Programme Overview


While cities should be centres of opportunity, innovation and economic growth, too often it is slum dwellers, informal traders, and residents of vulnerable settlements that bear the brunt of environmental, economic and political risks that impact cities, particularly in rapidly urbanising economies. With the increasingly evident impacts of a changing climate, these pressures and casualties will only increase in the future.

Cities need resilient environmental, social, and economic systems that can withstand these shocks and stresses, particularly when measured through the eyes of the urban poor. City-wide actions to adapt to and mitigate climate change can make a decisive contribution to national and subnational efforts aimed at fulfilling international commitments, such as the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Climate Agreement, the Sendai Framework, and the New Urban Agenda.

Over the last decades, the Cities Alliance has been working on climate change, resilience, and sustainable urban ecosystems that are at the heart of the recent urbanisation discussions, always with a special emphasis on communities in informal settings and equality for all

Cities Alliance's global work is designed to advance new tools, practices and understanding of emerging urban issues and support joint advocacy with our members. With our Global Programme Climate Change, Resilience and Informality in Cities, we work towards the goal of supporting communities ‒ in partnership with local governments ‒ to build resilient cities that reduce both risk and vulnerability by strengthening urban ecosystems, promoting investment in local resilience efforts, and advocating for people-centred resilience.

In an increasingly urban world, the major resilience challenges of this century – job creation, poverty reduction, climate change, environmental sustainability, community development and social inclusion – will be won or lost in cities.

Cities Alliance: JWP Resilient Cites 

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Global Year of Action


The recently published flagship report by the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) calls for accelerated adaptation action and increased political support for building climate resilience and announced a Year of Action on Adaptation.

During 2020, the Commission and its partnerships will raise attention on the implementation of adaptation projects worldwide. Structured around several action tracks, the call for action will also involve a specific focus on cities explicitly urging to increase efforts with regards to resilience for informal settlements and most vulnerable communities.

The action speaks to the core of the Cities Alliance’s strategic focus where the nexus between climate change, vulnerability and urban poverty and informality has been object of investigation and commitment by major programmes for more than 10 years.