable Development Network, the Urban Development Series discusses the challenge of urbanization and what it will mean for developing countries in the decades ahead. The Series aims to explore and delve more substantively into the core issues framed by the World Bank’s 2009 Urban Strategy Systems of Cities: Harnessing Urbanization for Growth and Poverty Alleviation. Across the five domains of the Urban Strategy, the Series provides a focal point for publications that seek to foster a better understanding of (i) the core elements of the city system, (ii) pro-poor policies, (iii) city economies, (iv) urban land and housing markets, (v) sustainable urban environment, and other urban issues germane to the urban development agenda for sustainable cities and communities.

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    Cities and Climate Change : An Urgent Agenda
    (Washington, DC, 2010-12) World Bank
    The report discusses the link between climate change and cities, why cities should be concerned about climate change and adopt early preventative policies, and how the World Bank and other organizations can provide further support to cities on climate change issues. The report is one in a series of activities that explore the nexus of cities and climate change. This report, cities and climate change: an urgent agenda focuses on three broad issues pertaining to cities and climate change. This paper argues that climate change is an urgent agenda for cities for two reasons. First, climate change is a cumulative process. Second, embracing the climate change agenda now makes eminent sense from an individual city's perspective, be it economic, social, or political. It shows that the city is part of the global sustainable development agenda. This report presents an urgent situation. In rapidly growing cities, especially in Asia, current development paths are locking in emissions and lifestyles. Many people, particularly the poor, are already affected by climate change. The next decade will be particularly challenging. Cities will take a more active role in global dialogues and policy development as citizen's demand more comprehensive and immediate responses from all levels of government.