One of the greatest challenges for climate change adaptation is how to build resilience for the billion urban dwellers who are estimated to live in what are termed informal settlements . These settlements have been built outside the ‘formal’ system of laws and regulations that are meant to ensure safe, resilient structures, settlements and systems. But how is it possible to build resilience for those living outside the formal systems and usually working within the informal economy?

This Thematic Guide is intended to be the first of a series of a resources for those with an interest in the opportunities for building resilience and addressing the challenges of informality hand-in-hand. This Thematic Guide is aimed at national and municipal government officials and civil society leaders in low- and middle-income countries. It will encourage them to make and implement policies and plans that tackle the challenges of climate change and development in informal settlements, in ways that are mutually supportive and that generate co-benefits wherever possible. This Guide will also be of value to a secondary audience of planners, practitioners and researchers with an interest in integrating climate resilience in processes to improve conditions in informal settlements.