The Gathering Storm: Will Asia Pacific Cities Adapt to Climate Change?

Event Proceedings

The Gathering Storm: Will Asia Pacific Cities Adapt to Climate Change?

AUTHORS: Joan Diamond, Peter Hayes, Jane Mullett, Felicity Roddick and Tim Savage Korea Foundation; Global Cities Institute, Climate Change Adaptation Program, Learning Cities Program, and Vietnam Fund, RMIT University, Melbourne; Nautilus Institute, San Francisco; Nautilus Institute, RMIT University, Melbourne


October 2011


This workshop, a joint activity of RMIT University’s Global Cities Institute and the Nautilus Institute at RMIT and in San Francisco, set out to explore how cities in the Asia-Pacific region might adapt to climate change, and in particular, whether they might collaborate with each other in ways that cannot be anticipated by states and might prove critical to successful adaptation. The workshop was held with the support of RMIT Vietnam on its campus in Ho Chi Minh City. The participants grappled with the issue of climate change from many different perspectives and identified a research agenda that could feed into policies and actions at many levels within and between nations and societies.This report is divided into five sections, starting with this introduction. Section II explains the scenarios method used in the workshop, and describes some of the driving forces used to define the scenarios. Section III outlines the eight scenario narratives created by the participants. Section IV analyzes some of the policy- and action-oriented implications of these eight narratives. Section V provides an overview of the climate challenge for cities in this region, and addresses their ability to weather the gathering storm of climate impacts. Based on the scenarios, we are optimistic that it is indeed possible for cities in this region to adapt to climate change. The challenges identified by the participants were immense, but at critical junctures they found ways to overcome many of the most daunting obstacles. In this sense, the outcome of the workshop was to immediately inspire participants to carry home the message that the time to adapt is now, and that one of the best ways forward is for cities to collaborate. Read more: The Gathering Storm :