Embedding Climate Change Resilience in Coastal City Planning: Early Lessons from Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

Peter Adams and Jose Castro
Created: 4/24/2013 -


Cartagena’s fortunes and perils have long been tied to the sea. With the release of its adaptation guidelines, the Colombian coastal city is preparing to manage sea level rises, extreme weather, flooding, health and disease resulting from a changing climate. This report’s vulnerability assessment, summarised in ‘Guidelines for Adaptation to Climate Change in Cartagena de Indias’, is the most comprehensive of its kind yet developed in Colombia, with adaptation actions paired to emerging challenges. The guidelines methodically situate scientific knowledge and adaptation planning within the context of the city; a city that encompasses both wealthy and impoverished communities, together with a heavy reliance on several climate-sensitive industries, such as tourism and transportation. This brief summarises the process that led to the guidelines’ creation, and highlights how they lay the foundation for a full municipal adaptation plan.

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The Climate and Development Knowledge Network supports decision-makers in designing and delivering climate compatible development. We do this by combining research, advisory services and knowledge management in support of locally owned and managed policy processes. We work in partnership with decision-makers in the public, private and non-governmental sectors nationally, regionally and globally.

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Document Type
Adaptation Phase
Sector Addressed
Target Climate Changes and Impacts