Rockefeller Foundation convened a meeting on ‘Investing in Urban Climate Change Resilience: Sharing Lessons and Accelerating Action’ in Bellagio, Italy (2-6 June 2014). This tool has been prepared by CDIA as a follow-up product of Working Group 2 (Aligning downstream finance with upstream UCCR planning efforts for greater leverage and expanded UCCR infrastructure pipelines) that was established following the meeting. The preparation of the screens was supported by comments and inputs from members of WG2 and pilot testing in two cities in the Philippines and one in India. Advice to enhance the content and structure of the tool were also provided by regional stakeholders including the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN), Asian Development Bank (ADB), ARUP, ECOS, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, International Finance Corporation (IFC), KfW Development Bank, Mercy Corps, 100 Resilient Cities, UN-HABITAT, Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund (UCCRTF), World Bank.

What are the screens for?

  • To add to existing planning methods for preparing city resilience strategies or action plans.
  • To improve the relationship between the city’s investment needs and the identification of financing for their implementation.
  • To support cities more rigorously consider and prepare for climate change resilient infrastructure investments.
  • To motivate cities to consider at an early stage the anticipated feasibility of infrastructure priorities and the opportunity for financing these investments.
  • To enhance the revision and updating of existing strategies to strengthen infrastructure investment elements.
  • To strengthen the overall infrastructure related elements of city resilience strategies.
  • To address particular perceived weaknesses in the city resilience strategy preparation – such as an inadequate understanding of the scope, rationale and impact of particular investments, or the insufficient evidence on what the city can afford and the financing opportunities that are open to the city.
  • The screens can be adapted to the city’s needs.

Why are the screens necessary?

  • The magnitude of infrastructure investments required in most Asian cities, coupled with capacity constraints (including the availability of funding and staffing levels) in cities is an obstacle to sustainable urban development in general, and climate resilient project planning and implementation processes specifically.
  • A review of city climate change resilience strategies has indicated that the identification of infrastructure investments is generally weak and that planning methods could be improved to support cities in doing so.
  • Insufficient identification and profiling of investments results in a significant barrier in linking investment needs to financing.
  • The impacts of climate change can be magnified through a domino-effect of losses caused when critical infrastructure and services fail following a disaster or extreme weather event.

What about non-infrastructure measures?

  • Non-physical (sometimes called ‘soft’ measures) are often well represented in city resilience strategies ranging from community-based disaster management arrangements to capacity building measures throughout the city.
  • Existing city resilience strategy planning methods are well-tuned to identifying and prioritizing these needs.
  • This addendum focuses on the perceived weakness of existing city resilience strategy planning methods – the need for improved infrastructure investment profiling and financing.
  • But the relationship between physical infrastructure investments and non-physical investments is critical: infrastructure requires capacity for operation and maintenance, people threatened by weather events need the means to get to safety and shelters and so on.
  • Infrastructure investment therefore requires supporting non-physical measures where these are not currently covered by the city resilience strategy, and the participatory design of these needs is critical to effective identification.
  • Enhancing the resilience of cities through prioritized investments in infrastructure requires an inclusive approach. This means responding to the needs of all citizens but with particular emphasis on those that are most vulnerable, and least resilient, to the impacts of climate change.

What will we achieve by using these screens?

The screens reflect on, and support your city’s response to, four critical questions:

  • Screen 1: Have climate change adaptation infrastructure investment projects been identified and prioritized? [1]
  • Screen 2: Have climate change adaptation infrastructure investment projects been adequately profiled (most especially how much will these investments cost)?
  • Screen 3: Have potential sources of financing for your infrastructure priorities been adequately screened and considered for suitability?
  • Screen 4: Have municipal finances been reviewed and the ability of municipal government to secure financing for climate resilient infrastructure investments assessed?

Who will do this? How long will it take?

  • The screens can be completed by the city government (but calling on others – research organizations, local banks and financiers, businesses, NGOs and community organizations – where useful and necessary).
  • A lead focal person should be identified – this could be a focal point on climate change (where such a position exists) or a senior department manager – to organize and coordinate the work.
  • All departments with infrastructure responsibilities and implications should be involved. Each of the screens identifies: who needs to be involved, what materials will be required, how long will it take, tips and suggestions for completion and frequently asked questions (FAQs) [2]
  • Remember, the screens may also be completed incrementally over time, for example starting by profiling 1 or 2 very high priority investments (Screen 2) first, and returning later to profile other potential investments.
  • It is highly recommended to complete the screens at the draft final stage of creating any kind of city resilience strategy or action plan.

Will we need assistance in completing the screens and where might we get this?

  • The capacity of city governments (for example staff availability and experience, and the ability and willingness for departments to work together) is likely to vary markedly between countries and between cities (dependent for example on the size of cities and city governments).
  • The screens have been designed to be as self-explanatory as possible, to be adaptable to your local context and a guide to the types of information that are very useful in infrastructure and investment planning. Inevitably, not all information may be available and from experience we know the quantity, quality, and accurateness of data available will differ, markedly, between countries and between cities.


[1] This screening should ideally cover both CRS and other forms of city master plans to ensure that there is consistency between planning instruments and that the potential for climate resilient investments (new and through rehabilitation and adaptation of existing infrastructure) identified in city master plans are captured.
[2] Tips and suggestions’ and ‘FAQs’ are will be developed incrementally over time, initially through the experience of the pilot cities and subsequently through the use by other cities.

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