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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Cat Button
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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.
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
Print publication date: 23/07/2013
ISSN (print): 1354-9839
ISSN (electronic): 1469-6711
Notes: Special Issue: Urban vulnerability, adaptation and resilience: analysing the lessons from UN-Habitat's CCCI
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