Resilient Cities - Bonn 2013 - Banner
Resilient Cities - Bonn 2013 - Banner

A2 - Innovative strategies for water management in fast-growing cities

Session Description

Facilitator: Charlotte MacAlister, Senior Program Officer, IDRC, Ottawa, Canada


  • Chandra Lal Pandey, Senior Research Fellow, South Asia Institute of Advanced Studies, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Emani Kumar, Deputy Secretary General ICLEI, Executive Director ICLEI South Asia, New Delhi, India
  • Juan Darío Restrepo Ángel, Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, School of Sciences, EAFIT University, Medellín, Colombia
  • Ana Maria Caetano Pereira, Municipal Committee on Climate Change, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Organized in cooperation with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

Despite the attention paid to the world’s megacities, the urban areas that are growing fastest are the small and medium-sized cities whose populations are projected to rise by over 30% between 2015 and 2030. In addition to high relative rates of population growth and poverty, these cities are particularly vulnerable due to a paucity of data, human and financial resources, and inadequate infrastructure.  The increasing intensity of hazards influenced by climate change will further aggravate the current challenge of meeting urban dwellers’ basic needs in terms of water and sanitation, shelter, access to transportation, health care, education and employment.

In particular, many cities are facing growing difficulties in securing safe and reliable water supply and/or managing floodwaters that threaten human health and safety and put critical infrastructure at risk. While cities’ vulnerability to water-related challenges are related to inadequate infrastructure, unplanned urban development and increasingly, the impacts of climate change, water use and management in the broader catchment significantly affects water availability and flooding in cities.

This panel will explore how researchers working directly with key stakeholders at the city level and in the broader catchment area have catalyzed the development and implementation of innovative strategies for water management in rapidly growing cities in South Asia (Dharan and Dhulikhel in Nepal; Solapur and Vijayawada in India) and South America (Cartagena, Columbia). Speakers will highlight progress, discuss challenges and outline important opportunities and lessons for others striving toward more resilient and adaptive water management approaches that in particular responds to the needs of the most vulnerable urban dwellers.