Megacities grapple with rapid population growth and a host of economic, social, and health challenges. An international team is looking for solutions that will help large coastal and river-delta cities cope with the risks posed by a changing climate, including sea-level rise and extreme weather events.

Bangkok, 2011 Image by Philip Roeland/flickr

For those located in low-lying areas, climate change is an additional stressor. Bangkok’s 14 million people, for example, face a threat from rising sea levels, while Manila (population 21 million) is prone to damage from tropical storms packing strong winds.

The research aims to build resilient cities by integrating climate change adaptation and disaster-risk reduction strategies. The goal: citizens equipped with knowledge and tools to reduce their vulnerability to climate change-related risks, in safer, better-functioning cities.

The Coastal Cities at Risk project takes an interdisciplinary approach involving natural, social, and health scientists, engineers, and economists. The initiative focuses on Bangkok and Manila, as well as Lagos, Nigeria, and Vancouver, Canada. It aims to increase the pool of experts working in this field, and to share the knowledge gained with other communities worldwide facing similar challenges.

The project is funded jointly by Canada’s International Development Research Centre and three Canadian science granting councils: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.


For further information:

Isabelle Bourgeault-Tassé

International Development Research Centre, Canada