Adaptation to climate change in urban areas presents a complex challenge. Consequently, approaches to urban adaptation should be both multilevel and multidimensional. Community-based adaptation (CBA) presents an opportunity for local-level participation in framing adaptation planning and activities, with wider transformative potential for urban governance. This paper presents five case studies from cities in the Global South which offer insights into the different scales at which CBA can be mainstreamed in urban contexts, and the various ways in which this is happening. These examples demonstrate five emerging opportunities for mainstreaming urban CBA, which include using CBA as part of a wider package of approaches; seizing processes of institutional reform as an opportunity to integrate community perspectives; institutionalizing new actors and approaches as a mechanism for scaling up multi-stakeholder approaches; ensuring top-down planning approaches are connected to local dynamics; and using participatory research to facilitate local communities in shaping planning processes. The cases also demonstrate that while obstacles to mainstreaming in urban contexts remain, some lessons in addressing these challenges have emerged, and CBA should, therefore, be a part of the toolbox of local and national urban adaptation policy frameworks.
Archer, D.; Almansi, F.; DiGregorio, M.; Roberts, D.; Sharma, D.; Syam, D. Moving towards inclusive urban adaptation: approaches to integrating community-based adaptation to climate change at city and national scale. Climate and Development (2014) 6 (4) 345-356. [Special Issue: Community-based adaptation: Mainstreaming into national and local planning; DOI: 10.1080/17565529.2014.918868]