Climate change and its impact in cities: The power and potential of participatory research to identify key priorities and respond
Recently, the world’s attention has been focused on the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow. While much of the discussion at the event focussed on the future including emissions and projections, the conference also highlighted that for many, climate change is already a lived reality.
In a COP26 panel on urban informality the Mayor of Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr made this point clearly: ‘What we aren’t talking about enough is the fact that climate change for millions indeed billions of people is not something that’s going to happen, it’s something that has happened’. Across the panel of civil society actors, government officials and academics, one key message was clear: urgent action, equitable partnerships and co-produced knowledge are required to ameliorate the impacts of climate change for those living and working in informal urban spaces in Low and Middle-Income countries.
The ARISE Hub is playing a role in building and strengthening these partnerships and co-producing knowledge and action. The ARISE Hub – Accountability and Responsiveness in Informal Settlements for Equity – is a Global Research Challenges Fund research consortium, set up to enhance accountability to improve the health and wellbeing of marginalised populations living in informal urban settlements in Low- and Middle- Income countries. It is led out of Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and partners with researchers and civil society organisations including those that are part of Slum and Shack Dwellers International (SDI) in Bangladesh, India, Kenya and Sierra Leone.