What the Latest Science on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability Means for Cities and Urban Areas

Ibidun Adelekan, Anton Cartwright, Winston Chow, Sarah Colenbrander, Richard Dawson, Matthias Garschagen, Marjolijn Haasnoot, Masahiro Hashizume, Ian Klaus, Jagdish Krishnaswamy, Maria Fernanda Lemos, Debbie Ley, Timon McPhearson, Mark Pelling, Prathijna Poonacha Kodira, Aromar Revi, Liliana Miranda Sara, Nicholas P. Simpson, Chandni Singh, William Solecki, Adelle Thomas, Christopher Trisos | 2022


The Summary for Urban Policymakers (SUP) series distils the IPCC reports into accessible and targeted summaries to inform action at the city and regional scale. Volume I in the series, What the Latest Physical Science of Climate Change Means for Cities, identified the ways in which human-induced climate change is affecting every region of the world, and the cities and urban areas therein.

The second volume in the series, Climate Change in Cities and Urban Areas: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, offers a concise and accessible distillation of the IPCC Working Group II Report. Cities concentrate climate risk, through interactions between climate hazards, exposed infrastructure, people and ecosystems, existing vulnerability, and ongoing development and climate change responses. This report assesses the feasibility and effectiveness of different adaptation options but highlights that adaptation has limits and can even lead to maladaptation, triggering unintended effects which increase risk, emissions and lock-ins. It synthesises the latest evidence on the necessary urban-led transformation, focussing on operationalizing simultaneous system transitions across land, coastal, ocean and freshwater ecosystems; cities and infrastructure systems; and energy and industrial systems, all of which are accelerated by societal choices. Cities and urban areas have a critical role to play in the climate resilient development needed to meet goals of climate change, human wellbeing, and ecosystem health challenges.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24943/SUPSV209.2022