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ICLEI, MIT Release Urban Climate Adaptation Survey Results

16 May 2012: The UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) has announced that Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have released the results of the global survey titled “Progress and Challenges in Urban Climate Adaptation Planning,” in which 468 cities participated.

The results of the first systematic study of adaptation initiatives and challenges were released by its author, JoAnn Carmin (MIT), at the 2012 Resilient Cities Congress, which convened from 12-15 May 2012, in Bonn, Germany.

In addition to a rise in natural hazards, survey respondents noted changes in flora and fauna, rural-to-urban migration, coastal erosion, emergence of new diseases and deaths from disasters.

Other key findings of the survey include: that 74% of city officials face "major" challenges in communicating the nature of adaptation problems, with 58% pointing to communication with elected officials as especially difficult; increased storm water runoff and storm water management are the top two concerns among the 19% of cities that have assessed climate impacts.

According to the survey, the three key challenges to mainstream adaptation into disaster risk reduction (DRR) and land use planning are: securing funding for adaptation; communicating the need for adaptation to elected officials and local departments; and gaining commitment and generating appreciation from national government for the realities of local adaptation challenges. [UNISDR Press Release, 14 May 2012] [UNISDR Press Release, 16 May 2012] [Survey Results]