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NTS Perspectives Issue No. 1

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Changing Cityscapes: Signs of Development or Disaster?

by Sofiah Jamil and Irene A. Kuntjoro

Given the tardy progress in mitigating climate change, adaptation measures are crucial in dealing with the current and future impacts of climate change. Adaptation measures need to be formulated and implemented based on vulnerabilities of different localities. This paper looks at the vulnerabilities of the urban poor in Southeast Asian cities by using the cases of Jakarta and Manila, given that they are already susceptible to regular weather related disasters. While the relation between climate change and extreme weather events may be contested, cities continue to struggle to respond effectively to weather related disasters. This paper argues that various adaptation measures should be a part of holistic urban planning that involves collaborative partnership between local, national and international state and non-state actors.

About the Centre:

The Centre for NTS Studies, based in the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, was inaugurated by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretary-General Dr Surin Pitsuwan in May 2008. The Centre maintains research in the fields of Climate Change, Energy Security, Health Security, as well as Internal and Cross Border Conflict. It produces policy-relevant analyses aimed at furthering awareness and building capacity to address NTS issues and challenges in the Asia Pacific region and beyond. The Centre also provides a platform for scholars and policymakers within and outside Asia to discuss and analyse NTS issues in the region.

In 2009, the Centre was chosen by the MacArthur Foundation as a lead institution for the MacArthur Asia Security Initiative, to develop policy research capacity and recommend policies on the critical security challenges facing the Asia-Pacific.

The Centre is also a founding member and the Secretariat for the Consortium of Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies in Asia (NTS-Asia). More information on the Centre can be found at