ClimUrb: Poverty and Climate Change in Urban Bangladesh is a major new research programme exploring climate change impacts and adaptation in poor urban settlements of the developing world.
There is now widespread agreement that climate change is happening and that the lives of the poor will be, and already are, negatively affected. This is particularly true for the urban poor who, over the course of the next 25 years, will become the majority of the world’s poor people.
ClimUrb seeks to create policy-relevant knowledge about how climate change impacts on the livelihoods and living conditions of poor urban people and communities. Current research activities have an exclusive focus on Bangladesh. Initiatives are under way for other geographical areas, for example the EcoCities project in Manchester, and the Climate Change and Urban Vulnerability in Africa (CLUVA) project.
The growing urban population of Bangladesh now exceeds 40 million. The number of poor people living in urban areas is on the rise, in contrast to a declining number in rural areas. With 15-20 million people potentially displaced by rising sea levels by the turn of this century, both urbanisation and urban poverty rates seem likely to increase.
Despite these figures, climate change policies in Bangladesh focus on rural areas. Policymakers’ neglect of the urban poor will become increasingly damaging in an era of global warming. The route to developing effective policy starts by learning from poor people in the low income settlements of Bangladesh, understanding their lives, livelihoods and practices now. Research needs to focus on what they are doing to adapt to climate change.
Our work is expected to raise political and institutional awareness of the problems facing poor urban communities, and of the innovations and practices that urban poor people are pursuing to maintain and improve their lives. Hopefully, this increased awareness will be transformed into better policies and more effective institutions.
April 2013 - Call for papers, deadline extended: International workshop, 'Living in low-income urban settlements in an era of climate change: processes, practices, policies and politics.'
April 2013 - new paper by Manoj Roy, David Hulme and Ferdous Jahan, 'Contrasting adaptation responses by squatters and low-income tenants in Khulna, Bangladesh', Environment and Urbanization 25(1), April 2013.
December 2012 - New case studies: 'A survey of the built environment in two Dhaka bustees: Lotabel and Shandekka' (pdf, 7.1MB) and 'Supraghat case study: community and institutional responses to the challenges facing squatter dwellers in Khulna, Bangladesh' (pdf, 709KB)
November 2012 - New case study: 'Poverty and Climate Change in Urban Bangladesh (ClimUrb): a case study of Magbara, Khulna' (pdf, 232KB).
October 2012 - New working paper: 'Urban poverty in Bangladesh: causes, consequences, and coping strategies' by Nicola Banks. Download the paper (pdf, 878KB).
September 2012 - Working dialogues on urban poverty and climate change were held in Dhaka and Chittagong. The dialogues brought together a wide variety of key stakeholders at multiple levels.