The Need

The towns and cities of small island and archipelago-based nations are often overlooked by international urban resilience policies and programs due to the small populations involved. However, these cities and towns are some of the most vulnerable, diverse, and rapidly growing urban centres anywhere in the world, acting as crucial gateways to sustainable development for the citizens of small island developing states.

Even though an average of more than half of their populations reside in urban environments, and a third of all small island nations are dependent on a single primary city, urban resilience and sustainable urban development in small islands have largely been overlooked by international agencies. Emphasis has instead been placed on either national level initiatives, or local, non-urban settings. As a result, institutional capacity in urban planning and governance is often weak, with infrastructure ‘deficits’ being present in many cities, compounding issues related to urban growth and disaster recovery.

ICLEI’s approach to building more sustainable island towns and cities

Pacific Islands Resilience Toolkit (link)

Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (link)

Disaster Risk Reduction  (link)

Front-Line Cities and Islands (link)

Special Adviser (link)