ICLEI South Asia successfully concluded the Climate Resilient Inclusive Smart Cities (CRISC) Project in September 2023, with support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implementation support from GIZ Bangladesh. The programme successfully fulfilled its objectives that aimed to enhance capacities and awareness in local government institutions regarding climate-inclusive and gender-sensitive urban development and investment.
The CRISC project’s three primary objectives were integration of climate risk considerations in urban development planning; development of climate-resilient and gender-sensitive master plans; and fostering of dialogue processes and knowledge exchange. ICLEI South Asia actively contributed to the achievement of the last objective.
ICLEI South Asia developed three comprehensive training modules in English and Bengali, covering the basic concepts of urban planning, localisation of the Sustainable Development Goals with a focus on social inclusion, and a technical understanding of climate change and its integration into local and national planning. Utilising these modules, ICLEI South Asia conducted 12 training sessions at the local level and two at the national level for building the capacity of participants from the Local Government Engineering Department, Urban Development Directorate and different municipalities in using assessment tools to evaluate climate change-related risks and opportunities. Additionally, the sessions fostered the development of climate resilience strategies that could be seamlessly integrated into urban development planning.
During the project, a peer-to-peer exchange event was also organised in Rajshahi to share the outcomes of city’s Climate Resilient City Action Plan, developed by ICLEI South Asia in 2021. It also showcased the outcomes of some pilot climate adaptation and mitigation projects. The event allowed the participants from various cities and institutions to deepen their understanding of climate action planning and to identify key challenges for replication in other cities.
Additionally, a national dialogue was organised in collaboration with GIZ at the Third International Conference on Urban and Regional Planning 2023 (3rd ICURP) of the Bangladesh Institute of Planners. Two sessions on “Bangladesh Urban Vision 2050: From Planning to Practice” and “Enhancing Accessibility to Climate Finance by Addressing Local Challenges” were held, bringing together national and regional planning authorities, municipal representatives and local climate financing institutions.
ICLEI South Asia provided need-based support to the CRISC team by contributing to the development of web-based training (WBT) modules that aimed to enhance knowledge and build capacity in urban planning and climate change adaptation by using the national knowledge portal “Muktopaath”. This involved reviewing and refining course scripts for accuracy and clarity, and validation workshops on WBT content.
A policy review report on “Building Climate Resilience in Bangladesh: Addressing Challenges and Guiding the Implementation of National and Local Policies”, developed at the end of the project to highlight the challenges and recommendations for the implementation of national and local policies related to climate resilience, offers valuable insights for policymakers, stakeholders and development practitioners alike.
All these efforts of ICLEI South Asia contributed to the successful realisation of the CRISC project’s objectives, particularly in fostering dialogue processes and knowledge exchange for advancing climate-resilient and gender-sensitive urban development. The project substantially increased the capabilities of officials to evaluate risks associated with climate change, incorporate resilience strategies into urban development and enhance technical expertise for developing cities that respond effectively to climate challenges. It also bridged policy gaps and empowered stakeholders, aligning with Bangladesh’s commitment to international climate change agreements and various national policies and plans.