Climate pp 209-235 | Cite as

Adapting Cities to Climate Change

Understanding Resilience at the Local Level
  • L. Yumagulova
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security book series (NAPSC)


As our urban systems get more complex and interdependent, they become more vulnerable to both external and internal disturbances. These disturbances have the potential to qualitatively change the system; but, if the system is resilient, it can absorb the disturbance and continue its operation. Due to climate change, cities are currently facing unprecedented environmental change and previous models designed around a linear understanding of change as incremental and predictable might not be flexible enough to respond to this change. Therefore, a new, fundamentally nonlinear, way of dealing with change in cities is required. While a great uncertainty prevails regarding the impacts of climate change particularly at the local level, it is agreed that climate change amplifies already existing threats and magnifies the needs of the most poor. However, climate change can also serve as an opportunity. The extent to which institutions and citizens take an advantage of this opportunity depends on two fundamental pillars of adaptation: the ability to understand and the ability to respond to change, both of which are addressed in the detail in this chapter.


Climate Change Climate Change Adaptation Global Environmental Change Informal Settlement Complex Adaptive System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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