Regional Assessment on Urban Vulnerability and Resilience in Southern African Development Community Member States
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Regional Assessment on Urban Vulnerability and Resilience in Southern African Development Community Member States

As the African continent continues its march towards urbanization, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) stands as no exception.

The community, housing 16 Member States, is home to a diverse consortium of vibrant market towns, rural communities, intermediate cities and metropolises, urbanizing at a particularly fast rate. This brings with it tremendous opportunities for green economic growth and innovation.

Despite such potential, SADC faces threats from a variety of extreme natural hazards, made more frequent and severe by the growing impact of climate change. These risks threaten to compromise a range of key essential sectors including water, food supply systems and health. As such, reducing urban vulnerability and building resilience to a wide range of shocks in Southern Africa is central to ensuring sustainable urban development in the region, and to capitalize on the potential this community so holds.

To meet this challenge, UN-Habitat, in association with the Technical Centre for Disaster Risk Management, Sustainability and Urban Resilience, produced this report in close consultation with stakeholders in the region, providing the basis for a much-needed Urban Resilience Framework.

In the context of increasing information uncertainty, South-South cooperation is critical, not only to contextualize interventions effectively but to capture and replicate best practices and solutions – an important consideration given the transboundary nature of shocks.

Drawing on the overall research conducted for this assessment, final conclusions and recommendations have been compiled and grouped into six thematic sets, offering policymakers and practitioners practical insights to improve the current package of policies, strategies and plans of action in the region.

In view of the 2030 Agenda and the fact that sustainable development increasingly depends on the management of urban growth, the hope is that stakeholders will take advantage of this valuable information. For action is needed now not later.