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Building Climate Resilient Cities: How Do We Get There

Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

A Climate Dashboard and Communication Tool

  • Climate Variability Index (CVI) — takes into account various climate/ weather related parameters (e.g. flood, storm, temperature changes) that affect the climate change and provides a risk factor in terms of the scale of climate change in the last few decades.
  • Socio Economic Risk Index (SERI) — This index is an indicator of how well a city can handle large scale climate change events by considering the economic status, population, social conditions and the inequality in the society.
  • Search Deniers Index (SDI) — is built by understanding the search behavior of people online, the volume of these keywords and terms. It is based on how much of the searches are around climate change denial and how much of this search behavior translates into political support for climate change.


Photo by Matteo Catanese from Unsplash

New York

  • Nudge individuals to implement specific mitigation action for their home or that will protect their community
  • Nudge individuals to fight against climate change and preserve the social fabric of community values.
  • Remind them their home is slowly disappearing before their own eyes. If they do not take any action now, it will result in the destruction of their community and everything they hold dear (e.g. use graphic images of popular monuments, food joints, neighborhoods submerged in floods)
  • Prompt them towards a specific call to action that saves their home, community and preserves their values and beliefs (e.g. be your community’s superhero by learning how to reduce, reuse and recycle every day!)
  • Direct them to the nearest or most active environmental groups in their area (e.g. Get out and about in NYC — 5 environmental organizations to volunteer with this summer!)


Photo by Ridham Nagralawala from Unsplash


  • Rapid environmental change can make people feel helpless and threatened by uncertainty.
  • Low-income communities will bear the brunt of extreme heat waves and rainfall, so slums must become climate-resilient
  • Connecting people in the city with other climate activists on how to organize (e.g. reach out to Climate Sathis to learn about how you can help!)
  • Informing them that the city’s heatwaves are due to climate change and will only get worse (e.g. The heat will persist because of climate change, but your actions can make a difference)
  • Craft communication messages on how marginalized communities are differentially affected (e.g. Imagine your house burning up 5 degrees hotter every year, this is the reality in your city — contribute to making a difference)


Photo by Greg Keelan from Unsplash


  • Recognise the importance of acting as a global/regional community.
  • Incite a sense of loyalty and connection to help at a global and regional level.
  • Starkly make individuals aware of the visible and tangible climate changes. These images and messages should make individuals feel alarmed and heighten fear. (e.g. capacity of children’s lungs because of air pollution)
  • Show extreme temperature changes. Show images from the future which demonstrate what will happen if an individual takes no action. (e.g. Jinan permanently blanketed in soot from coal burning)
  • Incite both individual and collective action by directly linking them to facts about their own country and domestic calls to action and petitions. (e.g. Without people’s help, air pollutants will increase by xx% and kill xx people)


From Unsplash (by Sid Saxena)


  • Overcome inertia among policymakers to build a climate-resilient city for the future
  • Environmental change is visible causing people to feel helpless in tackling the problem
  • By implementing a climate action plan, Mumbai can be hailed as an exemplar city to regional and global communities
  • Infrastructural change will have economic benefits for the city as people are healthier, have livelihoods and can access resources
  • Alert people that without their daily and policy-level actions, the city as they know it will change for the worst and destroy their communities (e.g. use data to show short-and long-term impact, like flooding, and how it will restrict basic resources)
  • Direct them to networks of climate activists nationally and regionally (e.g. learn how to organize and demand action for policymakers for your future!)
  • Prompt them towards a call to action directed at holding government accountability (e.g. use examples of other regional and global cities that are successful)



From Unsplash (by Akira Amuro)
  • Equip people with tools to organize around collective action and specific demands
  • Provide resources for people to implement specific mitigation action for protecting their homes and community (e.g. how to set up petitions)
  • Remind them that there are other activists in the city, regionally and globally who can help them mobilize (e.g. building an activist network)
  • Motivate them to participate in maintaining Yangzhon’s global reputation as an an eco-friendly city (e.g. 5 ways you can play a role in preserving Yangzhon’s rich environment)
  • Direct them to the nearest or most active environmental groups in their area.



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