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Vulnerability and resilience to climate change in Sorsogon City, the Philippines: learning from an ordinary city?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Cat Button

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Abstract

Sorsogon City is a rapidly urbanising coastal area in the Philippines. Its location, combined with a rapidly changing and growing urban fabric, leaves it vulnerable to both incremental climate change and associated extreme weather events. In this paper, UN-HABITAT data are used to draw out the climate change vulnerabilities and policy responses in Sorsogon City. Vulnerability “hotspots” highlight the spatial intersection of socio-economic justice concerns, particularly in terms of vulnerability to increased cyclone activity. We discuss vulnerabilities of Sorsogon City and its citizens to climate change and measures undertaken through various social, environmental and technical systems and interventions to increase resilience. The paper also attempts to unpick the relationship between the neat, concise reported city and the complexities of urban life using the Sorsogon experiment to consider the limitations of such approaches to governing climate change. We group these under four headings: social simplification in the absence of data; over-governance (and under-representation); quick wins versus strategic investment; and stretching the ecological and vulnerability footprints of the city. The experience of Sorsogon City is then extended to reflect on issues of governance and planning in other Asian coastal cities.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Button C, Mias-Mamonong MAA, Barth B, Rigg J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability

Year: 2013

Volume: 18

Issue: 6

Pages: 705-722

Print publication date: 23/07/2013

ISSN (print): 1354-9839

ISSN (electronic): 1469-6711

Publisher: Routledge

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13549839.2013.798632

DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2013.798632

Notes: Special Issue: Urban vulnerability, adaptation and resilience: analysing the lessons from UN-Habitat's CCCI


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