Adapting to Climate Change: How to Build Resilient Cities ICLEI Congress 2010

The fact that cities will have to adapt to climate change - not just try to cut emissions - used to be completely off the radar when you talked to people about urban sustainability.  That adaptation and resilience are getting more attention is, I think, a sign that the conversation about urban environmental policy is maturing.  It's also, unfortunately, a measure of just how ineffective we've been at getting this big ship to corner (i.e. cut emissions and de-carbonize our economy).

Warren Karlenzig (president of Common Current, and author of The SustainLane US City Rankings) has started an excellent series of urban resilience for dummies posts on his blog (via worldchaning).   And today ICLEI released the preliminary program for what is to be the first World  Congress on how cities can adapt to a changing climate.

The congress runs from May 28-30 in Bonn, Germany.  I was at the ICLEI world Congress in Edmonton this past June (see coverage here)  but I won't be able to make Bonn.  If you are going - drop me a note, I would love to hear about it. 

From ICLEI Press Release:
ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability and the City of Bonn are pleased to announce the congress "Resilient Cities 2010", the first annual global Forum on Urban Resiliency and Adaptation to Climate Change for all actors involved in the field of adaptation.  

The Congress will be held from 28 to 30 May 2010 in Bonn, Germany, between the Carbon Expo in Cologne (26-28 May) and the UN Climate Talks in Bonn (31 May - 11 June 2010).

Resilient Cities 2010 will gather actors with different backgrounds - not only local governments, international organizations, development banks and NGOs but also researchers, university professors, urban planners, consultants, private finance institutions and private sector companies. All these stakeholders will jointly discuss and identify solutions and impulses for innovation in the field of adaptation and aim at setting the direction for the future planning of and investment in urban infrastructure.

How vulnerable are our cities and what tools do we have to assess the projected impacts of climate change? How can we integrate adaptation into water, transport, energy and urban planning?  How can we get citizens on-board and best utilize existing local knowledge? How can we manage uncertainty and what instruments are available to best deal with it? How much does adaptation cost and how can we finance it? All these issues, and many more, will be discussed at the Resilient Cities 2010 Congress and solutions will be sought through the presentation of several local examples and the input of numerous experts.  

Click here to download the program overview and see what different aspects of adaptation will be explored during the event. Don't forget to check the website for continuous updates: more detailed information about the program and the confirmed speakers will be available very soon! 

Do not miss out on this great learning opportunity and join us in Bonn! Online-registration is now open: Register as soon as possible to take advantage of the practical accommodation at the venue.

For more information visit or contact the Congress Secretariat at


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This is a blog for news and views on the future of sustainable cites. A major revamp is in the works. Until then I am keeping this version up as an archive of my past writing.

You can expect occasional updates, but not with the same frequency as in the past.

You can also find my writing on urban redesign and sustainability in ReNew Canada, The Mark, Sustainable Cities Canada, WorldChanging, and other more specialized academic publications.

Info on my consulting work, c.v. and current research focus is all here.

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