For most cities in developing countries the pressure to adapt to climate change is mounting. The measures needed to help cities cope with climate change vary considerably depending on political, cultural, historical and climatic conditions. Such measures can range from “working with nature”, e.g., placing a greater emphasis on coastal resource management, or protecting mangrove and natural reef ecosystems; to a concerted “climate-proofing” of infrastructure, including storm-drainage systems, water supply and treatment plants, as well as protection or relocation of energy or solid waste management facilities. Some coastal cities may need to plan for investments related to sea-level rise. In regions where droughts are more likely to occur, on the other hand, better water saving and water management measures may be required.
Of equal, if not greater, importance to such physical and infrastructural adaptations are a broad range of measures that reduce vulnerabilities and increase community resilience to climate change. These include: local economic development strategies; community early warning systems; better shelter options and participatory in-situ slum upgrading; relocation of urban populations to appropriate or improved locations when in-situ upgrading is not feasible; improved public health interventions, and urban and peri-urban agriculture that takes into consideration a changing climate.