Climurb: Poverty and Climate Change in Urban Bangladesh
Research at ClimUrb
As part of the ClimUrb research project, students filmed their innovative work with residents of low-income settlements in Dhaka, Bangladesh
ClimUrb's reserach outputs are presented in a variety of formats. View and download our case studies, working papers, policy briefs and journal articles.
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.
ClimUrb represents BWPI’s emerging research focus on climate change impacts and adaptation in poor urban settlements of the developing world. It draws on world-leading expertise at BWPI, GURC and MARC, and BRAC University and WaterAid (Dhaka). Manoj Roy and David Hulme are leading figures on poverty reduction and urban planning in Bangladesh; Simon Guy is an expert on processes of urban change and land markets; Ainun Nishat, Syed Hashemi, Khairul Islam, Fuad Mallick and Ferdous Jahan are leading Bangladesh scholars who turn research findings into practical actions. On the ground, work is carried out by a team of field researchers.
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