AS my home city of New York recovers from Superstorm Sandy, city leaders across the world are asking how their city would respond to a similar event and examining their resilience to extreme weather patterns.
While many lack the resources of New York City and the United States, the good news is that a number of low-cost solutions are available, but governments and the private sector need to start taking action now.
Asia in particular will see events like Sandy grow more frequent — and with even greater extremes and losses — as the confluence of climate change and rapid urbanization generate heightened vulnerabilities, especially for the hundreds of millions of urban poor residents.
In coming years, 60 percent of the world’s population increase will be in Asian cities. Of the cities that contain the largest numbers of people exposed to the risks of flooding caused by climate change, 5 of the top 10 are Asian. By 2070, it will be 9 of the top 10 [pdf].