ASIA

Lubaina is a Managing Associate with the Climate Resilience Practice and WRI India based in Mumbai office. She is currently leading urban resilience work for the WRI India’s Sustainable Cities program, focusing on livelihood protection as a means to build resilience in poor and vulnerable communities. Her current project focuses on the simultaneous impacts of climate change and urbanization on the livelihoods of coastal peri-urban communities living on the outskirts of Mumbai.

She is currently working on Urban Community Resilience Assessment in Surat and Semarang, the framework itself examine resilience through 3 main aspects in city level: context, community resilience, and the built environment. Through this project, she hopes to understand the resilience in different communities in the city and use that to find challenges that could be highlighted in city level. So then, it could be used to inform city planning process.

When asked about her view on climate change as new challenge in planning, she highlighted two entry points. The first one, whe thinks that climate change is actually an opportunity for city to start thinking and doing planning in more integrated ways. Which city needs to start thinking about different kind of overlap between sectors and think about how different actors can work together to tackle the challenges.

"Most importantly, it is about time we need to integrate vulnerable people into the approach." she added.

Surat cities is now experiencing high rate of migration, where people actually move into the city and live for several years, yet mostly do not speak the local language. Thus, when doing community discussion, Lubaina found it hard to speak in common language that can be spoken by everyone. Not to mention when she meets with different stakeholders which have different interest one to another, she had to come up with solution to mediate these groups. Lack of data on defining the urban poor not only has made planning process more complicated but also has made project designing more challenging to inclusively involve and benefit all communities.

“Sometimes, I had to talked with man and woman separately to create equitable platform to talk freely about the issue through their lenses” this method also goes with religion or ethnicity.

“I think, from the planning perspective we need to plan more proactive and more integrated. Not only by bringing different kind of stakeholders and interest groups but also trying to find a way to ensure that different actors can work together.”

Lubaina continued, it is important for us to think what is people collective potential that can be leverage to face crisis in the city. Across Asian cities, heat and flood are might be the most common problem that we are facing.“I think it’s crucial to understand climate sign and integrate that in city development plan. “

“We should learn a lot from poor communities, because they live with water, they live with heat. We should learn from that and use it to plan our city in more sustainable ways.”