Ministry to measure cities' resilience to climate change

A project to develop an urban climate resilience index in Viet Nam was introduced last Friday in Ha Noi. It comes as part of a long-term programme to make urban areas more prepared for and adaptive to the effects of climate change.

Under the leadership of the Ministry of Construction’s Urban Development Department, work on the index started in July and will last until December 2016. Five pilot cities - Lao Cai, Uong Bi, Hoi An, Gia Nghia and Ca Mau – were selected to test the index before expanding to target localities identified by the urban-climate change programme.

According to Tran Van Giai Phong from the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition, the climate resilience of urban areas depends on the ability of individuals, communities, organisations and urban systems to exist and develop amidst various innate pressures and sudden environmental shocks.

A city’s resilience score is calculated from four grades – health and welfare, economy and society, infrastructure and environment, and leadership and policies, he said.

Participants at the conference said the index should account for different conditions in each locality by including area-specific indices.

Dr. Michael Digregorio from the Asia Foundation - Viet Nam said the index would include both general and specific indices to allow for comparisons between cities, thus identifying city-specific measures that need improvement.

Tran Thi Lan Anh, deputy head of the Urban Development Department, said the objective of the project is to design an index as a tool for controlling and supporting the resilience against natural disasters and climate change. 

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