Climate change processes pose significant challenges to development in cities across West Africa. These processes shape and mediate urban vulnerability across urban areas and hinder wider development efforts across these cities. This paper reviews these emerging perspectives within the context of UN-Habitat’s work in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso and Saint-Louis, Senegal. It argues that policy makers and researchers need to engage with issues of climate change and development at an urban scale and across ‘ordinary cities’ through exploring the range of vulnerabilities inherent in each city. Specifically, the paper illustrates the diversities and similarities of climate change processes that exist across these two medium sized, or ordinary West African cities, the intersections with existing economic profiles and potential impacts and the emerging urban governance responses to these issues. It demonstrates the need to move beyond constructions of an archetypal ‘West African’ city, and illustrates the emerging work by UN-Habitat and local partners in developing localised knowledges about urban vulnerabilities and the multiple and divergent ways in which these issues are beginning to be addressed.
Bulkeley, H., & Tuts, R. (2013). Understanding urban vulnerability, adaptation and resilience in the context of climate change. Local Environment, 18(6), 646-662. https://doi.org/10.1080/13549839.2013.788479