CLimate Change and Urban Vulnerability in Africa (CLUVA)

Despite many international and local initiatives on disaster risk management and advances in scientific knowledge, the social and economic impact of natural disasters in emerging economies and developing countries is growing. This is due to the fact that their fragile economies are unable to absorb the shocks caused by natural disasters combined with the increasing vulnerability of the exposed population aggravated by the rapid growth of urban population, weak institutions and rampant conflicts. Most of these countries are currently struggling to implement an effective risk reduction strategy.

Climate change is likely to rapidly exacerbate this situation. Climate change threatens the cities and fast urbanising coasts where about 38 per cent of Africa’s population lives, that is to say 297 million people live in urban areas. By 2030, this is expected to grow to approximately 54 per cent of Africa's projected population of around 1405 million. Africa's rate of urbanization of 3.5 per cent per year is the highest in the world, resulting in more urban areas with large population, as well as in the expansion of existing urban areas. There are currently forty cities in Africa with populations of more than a million and it is expected that by 2015 seventy cities will have populations of one million or more. In many urban areas rates of economic growth and infrastructure development have lagged urbanization rates, resulting in high levels of unemployment, inadequate standards of housing and services, and impacts on human health and development. Environmental disasters and conflicts have also caused many people to flee rural areas and to seek refuge in urban centres. Weather-related disasters are doing increasing damage to water supply already scarce in many places, and other critical infrastructure such as energy, transport, and telecommunications may become more vulnerable to climate change related risks. These add to African cities' significant sustainability challenges, including urban sprawl, population growth, pollution and the loss of biodiversity. The vulnerability of African cities is considered to be influenced not only by changing biophysical conditions, but also by dynamic social, economic, political, institutional and technological structures and processes. Thus, the planners, managers and researchers within African cities need reliable forecasts of the local impact of climate change and need to be better equipped to strengthen the coping capacities of urban communities. The subsequent extension of knowledge of the direct and indirect impacts of climate change and the spatial and temporal scales over which they are felt will ultimately benefit urban communities more widely, both within and beyond the developing world.
The project will develop innovative climate change risk adaptation strategies based on strong interdisciplinary components. CLUVA will be conducted by a balanced partnership of European and African partners. The 7 European partners will bring together some of EU’s leading experts in climate, quantitative hazard and risk assessment, risk management, urban planners and social scientists. The 6 African partners from South Africa and from the Universities of the selected cities cover a similar range of expertises, making possible an effective integrated research effort. The project is structured in 6 Work Packages (WP) dealing with climate change and impact models (WP1), vulnerability of urban structures and lifelines and urban ecosystem and assessment of social vulnerability (WP2), urban planning and governance as key issues to increase the resilience (WP3), capacity building and dissemination (WP4), coordination of the activities in the selected cities (WP5) and project management (WP6).

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Research Partners:
  1. Amra - Analisi e Monitoraggio del Ischio Ambientale Scarl, Italy
  2. Københavns Universitet, Denmark
  3. University of Manchester, UK
  4. Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Germany
  5. Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa
  6. Centro Euro-Mediterraneo per i Cambiamenti Climatici Scarl, Italy
  7. Helmholtz-Zentrum Fuer Umweltforschung Gmbh Ufz, Germany
  8. Norsk Institutt for by – Og Regionforskning
  9. Universite Gaston Berger de Saint Louis
  10. Universite de Yaounde I
  11. Universite de Ouagadougou
  12. Ardhi University
  13. EiABC, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Contact at EiABC:

Essete Abebe Bekele

Research Project Manager

Tel.  +251 911 88 85 93

Email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

P.O.Box  518

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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