A plea for putting the issue of Urbanizing Deltas on the New Urban Agenda, UN Habitat III

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Abstract

Urbanizing deltas belong to the most promising regions of the world, considering their large concentrations of population, their role in the world’s ecosystems and their significance to the world’s economy. At the same time, these regions are dealing with extreme vulnerability and face multiple threats. The combination of intensification of urban and economic land use, the related disappearance of the deltas’ capacity to resist natural hazards, and climate change, are resulting in an increase of deadly diseases, poverty and substantial economic losses.
To ensure a sustainable future in these areas, new strategies are necessary to improve the living conditions for all people in delta regions and to decrease their risk level. Successful strategies are possible if they focus on (1) the recovery of the formative power of the deltas and the capacity of land-water ecosystems to absorb the impact of extreme events and their resilience to restore balance after disturbances; (2) an inclusive approach to planning by integrating scientific research, engineering and design, and combining interventions concerning prevention, spatial adaptation and disaster management; (3) the possibility to combine adaptation and mitigation of climate change by developing new perspectives with low carbon footprints for ports and industrial areas; (4) capacity building and social inclusiveness; (5) multi-actor governance arrangements with smart financial mechanisms.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherDelta Alliance
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2016

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